Kamala Harris, Nikki Haley, Jagmeet Singh: World leaders with Indian roots

Updated: Dec 07, 2019, 17:59 | Sherlin Rajan
  • Picture/ Bipin Kokate

    Dadabhai Naoroji: Known as the 'Grand Old Man of India,' Dadabhai Naoroji was the first Indian to be elected as a member of the British Parliament. He belonged to the Liberal party and he was an MP in the House of Commons from 1892 to 1895. Also known as an Unofficial Ambassador of the country, he would put forth the problems faced by people back home in the parliament sessions. Apart from being a parliamentarian, he was also a scholar and trader. 

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    Kamala Harris: A Democrat politician from California, Kamala Harris was a two-time Attorney General of the city before she created a history of being the first Indian origin leader to be elected to the position of a Senator in the White House in the Trump Government. She is born to a Jamaican father and an Indian Tamil mother, Harris is the granddaughter of diplomat PV Gopalan and says that she often visits her maternal family in Chennai. Being a presidential aspirant herself, she recently announced that she would not be running for the elections next year.

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    Antonio Costa: The incumbent prime minister of Portugal, Antonio Costa was elected to the position in 2015. Costa's Goan connection can be traced to his grandfather, Luis Afonso Maria da Costa, who hailed from the state. Costa belonged to the Socialist Party and has served as the Minister Of Justice from 1999 to 2002, after which he was elected as the Mayor of Lisbon and then Prime Minister. In 2004, he was awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman by the Indian Government.

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  • Kamala Harris, Nikki Haley, Jagmeet Singh: World leaders with Indian roots

    Lord Meghnad Desai: An Indian-born British economist and a Labour party politician, Baron Desai was born in Gujarat. He completed his education from Ramnarain Ruia College, University of Mumbai and University of Pennsylvania. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2008 and was the first Indian to run for the election for the Speaker of the British Parliament. 

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  • Kamala Harris, Nikki Haley, Jagmeet Singh: World leaders with Indian roots

    Leo Varadkar: Leo Varadkar, an Indian-origin doctor had scripted history by becoming Ireland's youngest and the first openly gay prime minister of the Catholic-majority country. The Dublin-born son of Mumbai-born Ashok Varadkar and Irish mother Miriam, served as Ireland's welfare minister and had emerged as the most popular choice since he announced his candidacy and stood for elections in 2017. Varadkar qualified as a doctor from the prestigious Trinity College, Dublin, and was first elected as a councillor at the age of 24 and took a seat in the Dail in 2007. He came out as gay in 2015 when Ireland became the first country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage through popular vote.

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  • Kamala Harris, Nikki Haley, Jagmeet Singh: World leaders with Indian roots

    Priti Patel: A leading figure in the Vote Leave campaign of the Brexit referendum, Priti Patel is a second-generation immigrant leader in the UK. She has served as an MP and an Exchequer Secretary of the Treasury in the David Cameron government after which she served as the Ministry of State for Employment under Theresa May's leadership and now as Secretary of State for International Development. 

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    Jagmeet Singh: A lawyer and a popular figure in Canadian politics, Jagmeet Singh is an MP for the New Democratic Party. His political views are known to be social as he opines of drug use as a medical use rather than a criminal one. He also supports equality and a progressive tax system with eliminating tax deduction to those earning a higher income and redirecting it to the lower strata of the society. 

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    Bobby Jindal: Governor of the American state of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal aka Piyush Jindal has been active in US politics since 1996. A Brown University graduate and Rhodes Scholar, he rose to prominence at the start of President Barack Obama's first term when he was asked to deliver the Republican Party's rebuttal to the State of the Union address in 2009. Being a presidential aspirant, Jindal had announced his campaign in 2008, 2016 and 2020, but pulled himself off the race all three times. 

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    Moses Nagamootoo: Guyanese prime minister Moses Nagamootoo is of Indian Tamil descent. Being a lawyer by profession, he has also worked as a teacher and a journalist before joining politics. He is an author of the book, 'Hendree's Cure' that was published in 2001. 

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    Halimah Yacob: Singaporean president Halimah Yacob was born to an Indian Muslim father and a mother of Malay descent. Before joining politics, she was working  as a legal officer for a local trade union. He became an MP in 2001 after which she has been a minister holding various portfolios till she was elected president in 2017. 

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    Harjeet Singh Sajjan: Harjeet Singh Sajjan is the first Sikh Defence Minister of the country in the Justin Trudeau government since 2015. He was born in India and moved to Canada with his family when he was five-years-old. He is a combat veteran and has served in Bosnia and had three deployments to Kandahar, Afghanistan.

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    Keith Vaz: Britain's longest-serving MP of Asian origin in the House of Commons, Keith Vaz, has been in the parliament since 1987. Born to parents who were natives of Goa, he was working as a soliclitor in the Richmond upon Thames London Borough Council and the London Borough of Islington before joining the Labour Party in 1982. 

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  • Kamala Harris, Nikki Haley, Jagmeet Singh: World leaders with Indian roots

    Nikki Haley: Born Nimrata 'Nikki' Randhawa to Sikh immigrants from India, Nikki Haley is the incumbent US ambassador to the United Nations under the Trump government. Active since 1998, she became the first minority and first female Republican governor of South Carolina in 2010.

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  • Kamala Harris, Nikki Haley, Jagmeet Singh: World leaders with Indian roots

    Navdeep Bains: Navdeep Bains is the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development under the Justin Trudeau government since 2015. He has worked as a financial processing analyst at Nike Canada and revenue and costing analyst at Ford Motor Company before joining politics. He became the youngest Liberal MP at the age of 26 years in 2004.  

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About The Gallery

Here are some politicians, some of whom hold significant positions in different countries, that have their origins in India. Leaders such as Leo Varadkar, Kamala Harris, Priti Patel are making our country proud with their public welfare policies.