Politics of identity
Sunak sacking Braverman ‘a first of sorts’ in multicultural Britain
Suella Braverman and Rishi Sunak
A MOLE has been kind enough to send Eastern Eye a transcript of Monday’s (13) telephone conversation between Rishi Sunak and Suella Braverman.
Rishi: Morning Suella, I have something to say to you…
Suella: Who’s that?
Suella: Which Rishi?
Rishi: Rishi Sunak, prime minister…..
Suella: Oh, that Rishi. How did you get my number? Anyway, I’m busy. I’ve got to finish this piece for Eastern Eye. But I’ve got something to say to you.
Rishi: You’ve got something to say to me?
Suella: Yes, I’m sorry it has come to this but I have to ask you to leave 10, Downing Street.
Rishi: It doesn’t work quite like that, Suella. I’ve got to ask you to leave the government. After all, I am the prime minister.
Suella: Not for long, Rishi. But if you will excuse me, I have a couple of deportation orders to sign. I’ve told them many a time, ‘Mum, Dad, I dream of you both being on a flight to Rwanda.’”
Seriously, though, Monday’s developments marked another first in the history of multicultural Britain. “Desi sacks desi” is the headline that best sums up what happened when an Indian-origin prime minister sacked his Indian-origin home secretary.
While Rishi emphasises his Hindu credentials, Sue-Ellen Cassiana Braverman (née Fernandes) was born in London of a Hindu Tamil mother Uma (née Mootien-Pillay), from Mauritius, and a Goan Christian father, Christie Fernandes, from Kenya. She is married to her Jewish husband, Rael Braverman, and professes to be a Buddhist.
Suella is said to be charming in private but intemperate in her public pronouncements.
Instead of aiming for the Tory party leadership, she might be better suited to be Donald Trump’s running mate in next year’s US presidential election.
Suella’s rude boys from the English Defence League and other such organisations came out to protect “England” after the home secretary had described the pro-Palestinian demonstrations as “hate marchers”.
Since there is no Capitol to attack in London, Suella’s supporters headed for the Cenotaph in Whitehall, only to be blocked by the Metropolitan Police.
For one Indian to sack another Indian is both good and bad.
It is good because it shows race no longer matters in British politics. But it’s also bad because the affair reveals there is no honour or unity, let alone collective cabinet responsibility, among desis. At the end of the day, both Rishi and Suella are widely viewed as ambassadors for their community.
Leaving aside the politics behind her sacking, is Suella a good Indian? A more relevant question is – what is an Indian?
Maybe the community, which likes to bathe in reflected glory, makes a mistake when it views someone like Suella automatically as being Indian or of “Indian origin” because of her complexion and heritage.
There is no easy answer to this question. On social media, Lord Rami Ranger is relentless in putting out feel-good Indian success stories, especially how people of Indian origin head some of the biggest US tech companies.
Of late, Suella has not been behaving like an Indian.