The Bridgerton dream of upper-middle class and elite Indians enamoured with this OTT serial broadcast on the streaming platform Netflix, is over. The Peter principle has caught up with Rishi Sunak, the Winchester and Oxford educated son of Indian emigres from East Africa and husband of India-born heiress Akshata Murthy, daughter of Infosys Technologies Ltd prime founder N.R. Narayana Murthy. The principle expounds that everyone reaches the level of his incompetence from which meridian, a downward spiral, begins. For the non-cognoscenti, the forty-something Sunak is currently Chancellor of the Exchequer (finance minister) of the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland, and lives bang next door to No.10 Downing Street, traditional ex officio address of prime minister of the sceptred isle. No individual of Indian origin has risen to such high office in British history, and there was a good chance that Sunak would replace beleaguered prime minister Boris Johnson at No.10, which would have been the ultimate realisation of the Bridgerton fantasy.
But this chance has been blown by greed, the deadly sin to which most Indians are susceptible. The inquisitive British press has discovered that despite being ordinarily resident in the UK for decades, Akshata, endowed a vast fortune by her uber rich parents, hasn’t been paying income tax on her global income in the UK as she is ethically, if not legally, obliged to do. Worse, despite having risen to the second highest position in the British government, Sunak retained his US Green Card — which entitled him to work in the US — for 18 months after he was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer. This has raised questions about the Sunaks commitment to the UK their adopted country which has raised them so high.
But love of the Green Card is pervasive in India’s political and business class. Three presidents of India, and every second politician, bureaucrat and business tycoon have children parked in the US. A telling commentary of their confidence in policies they devise for the nation.