This article first appeared in Scroll.in on November 5, 2022
Rishi Sunak, born in Southampton to parents from Kenya and Tanzania and descended from ancestors in Gujranwala in present-day Pakistan, has become prime minister of a greatly diminished United Kingdom. Understandably, the media and social media of present-day India went into overdrive, appropriating him as one of their country’s own despite the extended migratory path.
A tweet by this writer suggesting that Sunak is described more correctly as of “South Asian” origin than “Indian” attracted a fair bit of rage. Once again, we are confronted with the need to address the semantic confusion that holds us in its grasp.