Why our British Indian vote matters

Why our British Indian vote matters

In 2015, amidst the exuberance of Wembley Stadium, former British Prime Minister David Cameron prophesied a future where the United Kingdom would witness a Prime Minister of Indian origin.  

Fast forward to 2022, and Rishi Sunak's ascent not only symbolises the remarkable achievements of British Indians but also underscores the growing influence of the Indian diaspora in the UK's political landscape.  

And now, with a General Election on the horizon, we must ensure that our voices are heard again. 

The impact of our community 

For us, the British Indian diaspora, our significance extends beyond mere numbers. 

With a population of 1.8 million according to the latest census, we are known for embodying values of hard work, enterprise, community spirit, and service. Education serves as our guiding light, evident in the dominance of Indians among international students in the UK's esteemed universities. Many of us go on to conduct ground-breaking research and establish successful businesses, contributing to the "living bridge" between the UK and India envisioned by Prime Minister Modi

While studying in the UK, these bright young minds fully immerse themselves in its culture. It is one of the highlights of our democracy that they, as Commonwealth citizens, also get a chance to vote in local and general elections in the country. For many, this would be their first tryst at the ballot box but there is no doubt that democracy is deeply embedded in our DNA – from the largest to the oldest democracy. 

Making positive contributions 

As the 2024 General Election approaches, it is imperative for us, the British Indian community, to take proactive steps to ensure our voices are heard loud and clear. Through engagement with the democratic process, we can champion policies that reflect our values, address our concerns, and uplift our community

By participating, we unlock a key opportunity to have our concerns heard about the issues that matter to us — whether it's greater investment in our schools or better healthcare outcomes. It is not only a matter of great community pride but also an inspiration for others, that over 60,000 medical professionals in the National Health Service (NHS) are Indians. By exercising our electoral rights, we reiterate our stake in ensuring the effectiveness of the NHS, advocating for policies that prioritise equitable healthcare access and improved working conditions for its workforce. 

Moreover, our engagement through voting allows us to extend our influence beyond just domestic concerns to even the direction of travel for diplomatic relations. My own learnings as the Founder of India Global Forum (IGF), committed to championing the UK-India partnership in all its hues, has brought me up close with some truly inspiring business leaders and change-makers committed to making the British Indian experience resonate across the living bridge.  
There is a strong commitment for the fifth and sixth largest economies of the world to work in lockstep towards better, brighter outcomes for both our nations. 

Voting is an important chance to re-focus our efforts and engineer real-world change. It is also a crucial reminder that being part of the democratic process is a privilege, which is sadly not universally enjoyed in many parts of the world today. 


Register Your Vote, Register Your Voice 

But first things first, for our voices to be heard, we must begin this journey with a small but crucial first step — registering to vote. By registering, we not only affirm our commitment to participating in the democratic process but also assert our right to have a say in the decisions that shape our society. It is a simple yet powerful act that lays the foundation for our collective influence and impact on the political landscape. 

Let's Make It Count 

Our participation at the ballot box sends a powerful message to policymakers and politicians — British Indians cannot be ignored; British Indians should not be taken for granted; British Indians will not be passive bystanders in the future of their nation.  

With British Indian voters predicted to emerge as a swing voting bloc in the next elections, our diaspora holds the potential to influence the outcome in key constituencies across the country. This makes us significant stakeholders and meaningful contributors to Britain's future.  

We, as British Indians, must proactively demonstrate the immense value we have to offer and strengthen our collective efforts on the issues that matter most to us. 

Manoj Ladwa is Founder and CEO of India Inc. – the Group behind India Global Forum and iGlobal News. 


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