Tharman Shanmugaratnam joins the rising ranks of Indian-origin leaders in global politics.

In the recent Singapore presidential election, Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam, aged 66, secured an impressive victory with 70.4 percent of the votes on September 1, 2023. This win adds him to the notable roster of Indian-origin leaders who wield influence in global politics. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong expressed his congratulations on Saturday, emphasizing that “Singaporeans have chosen Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam to be our next president by a decisive margin.”

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Tharman’s triumph signifies the increasing prominence of leaders of Indian heritage on the world stage, exemplifying the growing influence of Indians globally.

This trend extends to the United States, where the Indian-American community has made significant strides. Kamala Harris, the first woman and first person of color to become Vice President, previously served as a California senator and attorney general. In the 2022 midterm elections, five Indian-American lawmakers from the Democratic Party were elected to the US House of Representatives, namely Raja Krishnamoorthi, Ro Khanna, Pramila Jayapal, Ami Bera, and Shri Thanedar. Additionally, Harmeet Dhillon, a prominent figure in California politics, recently ran for the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee (RNC).

Indian-origin leaders like Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy have also announced their bids for the White House in 2024.

Across the Atlantic, Rishi Sunak became Britain’s first Indian-origin Prime Minister, known as the youngest British Prime Minister in over two centuries and the first Hindu Prime Minister. Suella Braverman, of Goan origin, serves as his Home Secretary, while Claire Coutinho, also of Goan origin, holds the position of Energy Security and Net Zero Secretary.

Previously, under Boris Johnson’s Cabinet, Priti Patel was the Home Secretary, and Alok Sharma served as the International Development Secretary.

Previously, under Boris Johnson’s Cabinet, Priti Patel was the Home Secretary, and Alok Sharma served as the International Development Secretary.Leo Eric Varadkar, Ireland’s Prime Minister (Taoiseach), has Indian roots through his father, who was born in Mumbai and later moved to the UK.

Portugal’s Prime Minister, Antonio Costa, is of mixed Indian and Portuguese heritage.

In Canada, Anita Anand, the first Hindu federal minister, assumed the role of President of the Treasury Board. She hails from an Indian family, with her father from Tamil Nadu and her mother from Punjab. Justin Trudeau’s Cabinet also includes Harjit Sajjan and Kamal Khera, both of Indian origin.

New Zealand has its first person of Indian origin as a minister, Priyanca Radhakrishnan, who currently holds the position of Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector.Further afield, Christine Carla Kangaloo, the president-elect of Trinidad and Tobago, has Indo-Trinidadian heritage.

In Singapore, Pritam Singh, an Indian-origin lawyer and author, has been serving as Leader of the Opposition since 2020.

Australia welcomed its first person of Indian origin to the Parliament in 2019, Devanand “Dave” Sharma.

Mohamed Irfaan Ali, President of Guyana, was born into a Muslim Indo-Guyanese family in Leonora.Pravind Jugnauth, the Prime Minister of Mauritius since 2017, is from a Hindu Yaduvanshi family with roots in Uttar Pradesh, India.

Prithvirajsing Roopun, the President of Mauritius since 2019, was born into an Indian Arya Samaj Hindu family.Chandrikapersad “Chan” Santokhi has been the President of Suriname since 2020, with Indo-Surinamese Hindu heritage.

Wavel Ramkalawan serves as the President of Seychelles since October 2020, with his family originating from Bihar.

Notably, the 2021 Indiaspora Government Leaders List highlights that more than 200 leaders of Indian heritage hold prominent positions in 15 countries globally, including over 60 in Cabinet positions. This underscores the significant influence of individuals of Indian origin in the highest echelons of public service worldwide.

With over 32 million people of Indian origin (PIOs) globally, as reported by India’s Ministry of External Affairs, the Indian diaspora remains the world’s largest community population, contributing to a diverse and impactful global landscape.

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