Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Indian-Origin Shivani Raja Takes Oath on Bhagavad Gita in UK – N.F Times

Shivani Raja, the newly elected Conservative MP for Leicester East, made history on Wednesday by taking her oath of allegiance on the Bhagavad Gita. Raja, who is of Indian origin, became the first Conservative to win the Leicester East seat in 37 years.

“It was an honour to be sworn into Parliament today to represent Leicester East,” Raja posted on social media platform X. “I was truly proud to swear my allegiance to His Majesty King Charles on the Gita.”

Raja’s oath-taking is part of a growing trend of British MPs of Indian origin using the Bhagavad Gita for their swearing-in ceremony. Former Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, now Leader of the Opposition, also took his oath on the Gita earlier this week.

The holy book used in the ceremony was recently presented to Speaker Lindsay Hoyle by Shailesh Vara, a former Conservative MP. Vara stated that the Gita had been specially blessed at the ISKCON temple in Mayapur, India.

Other MPs of Indian origin, including first-time Labour MP Kanishka Narayan from Wales, also chose the Gita for their oaths. British Sikh MPs opted for Sikh scriptures, while some, like Preet Kaur Gill, used the ‘Sundar Gutka’ prayer book.

Bob Blackman, a seasoned Tory representing Harrow East in London and has chaired the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for British Hindus, opted to use both the ‘Gita’ and the ‘King James Bible’ during his swearing-in ceremony.

Sojan Joseph, a mental health nurse from Kerala who was elected as the Labour MP for Ashford in Kent, took his oath on the ‘New Testament’. Meanwhile, the ‘King James Bible’ was the text of choice for the oath-taking of the re-elected Conservative, Priti Patel.

Raja, born in Leicester to Gujarati parents, emphasized her connection to the local community and addressed the 2022 riots in her constituency. Her victory marks a significant shift in Leicester East, which had been held by Labour since 1987.

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