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USA Nikki Haley: Feeding Lions To The Christians


Apr 3, 2005

Nikki Haley: Feeding Lions to the Christians


Sikh-born Nikki Haley - daughter of Sikh parents from Amritsar - has been elected Republican Governor of South Carolina, U.S.A.

Before you take umbrage with the reporting of this piece of news on the sikhchic.com front-page this morning, or my referring to her as "Sikh-born", I ask for your patience and a few moments of reflection on what I have to say.

I have been meaning to write this piece earlier, but did not want it to be used against her in her election-bid, because a) I do not have many nice things to say about her; 2) pieces posted online tend to get viral with lightening speed; and 3) many of her opponents and supporters are religious and racial bigots and have been grasping at any straw to get ammunition against her, in order to further warp similar minds that surround them.

I met Nikki not too long ago in Toronto. She had come with her parents to Toronto where she was being honoured at the annual Vaisakhi gala of The Centennial Foundation.

I spent much of the evening talking to the three of them at our table.

Here's what I garnered from the evening:

- Nikki was very proud of being a Sikh and publicly said so.

- It was also obvious that she was not a practising Sikh.

- She was a politician, first and foremost - and I do not use the word as a compliment - and had indeed come a long way on a very rough journey requiring many compromises.

- She was married to a Christian and her children were being brought up as Christians.

- She was cognizant of the narrow-mindedness of the Christian South and had become very adept at stepping over their egg-shells.

- She was very ambitious, and was not willing to be tripped by lesser minds on her rise to the top.

- She was capable of making any and all compromises to reach her goals.

I concluded from my brief meeting with her that she was a politician to the core. Let me explain what I mean.

I believe that our system of democracy - deeply flawed, but sadly the best we have today - simply does not allow high principles to flourish in its halls of powers.

Which means that any person with high principles - genuinely, not just paying lip-service - simply cannot get very far in the political arena.

Which means, I believe, that politics today - in the U.S. or anywhere else in the world - simply has no room for high-principled people in its corridors.

Which means, I believe, that there are NO high-principled people in politics today.

Barack Obama is walking proof of this. Although I continue to support him all the way, I have seen his principles unravel from the very day he became President - starting with the criminal pay-out of almost a trillion dollars (I don't really know how much that is, I must confess) to a handful of thoroughly corrupt people, all the way to his most recent cowardly response to a planned visit to the Darbar Sahib.

Sadly, he's the best we have today.

And Nikki Haley doesn't even come close.

She has indeed sold her soul to win this Governorship. I know her distancing herself from her Sikh roots was a mere ploy to placate her bigoted detractors and that she doesn't really believe it. A lie of this magnitude is bound to destroy all the integrity one has within oneself.

But that has never been a danger with politicians - we require them to leave their integrity at home, once they start on their political journeys.

Nikki's has been a double lie.

But I lay only part of the blame at her door.

The rest of it is at the door of Southern Christianity and the South's warped brand of democracy which demand their politicians to be weaklings and unprincipled, and prove their qualifications to the world by publicly declaring allegiance to their brand of Christianity.

An abomination, I tell you, which would drive Jesus Christ to tears. And each of the founding fathers of the United States of America to spin in their graves.

True, Nikki has failed us - and herself.

And so has America!

Our work as Sikhs - saint-soldiers - is cut-out for us.

Instead of turning our guns at poor, weak, unprincipled Nikki - or our backs to her - we should concentrate on fighting this racial and religious bigotry that plagues America as pervasively as it does Hindu India, Muslim Pakistan, or the Jewish-Muslim Middle-East.

There is nothing to rejoice for us in Nikki's election victory.

There is nothing to rejoice for Americans or Republicans or South Carolinians or Southern Christians either, in Nikki's election victory.

All it has done is expose the ugly under-belly of America.

And how much we Sikhs have neglected the upbringing of our own children - how we have failed them at home.

November 3, 2010


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
This imho is actually a very good article because it does not ignore the complexity of the Nicky Halley issue and T. Sher Singh also does a great job of showing how all these pieces fit together. And how Nikki and her story fit into a much larger pattern of broken contracts with our own moral natures. And what the focus of our choices in the next chapter in our political and private lives might be.


Aug 11, 2010
I like leaders who stand up for truth and I find no impressive qualities in Nikki, atleast his opponent dared to speak his mind when he called her raghead


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
I like leaders who stand up for truth and I find no impressive qualities in Nikki, atleast his opponent dared to speak his mind when he called her raghead

karam ji

I hope you do understand that when he called her a raghead he was calling all Sikhs ragheads. That was the crux of the controversy in May. That is why both Sikh Coalition and SALDEF complained officially. He called me a raghead and any member of my sangat a raghead. Nikki Haley was nothing more than a symbol to him of all that he hated about minorities at that point.


Would you say the same about those bigots who have started a facebook page where they say pardon me may I use your turban for toilet paper. They are also speaking their minds. How is it different?

BTW that page appears to be now gone from facebook in part because of SALDEV's effective interventions.

Can we allow our dislike for any single individual to define our reactions to principles that have been betrayed? Is it not better to fight the good fight about change laws and perceptions, than to rag on about one or another person who offends us?


Aug 11, 2010
admin jee in no way I agree with the use of any kind of racial slurs, i was just trying to say he was very open about whatever he beleived in and obviously he got rejected by people and instead of fighting him and his slurs Nikki began to preach how she is a christian and she attends sikh services only out of respect for his parents' culture, No goal could be bigger than one's self respect/identity, she stooped lower than his opponent from my perspective

Mai Harinder Kaur

Oct 5, 2006
British Columbia, Canada
Maybe it's just me, but I'd much rather deal with someone who is openly bigoted than with someone who plays the hypocrite. Of course, I do not condone any sort of racial, ethnic or religious prejudice (even that which I may secretly harbour). Still I would much rather someone openly call me a "raghead" or a "sick" than smile in my face and then snicker behind my back. Names and open prejudice I can deal with; this behind-the-back stuff is much harder.

Harder still are those who believe they are not prejudiced, but really are. I think of the well-intentioned Church Lady who showed me the before and after pictures of a formerly keshdhari Sikh who had converted to Christianity. "See how much nicer he looks without that unkempt beard and that silly turban." Honest, she said that. I said nothing because what could I say.

As for Nikki Haley, I say what I said before: She is not a Sikh and is of no concern to me beyond her strange and disturbing political ideas.