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“I’ve realised that doctors can only help change a certain number of patients but a Minister of Health can really change things,” said he, at the time when even he or his sayings did not hold much significance for anyone. He is the same person who is now going to be the Prime Minister of Ireland, Leo Varadkar.
Mr. Varadkar, son to a doctor, who migrated to Ireland from India (Yes, he is an Indian) and an Irish nurse was born in Dublin. Parents in search of a bright future for their 3 children went to England and to India before finally settling in Ireland. Having a penchant towards medicinal field, Mr. Varadkar attended prestigious and private King’s Hospital school, and then Trinity College, Dublin, where he studied law before switching to medicine.
While following his father’s profession of becoming a doctor, Mr. Leo came to understand his love for something that was not a very fond and appreciated profession in Varadkar family, Politics. From his early days as a medical student he began to dabble in party politics. “If you want to change things, politics is the best way to do that,” he said, speaking with the ease of a seasoned politician rather than a rookie.
After graduating from the school of medicine in 2003, Leo practiced as a junior doctor before finally qualifying as a general practitioner in 2010. But this did not keep him away from his love of politics and in 2007 he was elected party spokesperson of Fine Gael for Enterprise, Trade and Employment from 2007 to 2010 in the lower house of the parliament. But his biggest victory came as surprise to the Irish voters and quite possibly to Mr. Leo himself when he was elected and served as the minister of transport, tourism and sports (2011-2014), with all the allotted ministries falling out of the box of competence for Mr. Varadkar.
In 2014, with the reshuffling of parliamentary positions under the leadership of Enda Kenny, Leo finally was given his always coveted position of THE HEALTH MINISTER of IRELAND. It was during his stint as the health minister, specially during the year 2015 that he took some of his most audacious and revolutionary decisions and a successful referendum on same sex marriage in Ireland being the topper of that list. It was the same time when he gave his ubiquitously famous RTE Radio station interview, proudly declaring himself as a gay. His that interview is believed to have positively affected the outcome of the referendum. In 2016, he was declared the minister of Social Position and serves the role till date.
Recently on June 2nd, 2017; following the retirement of now former Prime Minister Enda Kenny, Mr. Leo Varadkar was appointed as the leader of Fine Gael party, putting him in the most favourable position to be the next TAOISEACH, Prime Minister of Ireland. Though the voting about it is to be carried out later this month, but there are high amount of chances that Mr. Leo will be adorned with the revered position.
This decision brought a special degree of elation for Indian people as well, watching the history made as Ireland gets its first India-Irish czar.
It is a fact that there are always some kind of civil skirmishes going on in our country, some kind of feud over a petty issue, defying our very own ‘Indian’ evangelism of Unity in diversity. But we leave no chance unexploited when it comes to celebrating India at the world level. Every person, from some unheard corner of a sordid ‘nukkad’ to the residents of the world’s most opulent home, feels exulted to join the euphoria and ebullience. This decision to appoint Leo Varadkar as the new leader of Ireland was one such decision for the Indian community.
While Mr. Varadkar’s charisma, confidence and youth have led to some comparisons with French President Emmanuel Macron and Canada’s Justin Trudeau, his agenda is likely to be quite different. Although his centre-right politics are clearly conservative, he portrays the image of a new, progressive Ireland. LGBT groups in Ireland welcomed the domestic focus on Varadkar’s ideology.
While the world media is all hyped about the sexuality and immigration status of new leader, Ireland’s local news and media has zeroed in on Varadkar’s economic policies. Now, it is to be seen in future if this decision will be a positive turnaround for Irish public or is it just a political gaffe in the making.
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