Take the pledge to vote

For a better tommorow#AajSawaroApnaKal
  • I agree to receive emails from News18

  • I promise to vote in this year's elections no matter what the odds are.
  • Please check above checkbox.


Thank you for
taking the pledge

Vote responsibly as each vote counts
and makes a diffrence


Issued in public interest by HDFC Life. HDFC Life Insurance Company Limited (Formerly HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company Limited) (“HDFC Life”). CIN: L65110MH2000PLC128245, IRDAI Reg. No. 101 . The name/letters "HDFC" in the name/logo of the company belongs to Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited ("HDFC Limited") and is used by HDFC Life under an agreement entered into with HDFC Limited. ARN EU/04/19/13618
LIVE TV DownloadNews18 App
News18 English
News18 » World
2-min read

Meet the Indian-origin Gay Leader Who is Set to Become Irish PM

Son of a Mumbai doctor, Leo Varadkar could be the youngest PM in the world


Updated:June 2, 2017, 3:45 PM IST
Meet the Indian-origin Gay Leader Who is Set to Become Irish PM
Leo Varadkar, the Dublin-born son of an Indian immigrant father is the frontrunner to be Irish PM. (Image: Reuters)

New Delhi: In what is being touted as a huge generational shift in politics of Ireland, Indian native Leo Varadkar is likely to be named the country's next Prime Minister, bringing with his election a series of firsts in a historic mandate.

Son of a Mumbai doctor and an Irish nurse, Varadkar could be the first Irish PM with Asian roots. If elected, he would also become the first openly gay PM of Ireland. And at 38, the youngest as well.

The results are expected to be declared around 5 pm Irish time or 10pm IST.

Varadkar may seem an unlikely frontrunner in socially conservative Ireland, but in many ways, he is symbolic of a more tolerant and secular society, particularly in Dublin and other urban areas.

Indian Roots

Varadkar is the son of a doctor from Mumbai. His father, Ashok, met an Irish nurse, Miriam, when he was working in England in the 1970s. The couple moved to Ireland and Varadkar was born in Dublin.

Speaking to CNN, Chief Executive of the Ireland-India Council, Prashant Shukla, said it was a proud moment for his father and mother. “Over 30,000-strong Irish-Indian community is interestingly looking forward to it.”

However, Varadkar himself has played down the significance of his background and personal life.

Despite Varadkar’s parents both being immigrants at one point, Varadkar has also taken a controversial stance on immigration in the past. He had suggested deportation of unemployed immigrants to combat rising unemployment figures.

Equality rights

His sexual preferences is hardly mentioned and the consensus has been that what he does in bed is his personal matter. Senator Nora Owen, the first Irish Leader to publicly come out as gay, said it would signal another stride forward for equality rights in Ireland

“We have come a long way and the fact that someone like Leo Varadkar, who is an openly gay man, living with his partner, can actually put himself forward for Taoiseach and nobody is batting an eyelid is wonderful and I think it's a great day for Ireland that we can do that,” Owen, a former Justice Minister of Ireland, told CNN.

He campaigned on same-sex marriage and liberalising abortion laws, although like the majority of his party colleagues, he is an advocate of tight fiscal restraint.

Varadkar had entered Ireland’s political stage when he was just 22. He was elected to parliament at 27 and nine years later, he publicly came out as gay.

In 2015, the once-staunchly Catholic country was heading towards a referendum on legalising gay marriage. It was during that time that Varadkar came out publicly on Irish national radio. The country later passed the Marriage Equality Bill, allowing same-sex couples to marry.

(With inputs from CNN)

Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox - subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what's happening in the world around you – in real time.

| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
Read full article
Next Story
Next Story

Also Watch


Live TV

Countdown To Elections Results
To Assembly Elections 2018 Results