Rajya Sabha MP Raghav Chadha received the prestigious “India UK Outstanding Achiever” honour at an award ceremony in London on 25th January 2023. Raghav has been honoured as an “Outstanding Achiever” in the “Government and Politics” category, which recognises individuals demonstrating excellence in changing how democracy and justice are experienced and tackling challenging societal problems for the good of people and the planet.
The India UK Achievers Honours conferred at an awards ceremony on Wednesday night have been created by the National Indian Students and Alumni Union (NISAU) UK in partnership with the British Council in India, the UK Government Department for International Trade (DIT) and UK Parliament to celebrate the achievements of Indian students who studied at British universities. To mark 75 years of India’s independence, the honours covered 75 high achievers and five Outstanding Achievers.
Chadha studied at the prestigious London School of Economics (LSE), after which he set up a boutique wealth management firm in London. He then returned to India and joined India Against Corruption Movement demanding anti-corruption legislation as a young activist. The movement later culminated in the formation of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), spearheaded by one of the leading faces of the movement, Arvind Kejriwal. As a young leader, Chadha became a founding member of the AAP and worked under the guidance and mentorship of Mr Kejriwal.
Fuelled by hard work and dedication, Chadha made a mark for himself in Indian politics at a very young age. In 2022, aged just 33, he became the youngest Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of the Indian parliament, where he represents the state of Punjab.
The award ceremony was organised by the NISAU UK in partnership with the British Council in India, supported by the UK Government Department for International Trade and the UK Higher Education sector. This is the second international recognition for Chadha within a year. Last year, he was honoured as a Young Global Leader by the most coveted World Economic Forum.
On receiving the award, Chadha said, “This award isn’t a recognition of an individual’s achievements. Though received by an ordinary individual from an ordinary background with an ordinary skillset, this award belongs to an extraordinary party called the AAP and the extraordinary leadership of the person I have the distinguished honour of calling my mentor, Arvind Kejriwal Ji. I dedicate this award to my leader Arvind Kejriwal Ji and thousands of those faceless and nameless grassroots workers for their unflinching and unwavering dedication to serving India.”
Chadha thanked the organisers and reflected upon the evolution of the partnership between India and the UK over the years. He recalled that many of the founding fathers of the Indian democracy had studied in the UK – Mahatma Gandhi, Dr BR Ambedkar, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, among others.
“This award ceremony is being held on the eve of the Indian Republic Day, which celebrates the Indian Constitution of which Dr BR Ambedkar, an alumnus of a UK institution, was the architect”, he said.
Reflecting on his journey as a student “of the largest democracy” who studied in “the world’s oldest democracy”, he quipped that today there’s more of India in Britain than Britain in India — be it the Koninoor or Rishi Sunak, history has come full circle. Chadha said that his student times in the UK changed his worldview and opened new doors. “LSE is more like an Indian university on British soil”, he said while speaking on the growing number of Indian students in the UK. It may be noted that Indian students now form the largest student community in the UK surpassing even China.
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