Nikki Haley: The doughy Indian American who is taking on Trump

Will American women respond to Nikki, count her as one of them, and make her the President of the USA, now or in 2028? 

Mahendra Ved Feb 13, 2024
Nikki Haley and Donald Trump

One reason why Indian Americans traditionally vote for the Democratic Party is that the rival Republicans have a flair for making serious political gaffes. Some years ago, it was Bobby Jindal who went out of his way to deny his Indian roots and say that his parents did not come to America to become “Indian Americans”. Indian roots meant little to him since they were not even a significant vote bank in an election. He eventually opted out of the presidential election. Now, will it be the turn of Nikki Haley?

She said in a recent interview with Fox News that India "distrusts" the USA, perceives America as "weak", is wary of joining any US-led alliance, and retains its ties with the Russians because that is from where a bulk of its defence supplies come.

For someone who was Ambassador to the United Nations, Haley has displayed an utter lack of knowledge and perspective about why India courts and is courted by, the Russians. A look back to the Cold War era would have educated her on how India was ranged against US military and economic aid to Pakistan and what went before, during and after 1971. If nothing else, she should have viewed the evolving Indo-US ties in the last 25 years, through both Republican and Democratic administrations. Ties that many in India applaud, but some also worry about.

But India does not appear on her political horizon. As envoy to the UN, she was known to have done some “tough talking” with the Indian leadership when she visited. This is a lesson for many in India who wrongly think an Indian American, or for that matter, an Indo-British or Indian Canadian would nurse a soft corner about India in his/her heart. No such thing. They are, and ought to be, loyal to their adopted nations.

Playing a long-term game

At the popular level, however, that ‘soft’ sentiment cannot be denied as India watches its diaspora doing well in many countries. Till they say or do things that are perceived as anti-India.

Haley, Nimrat Kaur Randhawa, born to Sikh parents in America, could have created more interest in India than she has. In ‘normal’ times in India without an election of its own, she would have generated images of a Rani of Jhansi, or Begun Razia Sultan, or of modern times, Indira Gandhi, Benazir Bhutto or Sheikh Hasina– all women fighting or their respective causes, some successful, others martyred.

For, Nikki remains the sole challenger to former President Donald Trump as he fights to get a second term. If she succeeds, she raises prospects of becoming the first woman President of the United States of America, the world’s most powerful democracy. Contrast this with the fact that the Western world never tires of preaching democracy to others and has produced fewer women leaders when compared to Asia -- from Golda Meir to Sirimavo Bandaranaike to Aung Saan Suu Kyi.  India has a second woman serving as the present president.

Reports from America say that Trump is way ahead in winning the Republican Party nomination, and is "frustrated" that Haley does not leave the contest to make him the automatic choice. He attacks her mercilessly, even calling her names. He argues that Nikki’s parents were not born in America and that makes her ineligible to become the president. He ignores the fact that his parents came from Germany, had fled America to Germany to escape being punished by law and returned to America later. There is no bar on Nikki, or anyone contesting the election – just as Trump can, despite multiple convictions.

Nikki is not relenting. She knows she could lose in the long run and may have to withdraw. But she will go down in American history as the first woman who has given a tough time to a formidable man, with billions in his election funds. She asks how Trump can manage money, and time, for the election campaign, when he is busy fighting court cases, in which he has been convicted. It is surprising that Trump being convicted of rape and asked to pay 83 million dollars to the woman victim has not generated enough sympathy and interest, not just in India, but among women across the world.

Nikki hopes that it will, in the long run. The obvious, but unstated, reason she is in the contest is that if Trump is disqualified, and the highest court upholds that, she could be the automatic Republican candidate.  

She plays a long-term game; if she loses to Trump this year, she can still make her bid in 2028. Hence, analysts say, she is working to garner women’s vote and support. They matter in any election, anywhere, provided they are politically aroused. Will American women respond to Nikki, count her as one of them, and make her the President of the USA, now or in 2028? It is difficult to say. But if she stays in the fight, and garners the support of the Black voters, it will be worth the world’s attention and perhaps, support. However educated, independent, articulate and even prosperous, American women are the underdog in political and electoral terms. And Blacks have been discriminated against for centuries.

Comfortable with her roots

Nikki can carry with her America’s political have-nots against Trump’s support comes from the White, conservative, middle America that is insular and conservative in their thinking when compared to the country’s more advanced east and west coasts. Conservative America includes White supremacists who have little knowledge or concern for the world.

Analysts note that Nikki is attacking Trump on moral grounds, for his breaking of the law and using money to escape punishment. She attacks him for being old. At 52, she is years younger than Trump, 77, and President Biden, 81. She appeals to the young for support. This could be her constituency, now or in 2028, when she will be 56.

But she is not going all out against Trump. She does not want to offend the men whose role in American politics is predominant. She is trying something difficult in a vast country. She says she was "proud" of being Ambassador to the United Nations under Trump and agrees that many Trump policies were good. She has maintained a balance on issues of governance since she was part of the Trump administration but attacks him on political grounds. That is smart and long-term. Reports say there are powerful politicians, and not only from her Republican Party, who are desperate to keep Trump out. They are even pouring in money, which is not illegal in America. They are also making long-term investments in Nikki.

A point of interest in India should be that Nikki is quite comfortable with her Indian/Sikh heritage. But she is equally proud of her American identity, having married and raised a family with Michael, her soldier-businessman husband. The two were married at a Sikh ceremony, followed by another at Methodist Church. 

Before leaving the presidency, Barack Obama had predicted that America’s future president could be someone who is not white, or of European origin, who could be an Indian, Chinese or Vietnamese. Hence, Trump may come, but Trump and his type of political culture would have to go and make way for someone younger, a liberal who does not thrive politically on hate and aggression. This is a cyclical process in any society, more so a democratic one like America. Will Nikki Haley be the answer to such an America? Only time can tell. 

(The writer is a veteran journalist, columnist and author. Views are personal. He can be reached at

Post a Comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
토토사이트 추천하다
Wed, 02/14/2024 - 00:28
Truthfully informative article!
Your writings every seizure my percentage!
So intrigued before your lean inquiry!

Our website, GambleGate, iss a go-to on dependable
GambleGate offers cosmic advice on 토토, 검증, and more.

Ensuring 검증 and 안전놀이터, GambleGate provides reliable 토토사이트.

Cross onlone betting confidently with our totfogate resource.
Wed, 02/14/2024 - 18:59
It's very effortless to find out any topic on web as compared to textbooks,
as I found this article at this web site.
Markowe produkty
Wed, 02/14/2024 - 22:28
Great web site you have here.. It's hard to find good quality writing like yours these days.
I really appreciate people like you! Take care!!
Fri, 02/16/2024 - 08:21
Wonderful goods from you, man. I've understand your stuff previous
to and you are just extremely fantastic. I actually like what you
have acquired here, really like what you're saying and the way in which you say it.

You make it entertaining and you still take care of to keep it smart.
I cant wait to read far more from you. This is really a tremendous web site.
drop off locations for electronics
Fri, 02/16/2024 - 11:09
At this moment I am going to do my breakfast, later than having my breakfast coming
again to read other news.
In today's quickly advancing technological landscape, lasting administration of
digital waste and IT possessions is important for both environmental preservation and information protection.
Our extensive directory site details a leading provider of eco-friendly e-waste recycling and IT
property personality (ITAD) services, satisfying organizations looking for responsible decommissioning of out-of-date servers and information center tools.

Georgia Electronic Recycling: A Solution for Data Centers and Financial Sustainability

Specializing in web server decommission processes, our included firm
ensures that obsolete equipment is successfully
taken down, with a focus on recuperating beneficial elements for reuse.
Their data facility deactivating solutions are designed to reduce
environmental impact while maximizing the return on your IT investments via specialist property
recovery programs.

Georgia Drop Off Electronics at Recycling Centers: A Step Towards Responsible Disposal

For companies focusing on data protection, the directory showcases services for hard disk drive damage in Georgia, guaranteeing total data erasure with licensed
destruction techniques. Property remarketing solutions are likewise offered, offering
a path to recoup financial investment from retired tools.

The directory site includes alternatives for safe and secure and eco aware disposal of IT tools, all adhering to
extensive compliance standards.

Georgia Electronic Recycling: Transforming E-Waste into Opportunities for Asset Recovery

From cost-free IT devices disposal to offering a clear interpretation of possession disposal procedures,
the directory site serves as a one-stop-shop for firms navigating the complexities of
e-waste administration. It represents a network of professional services that not just promote
the risk-free and successful retirement of IT possessions however also contribute to an extra lasting future by drawing away digital
waste from land fills.

Georgia Recyclable Computers: Innovating in Computer Recycling Centers

Whether you're a tiny enterprise or a huge corporation, our organization directory site connects you with top-tier service
providers experienced in changing your e-waste tests right into chances for development and ecological stewardship.

Georgia Electronic Recycling's Contribution to
Sustainable Home Network Management
redken color extend brownlights shampoo reviews
Fri, 02/16/2024 - 22:19
I enjoyed the cleanliness, and I would say it certainly fulfilled the job of a shampoo.