Britain’s first Indian-born prime minister, Rishi Sunak, told the BBC on Saturday how racism in his youth had “harmed” him. But he believes that the country has changed.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who is the first head of government in the United Kingdom of Indian origin, said on Saturday (July 1) that he had been a victim of racism in his youth.
“Of course I experienced racism growing up, of course I know it exists,” Rishi Sunak, 43, told the BBC.
Racism “stings you like very few other things do”, added the leader of the Conservative government. “And I have a job where I’m criticized every day, every hour, every minute. It stings you. It hurts.”
Rishi Sunak was questioned on the sidelines of a cricket match, days after a damning report emerged that it is a racist and sexist elite sport.
“One day I was with my little brother and my younger sister in Southampton (southern England) and people said several things and I felt doubly bad,” said Rishi Sunak. “I felt bad. And I had my brother and my sister with me and I didn’t want them to hear and be exposed (about this). It was really hard.”
“We must eradicate it”
But the Prime Minister assured in this interview that the country had changed. “What comforts me is that the things that happened to me when I was a child, I don’t think would happen to my children today because I think we’ve made incredible progress as a country and that should we be proud of.”
“Racism, sexism or anything else has no place in our society and when we see it, we must stamp it out,” Rishi Sunak also said.
Rishi Sunak, who grew up in Southampton, is the eldest of three children and the son of a GP and a pharmacist. Born in India or of Indian descent, his grandparents emigrated from East Africa to Britain in the 1960s.
He quickly rose to the elite by attending Winchester College, a smart boarding school for boys. He then studied politics, philosophy and economics at the prestigious universities of Oxford, England and Stanford, USA.
He found the report on cricket, a sport he was particularly fond of, “sad”. “It was, for people who love cricket, very difficult to read.”