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Beyond Bridgerton

EducationWorld November 2023 | Magazine Postscript

The appointment of Rishi Sunak as prime minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and his durability in office for over a year, is a reality way beyond the imagination of the most inventive writers of the fantasy television serial, Bridgerton. This popular sitcom set in the 19th century which was a big hit in Blighty and Anglosphere countries, featured lords, ladies and nobility — and even a queen — of colour. At the time of its airing the TV serial served as catharsis for Brits who practiced rigid apartheid in India and the colonies they ruled until the mid-20th century, when their hypocrisy and sanctimonious humbug relating to the white man’s burden was punctured by “naked fakir” Mahatma Gandhi, prompting the global British empire to collapse like a house of cards. But nobody in their wildest imagination could ever have forecast that the day would come when a brown-hued practicing Hindu would rise to the position of prime minister and rule imperial Great Britain from No.10 Downing Street. And stay put there for over a year. Certainly not your editor who read law in London and was active in British politics.

Although Sunak is unlikely to remain in office after next summer when a general election is scheduled because the Conservative party is trailing in all opinion polls, the fact that he survived in office at No.10 for so long vindicates your correspondent’s belief that native Brits — the flotsam and jetsam that ruled the colonies were sui generis — are less race, than class prejudiced. Sunak with his Winchester, Oxford and Stanford education — and most important RP (received pronunciation) accent — passes the class test, the prerequisite of rising to the top in class-obsessed Britain. It also vindicates your editor’s opinion that of all colonial imperialists of the 18th-20th centuries — French, Dutch, Germans and Belgians — the Brits were the best of a bad lot.

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