The rise of Sunil Chopra: from Delhi student politics to London borough's mayor

  • Prasun Sonwalkar, Hindustan Times, London
  • Updated: Aug 06, 2014 16:07 IST
Sunil-Chopra-in-mayoral-attire-at-his-installation-ceremony

Trained in the cut and thrust of student politics in Delhi University, Sunil Chopra, who arrived in London in 1979 after completing a law degree, has now taken over as the mayor of the London borough of Southwark.



Chopra's election as the mayor is significant due to the low percentage of people of Indian origin in his central London borough: about 1.5%, unlike other boroughs such as Hounslow and Harrow, where the Indian community has a sizeable presence.



Chopra was the president of the Delhi unit of National Students Union of India in the 1970s. His contemporaries in student politics at the time were Arun Jaitley, Vijay Goel, Anand Sharma and Sudhanshu Mittal. He went to the SM Jain School in Kamla Nagar.



"Being part of Delhi University student politics helped me while contesting elections here. I was groomed by people like Ambika Soni and the late Deepak Malhotra (former NSUI general secretary, principal of Dayal Singh College)", Chopra told HT in the mayor's office.



After arriving here, Chopra opened a retail business, and then entered the wholesale business in children's garments and baby products. He was a founder trustee of the Southwark Hindu Centre, and successfully contested council elections for the first time in 2010 as a Labour candidate.



Re-elected in May this year from the Nunhead ward in Peckham, Chopra was then elected mayor by the ruling Labour party, which won 48 of the 63 seats in the council assembly, making him the first Indian-origin mayor of the diverse borough.



Now aiming to contest parliamentary elections, Chopra said: "We need more representation for the Indian community in the British parliament, we don't have fair representation".



Chopra's key activities include raising funds for charity organisations through events such as a 'Curry Night'. He is also planning a 'Diversity Night' to celebrate the many cultures represented in the borough with a population of 2.8 lakh.



Chopra, who is happily married with three sons born here, said he often visits Delhi to meet his mentors, friends and family.

From Around the Web
Sponsored by Revcontent

also read

Germany: Explosion close to migration office near Nuremberg
Show comments

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Chrome and Ad BlockPlus users

1.Press the ‘ABP’ icon in your toolbar at top right of this page

2. Click on ‘Enabled on this site’; this should now change to ‘Disabled on this site’


chrome



For Chrome and Ad Block users

1.Press the ‘AdBlock’ icon in your toolbar

2.Select the option ‘Don’t run on pages on this domain’ and then click ‘exclude’ on the pop up


chrome

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Mozilla and AdBlock Plus (ABP) users

1.Press the ‘ABP’ icon in your toolbar

2.Select the option ‘Disable on hindustantimes.com’


chrome

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Internet Explorer and AdBlock Plus users

1.Press the ‘AdBlock Plus’ icon in your status bar at the bottom of the screen

2.Select the option ‘Disable on hindustantimes.com’


chrome

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Safari and AdBlock users

1.Press the ‘AdBlock’ icon in your toolbar

2.Select the option ‘Don't run pages on this domain’ and then click 'exclude'


chrome