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Brit-Indians were key to Cameron win; PM looks at major reforms this term

Brit-Indians were key to Cameron win; PM looks at major reforms this term
It came as a complete surprise even for the most experienced political analysts, and politicians as British Prime Minister ensured he didn’t vacate the 10 Downing Street yet, for the next five years after having posted impressive win for his party (331 seats of 650) and his people. The victory was even more astounding than the last one because, this time around Cameron will not have to manage the constraints of coalition with centrist liberal democrats. The Lib Dems, who were his political pals, were almost wiped out. A few heads, including that of their leader Nick Clegg have quit the office.

The shift in British politics has been a truly overwhelming one for British Indians. The conservative Cameron has been a great friend of India since long, and time and again, he has been reaching out to the Indian diaspora, the largest slice of British immigrant population in the world. Though both Labour party and the Conservative party wooed British-Indian voters, the result was pretty evident of which way the minds swayed. The elections almost had the same flavour as they would, in India with actors and prominent politicians with Indian origin coming in to pledge support for their candidate from both parties. There were, of course the Bachchans who hobnobbed with both conservatives and labours.

It would be interesting to understand minorities are a rapidly growing part of 45-million Brit voter base in the United Kingdom. In fact, the minorities in some parts of UK are so high, that they play a crucial role in deciding who wins the elections in that region.

Of the minorities, it is important to know that Indian voters make for the largest share of population of migrants. There are about 615,000 migrant Indian voters in the UK. And, this makes it the single largest migrant group. The data according to the census conducted in 2011, shows around 1.4 million people of Indian origin live in the UK and some of them are very healthy and influential as well.

Which is why, it is a little surprise that David Cameron’s team has top 10 MPs with Indian origin including IT bellwether Infosys founder’s son-in-law Rishi Sunak, Keith Vaz, Priti Patel, Virendra Sharma, Alok Sharma, Shailesh Vara among others.

There was a resounding verdict that was out this time around. That Indian-ness and any inclination towards the ‘desis’ won the hearts and votes too. Though the Labour party did try its best to woo the Indian voters, much keeping with the equation in India, the voters of Indian origin decided to throw their weight behind the conservatives. Modi and Cameron share a great bonhomie too, and British PM’s pro-India stance only helped the deal go a long way. How else would you get to hear ‘Phir ek bar Cameron sarkar’ rhyming with ‘Ab ki baar Modi sarkaar’ that resonated through the streets of India just last year around the same time and posted a landslide victory for Modi and his men?

Cameron’s way of wooing the Indian voters was not a ‘scratch the surface’ kind of a hollow gesture. He spoke of the biggest temple that’s built outside India, which is housed in Neasden. And, eventually, he also spoke of a future Prime Minister for UK, who would be of Indian origin. He spent time at Gurudwaras and mandatorily had his head covered to keep with the traditions. He also spoke of British Hindu values, which were about forging the best of both worlds.

Cameron, whose political career hung by a thread this time around, was crucial for his party too. He was singlehandedly taking the future of his party further since the competition was hard, closely pitched and very strongly waged.

The victory had it made with his background of having championed India’s interests like no other British PM has. Actually, India and Britain forged a ‘strategic partnership’ during the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s term and his subsequent India visit in 2005. The partnership was to get some character and meat that was provided for, by his successor Cameron. All kinds of right messaging went from home front to ensure Cameron’s victory, considering the fact that UK is the largest European investor in India and India, on the other hand, happens to be the second largest investor in UK. Indian students are the second largest in number in the UK. All the statistics, if not more, says a lot about the close bonds both countries share. So, when Cameron covered his head with a white cloth at a Gurudwara, attempting to make rotis and dal, the Indian votes were sealed.

Cameron’s real victory lies in the fact that he sent all right messages during his India trip in 2010. He has steered clear on India – Pakistan issues, but has made sure that his country has always sided with the ‘rising India’. Now, it’s another five years of time to demonstrate his affection towards India, and UK-Indians!


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