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Nikki Haley became the first woman ever to win Republican Party nomination to contest elections to be the Governor, in the U.S. state of South Carolina.

Hail Nikki Haley!

She rose from obscurity in just six months, polling just around ten percentage points early this year, to become a sensational national star politician. In the run off election she trounced her opponent, a senior party pol, by a two to one margin.

She is thus potentially the second person of Indian ancestry in the US to become a state governor. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana is the other one.

Interestingly, both Haley and Jindal won as Republicans.

The Democratic Party, despite having a majority of Indians – and other minorities in general – supporting it, and participating at local levels, has rarely given rise to major national political heroes.  This despite the fact that quite a large number of high-profile administration postions have been given to Indians, at least in the last 10-15 years. What accounts for there being no liberal equivalents of Haley, Jindal et al?

By emphasizing the primacy of identity over ideas, and blind party loyalty over individual ambition, the Democrats have not offered top-level opportunity to Indians in the political field. Indians in the party are often back-of-the-line loyalists, behind blacks, Mexicans, other ethnic groups and white women. With identity and gender based Democratic Party politics it’s just a numbers game. The Republican Party, on the other hand,  seems to care more about devout Conservatism regardless of who embraces it – a trend also being observed in the UK recently. Incidentally, there may be a clue here for Indian political ideologues and thinkers of the Saffron shade!

What does such idea versus identity politics imply for Americans?

It is difficult to avoid the thought that an Indian-origin President of the United States, if that ever happens, is more likely to be a Republican than a Democrat.

Something to think about, all you young Indians in the USA!

UPDATE:

Latest ad from Nikki features her husband;

There has been a viral, near electrical buzz going around the Internet about some scurrilous rumor about Nikki Haley, our favorite candidate for Governor of the state of South Carolina.

Don’t you believe it.

That simple.

We’ve seen this movie before. Sarah Palin is not the mother of her own child, Sarah Palin is divorcing, Sarah is moving out of family home in Alaska, etc., ect.

Let’s not even start about the mudslinging that went on during both the primary and the general election in 2008. Hillary, McCain, Palin, and a whole lot of others. All the while, the real fiasco, the truth of the affair of John Edwards, nobody knew anything about that!

Politics can be dirty anywhere, the US is no exception. Especially where a less known, tough-talking, principled, ideas-driven person is concerned – one as different as Nikki Haley, or Sarah Palin, – the scoundrels come out of the woodwork when least expected.

Within a few short days of getting endorsement by Sarah Palin, and Nikki having benefited with a double-digit lead, the character assassination begins. Such is politics.

Go read the Facebook page of Governor Sarah Palin. She said eloquently, forcefully and from the heart. There is little that can be added.

GO NIKKI, GO SARAH!

As the say, Truth Triumphs!

A new Rasmussen poll shows our girl Nikki Haley taking a lead in the race for the Governor of South Carolina. The election on June 8, 2010 is a Primary Election in which voters of both Republican and Democratic parties will chose their respective candidates for the final election – the US Midterm Election in November 2010. Nikki Haley is fighting to be nominated as the first female candidate of the Republican party, as the first woman of Indian parentage to contest in a state-wide election in South Carolina.

Rasmussen Poll Link.

Recently Nikki Haley got endorsement from the sensational, super-star of the Republican party, Sarah Palin. McCain-Palin ticket won the state of South Carolina in 2008. So, this is a great boost for Haley.

several political analysts say the “rock star sisterhood” of Palin and Sanford could be a big boost for Haley’s bid to be the state’s first woman governor.

 

 

In the above video clip, Sarah Palin refers to “a whole lot of people, proudly clinging to guns and religion.” at 1 Min:40 Sec mark. That is a sharp dig at candidate Obama who was caught by a journalist in 2008 deriding rural Americans for their faith and gun love. Ouch, that dig must hurt!

Also, note that Governor Palin refers to Nikki Haley, as a “home-grown girl”.

What a wonderful tribute, from an amazing woman.

There is in no doubt that Sarah Palin is a great force in American politics, her support to Nikki Haley will amount to at least 15-20 percentage points. That should give her a majority of the GOP turnout. Combine that with Nikkis’s personal charm, style and policy stances will yield rich dividends come November too.

Finally, note how towards the end of the clip above Sarah identifies fully with Nikki’s personal political journey.

Sarah Palin calls Nikki Haley a kindred spirit.

Hail Nikki Haley!

Hail Sarah Palin!

 

Nikki Haley Campaign Website Link.

 

Contributions to Nikki Haley, (U.S. citizens only, please!)

“Your face, my thane, is as a book where men

May read strange matters”

– Lady Macbeth to Macbeth, the thane of Cawdor, in William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Act 1, Scene 5.

If books reflect culture, book reading habits too, perhaps, reflect a people’s tribal instinct. And then, do social events like ‘book parties’ reflect something intrinsic about different social groups, different national groups?

Shoba Narayan seems to think so. At least when it comes to Indian versus American ‘book release parties.’ Her vividly observant article at Wall Street Journal, The Indian Book Ceremony.

In the United States, the publisher manages the event to celebrate the author and then sell as many books as possible. By contrast, for “the argumentative Indian” it’s all about a well-spent evening of discussions and disagreements, regardless of how few copies were sold at the end of it

In the U.S., everybody accepts that there’s a mini cult of personality around the writer.

Ms. Narayan doesn’t quite state, but implies that somehow the Indians seem to emphasize the book and the event more than the author.  At least, that is how it is hinted, here:

We Indians are a ceremony-driven people. Book readings are not merely announced in the local paper but through personal invitations sent to friends and relatives. Sometimes the bookstore sends these invitations to everyone on their mailing list; other times the publisher does this. Likewise, politicians are welcomed to conventions not merely with a handshake and introduction but with garlands and bouquets, …

…..  Stores open with a traditional ribbon-cutting, followed by the lamp-lighting.

The same Indian who rudely cuts ahead of a queue of strangers will refuse to help himself to the buffet until his elderly uncle has eaten. All suggestions to “go ahead and eat” will be met with pehle aap. The same applies to authors who are loathe to be the only ones talking about their book. Instead they follow the literary version of “pehle aap,” where they get a panel of guests to go first. To the Indian, talking about one’s own book or accomplishments is intrinsically boastful.

To a Western publicist, panel discussions are a minefield. They can go off-message, ramble all over the place so that the audience gets bored, take the spotlight away from the author, and in the worst case scenario, criticize the author and book. But these are chances that Indian publishers and authors readily take.

But Indian authors want a panel anyway. We are comfortable in crowds; we need people around us, even on a dais. We are used to loud and vocal disagreements, having heard it all the time in family quarrels. Hollywood stars and American politicians revel in the spotlight. In India, it is the opposite: Being surrounded by people is the true show of strength.

On a broader note, if this item were to be believed, the French love reading fiction, even the gloomier variety; Germans love out door stuff; the English lighter fare, and Americans  even lighter fare. Someone recently claimed that Indians read the most, in a general survey of reading. And, that in a few decades majority of English speakers in the world will be Indian! What do these factoids bear on the social organization of book coming out parties?

As side note to the above block quotes, is ribbon cutting really a tradition in the same vein as lighting a lamp? Isn’t it more of a true colonial vestige, albeit a well-integrated vestige? In any case, this sharp observation of Indian character is quite revealing.

Finally, to I.U., this looks like a case of adaptation,  the casting of a native attitude into an alien form of social activity. After all, traditionally the Indian writer looked to a royal or governmental patronage of arts. Only now, being democratic and all, book launches take on this new mongrel form, more out of need than by design.

What do you think?

A mosque is being built at Ground Zero near where the World Trade Center towers collapsed during the September 11 attacks on America.

Just a few hundred yards from where the jihadists’ planes crashed into the towers, a Muslim building will open, that too on the tenth anniversary of the 9-11 attacks.

The Cordoba Mosque is being touted as a peace initiative, but it is a two faced outrage. A hundred years from now, would someone even remember that there stood in that place what were once the world’s two tallest buildings, built by a people known as The Americans?

Imagine that for a moment.  Ever wonder what lay under the Dome of the Rock in Israel?  Does anyone ever doubt the recorded story of what lay in the past of Haghia Sophia in Turkey?

But then, it is possible that the Americans have lost their mind!

Now think about this:  why is it so hard for people to even allow the speculation that the Taj might not be what it is today.

History repeats itself, winners get to re-write the narrative.

In fact history needs to be re-written first before a civilization can re-invent itself, recreate itself. Else, it simply continues as a fossil replica. At the very least, people should stare at history with a cold hard eye, untainted by romanticism, poetry and unverified data. That is all IU is saying.

Original Post Begins Here:

The timeless wonder of Taj Mahal is a gift that keeps on giving, in more ways than one.

A nice round up of the lore, the legacy, the controversy, and the alternative view that Taj Mahal was actually Tejo Mahalaya (Professor P.N. Oakh), a Hindu Rajasthani temple – and other such notions –  all are  presented nicely in this round-up.

LATEST Nikki Wins!!

Read about it here: NIkki Haley Wins – And, it’s a big deal!


UPDATE II


38-year-old Nikki Haley is writing the most improbable political success story of 2010.

Walter Shapiro.

UPDATE:

SARAH PALIN ADDS HER VOICE!!

{The Republican gubernatorial primary in the US, to select who will contest the November 2010 election to be Governor of South Carolina, will take place on Tuesday, June 8. One week prior to that event the race is white hot, with racism, sexism, misogyny, slander, innuendo, and hate.}

Nikki Haley is getting a lot of support from a wide range of politicians, opinion leaders and bloggers across the country and the world, despite or perhaps even due to scurrilous attacks on her. To wit:

She needs to win this election if only because her enemies so richly deserve defeat.

Conservatives For Palin, a website vehemently written in the cause of Sarah Palin’s candidacy in 2012, is the latest to come up with a very nice post of support. As some readers my know, Governor Palin endorsed Nikki Haley. In some quarters, female candidates in the same league as Sarah Palin are known as ‘Mama Grizzlies’.  SC State Representative Nikki Haley would be the latest in this group that includes Carly Fiorina of California, Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota, Jan Brewer of Arizona – strong, motherly, conservativse, and feminists all.

Pundit & Pundette , Allahpundit, Ace of Spades, Dan Riehle, Dr. Melissa Clouthier all wrote in support of Nikki Haley.

IU thinks that GOP politics in the US just took a turn for better. They are in the process of purging their own internal putrid atavistic negativists.  So,  when will the Liberals do the same? Hmm… May be there is a beginning of it after all. For even Democratic women are starting to voice support for Nikki Haley – check out Taylor Marsh and Dana Goldstein.

In the meantime, Governor Sarah Palin comes out guns blazing in full furious support of our girl.  Despite all recent local campaign venom against Nikki Haley, Sarah Palin continued her vocal support via Facebook as well as recorded phone messages to voters. You’ve just got to love Sarah Palin!

Original Post Starts Here:

Nikki, Namrata, Randhawa, Haley, Randhawa-Haley, whatever … to quote the poet, a rose by another name …

The point is this: This Rose is Our Rose. Nikki Haley is an Indian Rose!

South Carolina State Representative Nikki Randhawa Haley is an American at heart, with an Indian face and a Sikh soul. And in true Granth tradition, she blends and creates a spiritual fusion of Individualism, Sikhism, Hinduism, Methodist Church and an unapologetic conservative political philosophy. All in the service of the people among whom she was born, raised and, adored.

Folks of Indian origin are a bit befuddled about her – is she Indian or American, a Kaur or a Yank, worse yet, she is n’t a redneck, is she?

Nikki Randhawa Haley running for Governor of South Carolina

Americans are equally divided, they either love her, decidedly partisan about her, or are just plain uninformed and confused.

Truth is simple. Nikki Haley is American. Nikki Haley is of Indian origin. That simple!

She is our girl, just as much as astronauts Sunita Williams, and Kalpana Chawla, Iowa State Senator Swati Dandekar, or, Yahoo!’s Srinija “Ninja” Srinivasan (5o most important people of the Internet – Newsweek)

When you cross borders, and cultures clash, confusion is inevitable. But Nikki has shown how comfortably one can adapt and live. Just be true to yourself, be yourself!

Nikki’s greatest gift to voters is herself. She represents fusion, ambition, integrity and perseverance.

Her speeches show her to be quite charming and witty, and something of a policy wonk.

She is also folksy, funny and personable at the same time.

She is certainly a gift, and she definitely deserves your support.

So, please tell all you know that live in the US about her.

Nikki Haley website

More about Nikki Haley at Senator From Punjab.

Click Here to contribute to Nikki Haley’s campaign for Governor of South Carolina (US citizens and residents only, please).

Himalayas - Wiki

For a while there, the world was shaken to the core about global warming, rising tides, and disappearing glaciers.

Gangotri will be gone! The holy Indian cows emit too much gas, eat them up!

The man who invented internet, and global warming, Al Gore got his revenge on the world that cheated him out of Presidency by scaring it into giving him a Nobel prize for manufacturing predictions of doomsday.

Now, of course, we know it to be otherwise.

The East Anglia email scandal, the data fudging business.

And now this: the idea of Himalayan glaciers melting away by 2035 was “speculation” not  based on science, data or verified research.

The original news was not vetted, proven, peer-reviewed not subjected to test.

Times of London has all the details.

World misled over Himalayan glacier meltdown.

Brief excerpt:

A WARNING that climate change will melt most of the Himalayan glaciers by 2035 is likely to be retracted after a series of scientific blunders by the United Nations body that issued it. [snip]

It has also emerged that the New Scientist report was itself based on a short telephone interview with Syed Hasnain, a little-known Indian scientist then based at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi.

Hasnain has since admitted that the claim was “speculation” and was not supported by any formal research.[snip]

Professor Murari Lal, who oversaw the chapter on glaciers in the IPCC report, said he would recommend that the claim about glaciers be dropped: [snip]

The revelation is the latest crack to appear in the scientific concensus over climate change. It follows the so-called climate-gate scandal, where British scientists apparently tried to prevent other researchers from accessing key date. Last week another row broke out when the Met Office criticised suggestions that sea levels were likely to rise 1.9m by 2100, suggesting much lower increases were likely.

While the blame game goes on, science being not exempt from it. And not a moment too soon we have a new word for a new scandal, thank you Walter Russel Meade, Glacier Gate

Pachauri, in the meantime, is “studying the new evidence”

Truth being, of course, there is real evidence that some Himalayan glaciers are actually getting larger!

Not a particularly new idea, but things do change in nature, back and forth .. it’s not time for pralayam, yet …

The Resilient Earth has interesting photographs, and report by Vijay KumarRaina of Geological Survey of India.

IU is glad that Ganga will keep on flowing. Otherwise where else will the Indians put their pollution in?