People from India have been migrating to the farthest corners of the earth for centuries. They have not just adjusted to the different culture and customs, but have also ascended through political and military ranks and garnered universal respect. Presently Indian-origin world politicians occupy some of the most important positions across national borders.

According to the Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Indians comprise the biggest diaspora in the world, with over 32 million people of Indian origin (PIOs) spread out globally. Of them, more than 200 people occupy leadership positions in as many as 15 countries including the United States and the United Kingdom.

A comprehensive list of such praiseworthy Indian leaders had been compiled by Indiaspora, a US-based non-profit community of global Indian diaspora leaders hailing from diverse backgrounds. It has names that carry weight in the political and public realm, like legislators, diplomats, heads of central banks, and senior civil servants.

Rosy Akbar, Fiji’s Minister of Education, Heritage, and Arts, commented, “It truly is inspiring to note the remarkable contribution that government leaders of Indian heritage have made to advance the societies that they now represent.”

Rosy Akbar

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The positive impact that global Indian-origin leaders have is evident from the power they command in people and money. The Indiaspora list’s officials collectively represent more than 587 million constituents and their countries have a value of approximately 28 trillion USD in GDP.

Kamala Harris works within the walls of the White House as Vice President of the oldest democracy in the world while Rishi Sunak, the British Member of Parliament may be edging towards becoming the next Prime Minister of the country which had colonized India for two centuries. Here are some Indian-origin leaders occupying some of the highest echelons of foreign governments.

1. Antonio Costa

Hailing from a Goan family on his father’s side, Costa is the 119th and current Prime Minister of Portugal. His father, born in Mozambique, was a writer reflecting Goan roots and also a connoisseur of Rabindranath Tagore. Costa commands the title of the “Gandhi of Lisbon” for abating crime in a notorious neighborhood while serving as the mayor of Portugal’s capital city.

2. Kamala Harris

The 49th and current Vice President of the United States, Harris was born to her Tamilian mother Shyamala Gopalan and Jamaican father Donald Harris in Oakland. Among her varied legal achievements, she had established the first Bureau of Children’s Justice as California’s Attorney General. She is the first woman, African-American, and Asian-American to be elected as Vice President.

3. Leo Varadkar

Irish politician, the leader of Fine Gael party and Taoiseach or Prime Minister from 2017-2020, Varadkar is half Indian and half Irish. His father had shifted from Bombay to Ireland in the 1960s as a doctor, while his mother was an Irish nurse.

At the age of 7, he announced his dream of becoming Minister of Health and realized it in July 2014. He became Ireland’s first openly gay minister when he came out in January 2015.

4. Priti Patel

The first Indian-origin home secretary of Britain’s Conservative government since 2019, Patel was born to Indian parents who had shifted to the UK from Uganda. Her grandparents were originally from Gujarat. She has been criticized for her proposing a points-based immigration system and anti-terror legislation.

5. Priyanca Radhakrishnan

Born to Malayali Nair parents in Chennai, Radhakrishnan is Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector for New Zealand. She grew up in Singapore and later shifted to New Zealand. She is known for her work for unheard voices like domestic violence victims and migrant workers.

6. Rishi Sunak

Former Chancellor of the Exchequer of the UK, Sunak is in a tight battle for the highest seat in the Queen’s country- that of the Prime Minister. His family hails from Gujranwala, now in Pakistan, with his paternal grandfather having shifted to Nairobi in 1935. His father had moved to Liverpool while his mother was born in Britain.

7. Pravind Jugnauth

Serving as the Prime Minister of Mauritius since 2017, Jugnauth is of Indian origin, his ancestors hailing from Rasra in Ballia district, Uttar Pradesh. Over 70% of the island nation’s people are descendants of indentured laborers brought from India by the British colonizers to work on sugar plantations.

Disclaimer: This article is fact-checked

Sources: Times of India, The Print, Wion

Image sources: Google Images

Feature Image designed by Saudamini Seth

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This post is tagged under: impressive indian politicians, indian politicians, nri politicians, indian origin world leaders, Kamala Harris vice president, antonio costa, prmie minister of portugal, leo varadkar, Ireland’s first openly gay minister, Priti Patel, priyanca radhakrishnan, rishi sunak prime minister, pravind jugnauth mauritius

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