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HomeWorldBritish Indian MPs swear oath on ‘Bhagavad Gita’, ‘Gutka’, ‘Bible’

British Indian MPs swear oath on ‘Bhagavad Gita’, ‘Gutka’, ‘Bible’

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London, Jul 11 (PTI) Newly elected Indian-origin MPs to the House of Commons have been pledging their allegiance to the British Crown as a symbol of loyalty to the country, choosing to swear on holy texts or to affirm their oath during the first week of a new Parliament.

A new copy of the ‘Bhagavad Gita’ presented to Speaker Lindsay Hoyle by Shailesh Vara, former Conservative Party member of Parliament who lost his Cambridgeshire seat in last week’s general election, featured early on as Rishi Sunak was among the first British Indian MPs to take his oath as Leader of the Opposition on Tuesday.

Holding the text in his right hand, the former prime minister read out the customary text: “I swear by Almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to His Majesty King Charles, his heirs and successors, according to law. So help me God.” First-time MP Kanishka Narayan, who is the first Indian-origin member of Parliament to represent Wales in the Westminster Parliament after winning the Vale of Glamorgan seat for Labour, also chose the ‘Gita’ for his oath, as did new Tory MP from Leicester Shivani Raja.

Bob Blackman, a Tory veteran who represents Harrow East in London and has chaired the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for British Hindus, chose to hold both the ‘Gita’ and the ‘King James Bible’ for his oath-taking ceremony.

“This ‘Bhagavad Gita’ has been specially blessed in a temple in India and will be used by Hindu MPs entering Parliament following this General Election and those who will enter in the generations to come,” said Shailesh Vara, when he recently presented the holy text blessed at the Mayapur temple headquarters of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).

Some of the British Sikh MPs such as Tan Dhesi and first-timers Gurinder Singh Josan, Harpreet Uppal, Satvir Kaur and Warinder Singh Juss chose to swear their oath to the Sikh scriptures but without holding any text in their hands.

Preet Kaur Gill, with her head covered with a red scarf, chose to hold the cloth-wrapped ‘Sundar Gutka’ prayer book during her swearing-in.

Sojan Joseph, the mental health nurse from Kerala who has been elected Labour MP from Ashford in Kent, chose the ‘New Testament’ biblical text to swear his oath. Meanwhile, the ‘King James Bible’ was chosen by re-elected Conservatives Priti Patel and Claire Coutinho, as well as Liberal Democrat Munira Wilson.

MPs can opt for a non-religious affirmation, as did the two new Independent MPs with their roots in India, Shockat Adam and Iqbal Mahmood, along with many others including Tory MP Gagan Mohindra and Labour’s Lisa Nandy and Seema Malhotra.

First-timers like Tory MP Dr Neil Shastri-Hunt and Labour’s Jeevun Sandher and Sonia Kumar also chose to affirm their pledge of allegiance.

The affirmation reads: “I do solemnly, sincerely, and truly declare and affirm, that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to His Majesty King Charles, his heirs and successors, according to law.” All elected MPs, including 29 of Indian heritage, have been queuing up in the Commons chamber since Tuesday to complete this protocol before they can officially take their seats in Parliament.

The process completed on Thursday and Parliament was adjourned until next week, when the State Opening and King’s Speech laying out the new government’s plans for the parliamentary calendar is scheduled for July 17. PTI AK AMS

This report is auto-generated from PTI news service. INDIANEXPOSE holds no responsibility for its content.

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