Aam Aadmi Party Rajya Sabha MP Raghav Chadha was honoured with the India UK Outstanding Achievers Honour at an award ceremony in London on Wednesday. The event, celebrating India @ 75 in association with UK Parliament, was organised 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.
The India UK Achievers Honours were created to celebrate the achievements of Indian students who studied at British universities and to mark 75 years of India's independence. The honours covered 75 high achievers and five Outstanding Achievers, with Raghav Chadha receiving the award in the "Government and Politics" category for his excellence in changing how democracy and justice are experienced and tackling challenging societal problems for the good of people and the planet.
Mr Chadha, who studied at the prestigious London School of Economics (LSE), set up a boutique wealth management firm in London before returning to India and joining the India Against Corruption Movement. The movement later culminated in the formation of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), with Chadha becoming a founding member and working under the guidance and mentorship of AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal.
In 2022, at the age of 33, Mr Chadha became the youngest Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of the Indian parliament, where he represents the state of Punjab. This award is the second international recognition for Mr Chadha in a year, as he was also honoured as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.
On receiving the award, Mr 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."
Mr 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 Indian democracy had studied in the UK, including Mahatma Gandhi, Dr BR Ambedkar, and Jawaharlal Nehru.
"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.
Mr 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 who now exceed all other communities.