New Delhi: A video of UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak lighting “diyas” at his doorstep has gone viral with many claiming that the 42-year old Conservative Party leader was “proudly displaying his Hindu roots” this week ahead of his Parliament debut.
A report said the new head of state – the first person of Indian-origin to hold that post in the UK — performed a “puja” before entering his office at the Prime Minister’s official residence on 10, Downing Street.
FirstPost wrote a piece sharing the video, lauding Sunak for sharing his heritage “unapologetically” in public and referring to him as “a proud Hindu”, then shared another example of Sunak “displaying” his religion. In the second video, the Prime Minister and his wife Akshata Murthy were seen attending what they called a “gau puja”.
The video has gone particularly viral in Africa, with several news outlets and media personalities sharing it. PM News, one of Nigeria’s largest newspapers, with 800,000 followers on Twitter, also shared the video.
Rishi Sunak caught performing ritual at Hindu temple in London (Video) https://t.co/p7ewfz5wvN
— P.M. NEWS (@pmnewsnigeria) October 26, 2022
The video was, however, originally posted by Twitter handle @ThisIsAfricaTIA, an account which shares content on African culture. It has garnered almost a million views, 37.7 thousand likes and nearly 8,000 retweets. “The new UK PM performs his spiritual/traditional rituals before entering his new office. We have largely abandoned ours,” says the tweet.
The new UK PM performing his spiritual/traditional rituals before entering his new office. We have largely abandoned ours. pic.twitter.com/QMkeAkDkSC
— This Is Africa (@ThisIsAfricaTIA) October 25, 2022
Award-winning African sports journalist Benedict Owusu also shared the video, which shows Sunak lighting ‘diyas’ in the doorway outside his office.
New UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak performing rituals at the entrance of Downing Street. pic.twitter.com/xBYWFOvlOm
— Benedict Owusu (@KwesiBenedict) October 26, 2022
Rishi Sunak does not shy away from putting on view his Hindu lineage, having lit “diyas” and performed Hindu rituals outside his office before. But this particular video is not current. It is from 2020. The “diyas” here were lit by Sunak when he was still Chancellor of the Exchequer, or the British equivalent of a finance minister.
The video, filmed by Getty Images, received traction then as well. The response on social media was similar, with Sunak being congratulated “for honouring our age-old traditions in a far-off land”.
(In collaboration with SM Hoaxslayer)