Today the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and the leader of Scotland are of South Asian descent. This demonstrates the imperial footprint in the European country.
LatinAmerican Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández
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Leer en español: Hoy el poder británico es el reflejo de un pasado imperialista
When you look at the heads of executive governments within the UK today, you glimpse a change in the British demographic. The idea of a white United Kingdom is a thing of the past, and today's British leaders are a clear example of the future of the European power.
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is Rishi Sunak, born in Southampton but of South Asian descent. Similarly, the new Chief Minister of Scotland is Humza Yousaf, born in Glasgow but of Pakistani origins. 2 of the most critical positions of power are in the hands of a new United Kingdom. Even though both are from distant political shores, Sunak is a Conservative Party and Yousaf of a Scottish National Party member.
But it is not only the case for the national government. Sadiq Khan has served as Mayor of London for several years. Being one of the most important within the country, this position was entrusted to the Labor Party of Pakistani descent. It is replacing Boris Johnson.
According to the latest figures, London, the kingdom's capital, has more than 60% of the foreign-born population. To this, we must add the number of Britons born in the United Kingdom but of foreign descent. These changes have two fundamental reasons: recent migration due to international migratory flows and a colonial past. Today, many migrants come from former British colonies in Africa and Asia.
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This British government today is a clear example of that imperial footprint from the time of Queen Victoria. Likewise, evidence of a globalized and diverse world. Today, there is not only racial diversity but also religious diversity. At the 2021 census, 6.5% (3.9 million people) were Muslim; 1.7% (1 million) were Hindus; 0.5% (273 thousand) were Buddhists; 0.9% (529 thousand) followed the Sikh religion; 0.5% (271 thousand) are Jews; and today Christians are less than half with 46.2% (27.5 million) of the population.
Despite the advancement of representation within governments, the doors still need to be opened to women from new England: diverse. Despite the increase in diverse participation in executives, there is an evident absence: racialized women. Among the four executives, Scotland's Chief Minister Nicola Sturgeon was the only (white) woman who left her position.
South Asian Migration
The diaspora from South Asian countries such as India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan has been relevant throughout history. But what we see in the UK today is typical. Being a sought-after workforce in the days of the British Empire, today we see large diasporas in South Africa (1.8 million of the South Asian diaspora); Canada (1 million), Trinidad and Tobago (500 thousand); Australia (500 thousand); Fiji (300 thousand); New Zealand (200 thousand); Suriname (150 thousand). These former British colonies include Indian, Bangladeshi, and Pakistani migrants. Not counting the large diaspora in the United States (4.4 million); United Arab Emirates (4); Malaysia (4 million), Saudi Arabia (5 million); Burma (2 million).
The legacy is evident in several other figures in world politics. The most relevant cases are that of Kamala Harris, vice president of the United States of Indian roots; Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development of Canada; Anita Anand, Canada's defense minister; Jagmeet Singh, leader of Canada's NDP; Mahathir Mohamad, former President of Malaysia; Antonio Costa, President of Portugal; Fred Ramdat Misier, former President of Suriname; Christine Kangaloo, President of Trinidad and Tobago; among many others.
These names exemplify the legacy of the Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi diaspora, one of the largest in history.