British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak commemorated Guru Nanak Jayanti by acknowledging his Punjabi Indian heritage in a heartfelt message delivered from 10 Downing Street.
Born in the UK to a Hindu Punjabi family who migrated from East Africa, Sunak’s ancestral connections trace back to Ludhiana and pre-Partition Gujranwala, now in modern-day Pakistan. In his message, he praised the substantial contributions made by British Sikhs, expressing pride and admiration for their role in the UK.
“It’s my privilege to extend warm wishes to Sikhs across the UK, India, and around the globe on this auspicious Gurpurab,” said Sunak.
As someone rooted in Punjabi Indian heritage, Sunak expressed his personal attachment to the occasion, commemorating the 554th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the revered founder of the Sikh religion.
“This joyful occasion is a reminder of the exceptional contributions of the Sikh community to our nation. Your achievements are a testament to our collective pride and a wellspring of inspiration. Waheguru Ji Ki Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh,” he added.
Sunak, Britain’s first Prime Minister of Indian descent, has frequently highlighted his familial ties to the Indian subcontinent. Reflecting on his family’s journey from East Africa to the UK, he shared poignant moments of his children celebrating Diwali at 10 Downing Street, underscoring the significance of his heritage in his role as the UK’s Chancellor.
Recently, Sunak and his wife, Akshata Murty, hosted a special Diwali reception at Downing Street, adorning the prime ministerial residence-office with festive lights and decorations, signifying their reverence for Indian traditions.