• 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Nikki Haley
"....But even Mr. Young, who heads the Charleston Leadership Foundation, said he had felt the need to ask Mrs. Haley about rumors that she was a Buddhist." That about says it all! Sikh, Buddhist, Hindu they're all interchangeable to the electorate at large. Just change your name to something mono-syllabic and make sure you refer to the Civil War as the "War of Northern Aggression". Surreal.
They've sold their souls to gain political offices. That says it all. Their "faith" is paper thin. Why vote for someone who feels their qualifications for public office isn't good enough on its merits, so they change their religious affiliations to be accepted?

We've got a country overrun with "religious" frauds putting themselves out as better than others, all the while committing all sorts of indecencies and criminal acts.
Being a successful Sikhni is actually a double-edged sword for the Sikh community as, on one hand, they are ambassadors of Sikh culture but also, they become a liablility to the community - we do not have enough educated, highly placed males in the community. Some of these women invaribly end up marrying non-Sikhs and thus contribute in the reduction of Sikh offspring.
Nikki Haley is not a Sikh (by her own admission recently). So, why is she being profiled on sikhchic.com?

I do not see hindus claiming Bobby Jindal to be one of their own. Why should we claim this Methodist to be ours? Or have you already forgotten the last time some Methodist preacher tried to "save your soul"?
"She believes in a Christan god, not Sikh God [God of all peoples]". She has also changed her name from Nimrata to Nikky. lol

16: Mahendra (Framingham, MA, U.S.A.), June 22, 2010, 1:47 PM.

I agree with Mandeep (#14) that she is not a Sikh, at least not a practicing one. She is of Sikh heritage though but there is no need to claim her as a Sikh when she clearly distances herself from Sikhism.

17: S.S. (New York, U.S.A.), June 22, 2010, 10:12 PM.

I really don't think she is a Sikh, let alone be proud of her heritage. Same boat as Bobby Jindal, Ramesh Ponnuru, Dinesh D'Souza, etc and all the other fake desis. We don't really need them.
By Viji Sundaram, New America Media

Nikki Haley won the Republican nomination for governor of the state of South Carolina Tuesday. She now has to start thinking about the general elections in November. A dyed-in-the-wool conservative, Haley stands a very good chance of beating back the challenge from Democratic state Sen. Vincent Sheheen in the right-leaning Southern state, political pundits say. If she does, Haley, neé Nimrata Randhawa, will be the first Indian American woman -- in fact, the first woman ever -- to become the governor of her native South Carolina.

After almost five decades of struggling to establish themselves in their adopted land, Indians in America, currently numbering close to two million -- which is less than 1 percent of the total population -- are now no longer satisfied with limiting their political participation to holding fundraisers, photo ops or working campaigns. They are running for public office, and at least eight of them nationwide are hoping to snag fairly high-powered posts this year.

Desis already have one of their own in another governor's mansion. Bobby Jindal, whose parents migrated to the United States when he was, as he more than once described it, a "pre-existing condition" in his mother's womb, rapidly rose from the head of the Louisiana state Department of Health and Hospitals to president of the University of Louisiana before he was 27. He was elected to the U.S. Congress at age 33, becoming only the second Indian to serve as a congressman. (Dalip Singh Saund was the first Indian American to be elected to Congress in 1956. He served three terms.) In 2008, at the age of 36, Jindal became Louisiana's youngest governor.

In the capital city of Columbia where the 37-year-old Haley's parents live, the Indian diaspora has been bristling with pride for months now that one of their own is running for the highest office in the state. The population of Indian Americans in South Carolina is only around 10,000.

Many seem to have unquestioningly accepted Haley's conversion to Christianity nearly 14 years ago to marry her Methodist husband.

"That was her decision to convert, and who are we to question it?" said Parminder Kaur Dhillon, a North Carolina resident who is a trustee of the Sikh temple there. And, Dhillon noted, "It's good she converted because it makes it easier on the children to be raised in one faith."

Inderjit Singh, a professor of pediatrics at the Medical University of South Carolina and a longtime friend of Haley's parents, mom Raj Randhawa, and dad Ajit Singh Randhawa, said the Randhawas raised their four children in a very secular environment. Singh said her parents are just as comfortable attending interfaith gatherings as they are attending services at South Carolina's only Sikh temple in Columbia. Singh serves on the temple board.

Singh said he has heard no criticism from any of his Sikh acquaintances in Columbia, where about 100 Indian families reside, about Haley's conversion.

"Sikhs themselves converted from Hinduism and Islam. So why would we criticize?" But despite her conversion, Singh noted, "Nikki never distanced herself from the Sikh faith."

Jindal converted to Christianity also, when he was a sophomore at Brown University. He was baptized a Catholic, a rite his Hindu parents did not attend.

It is clear that some in the Indian diaspora disapprove of how "public and unflinching" Jindal and Haley have been about their embrace of Christianity. In a press release put out by the Hindu American Foundation today, its founder Aseem Shukla wondered what was "so miserably wrong and unelectable in being a Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist or Jain?"

"Religious conversion," Shukla wrote, "should be a personal sojourn, but Jindal's and Haley's capitulation to an evangelical insistence on public religiosity and rejection of their ancestral faiths are galling to many."

Yet Haley's campaign platform resonated with conservatives in South Carolina. She supports limited government, opposes Obama's stimulus package and backs Arizona's hard line on illegal immigration. Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and the Chai Tea Party have endorsed her.

Haley spent the weeks leading to the June 8 primary denying a smear campaign by a blogger and another by a lobbyist that they had physical relations with her. Soon after that, she had to face disparaging remarks by state Senator Jake Knotts, a supporter of her opponent. The senator called her a "raghead" and accused her of being in the forefront of a power grab by the Sikh community in South Carolina.

"Democrats for Nikki," a mostly Indian American group in Columbia, has supported Haley since she tossed her hat into the ring, Singh said. Like him, most of them are planning to vote for Haley in November.

"This is the first time in my voting years I will be voting for a Republican," Singh noted. "I'm doing it because we believe she can change the political landscape."
Nikki Haley Could Save the GOP From Itself

By John Aloysius Farrell

Posted: June 22, 2010


Share This

By John Aloysius Farrell, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

I suppose the Republican Party can survive its love affair with the dingbat Right. But it's getting harder to see how. Today's election in South Carolina offers a case in point.

If I were a South Carolina voter, Nikki Haley would not be my first choice for governor. But, for a Republican, she's not a bad selection. As a first generation Indian-American, she cuts against the portrait of the GOP as a shrinking bastion of white male privilege. If the Republicans are going to survive in an increasingly browner America, they are going to have to open up their candidate recruitment process. The Republican presidential debates in 2008 looked like a gathering of Nebraska funeral directors.

Haley almost triumphed without a runoff, despite allegations that she slept around. Since sex didn't work as an avenue of attack, her foes have fallen back on the breakfast of demagogues: religion. Her conversion to Methodism is being challenged by those who accuse her of clinging to her Sikh upbringing.

"Have you ever asked her if she believes in Jesus Christ as her lord and savior and that he died on the cross for her sins?" said state Sen. "Jakie" Knotts, in a television interview. "Jakie" was already somewhat infamous for having called Haley a "raghead."

The question is outrageous. It would exclude all free-thinkers, agnostics, Jews, Muslims, and other non-Christian politicians from political office. And while, literally, it encompasses almost anyone who attends a Christian church--help me out here, Unitarians and comparative religion majors--it is posed in a code favored by the more fundamental Protestant sects.

With similar insensitivity, Republicans have alienated Hispanics, whose family- and religious-oriented culture would seem receptive to the party's conservative creeds. Even if Haley wins, how many Indian-Americans and other voters of Asian descent--other growing, hard-working ethnic groups--will feel welcome, and at ease, in the party?
BUT before, "y'all," get on the SC GOP has changed bandwagon, grab your cameras and stand outside of the Forest Lake Country Club.

Take a picture of each person who enters it as a member. EVERY one of those who enter it are racists. AND you can be assured a proper measure of a racist is this: in 2010 someone who belongs to a racially segregated country club is racist [period]. The SC GOP knows this, and so does Katon Dawson. His membership cost him a national posting.

Nothing's changed. The tea buggers have taken control of the SC GOP. They are not Republicans. The irony of the <<<<< TWO >>>>> examples of "diversity" in the SC GOP is that the tea buggers can't bear to suffer a black president so much that that they'd elect to people of color because they believe it will harm Obama.

Knotts is a pig, but, let's be honest with each other, "y'all," what he's said is something I've heard many of you say.

BUT, if you need to hear worse, then just hang around the Forest Lake Country KKKlub.

Ok, "y'all," ..you trash with cash; now go on, get your lighter fluid ready and light that cross er ...remove this posting.
Don't fool yourselves. The racist and xenophobic thread continues to run through the SC Republican party. But, it is 2010 and for GOP politicians to use it successfully, they have to pull it gently instead of yanking on it like Strom did.

Andre Bauer pulled too hard and it broke when he compared poor people to stray animals.

Jake Knotts pulled too hard and it broke again when he used the Asian equivalent of the N-word in reference to Nikki Haley.

On the other hand, skillful career politicians have learned how to apply just the right pressure.
East Bay Sikhs keeping tabs on South Carolina's Nikki Haley

By Matthew Artz

Oakland Tribune

Posted: 06/27/2010 12:00:00 AM PDT

Updated: 06/27/2010 02:40:34 AM PDT

Click photo to enlarge

FILE - In this May 14, 2010 file photo, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin waves to supporters... (AP)

It's hard for East Bay Sikhs to know what to make of Nikki Haley, the daughter of Sikh parents, darling of the tea party movement and favorite to become South Carolina's first woman and minority governor in November.

Haley's recent victory in that state's Republican primary is evidence that even some of the nation's most conservative voters are willing to embrace minority candidates.

But the campaign, during which one GOP lawmaker used a racial epithet when referring to Haley, and Haley emphasized her conversion to Christianity, left several East Bay Sikhs wondering when their faith will be fully accepted into U.S. public life.

"I think it's great to see someone from a Sikh family (come this far), but I'm waiting for the day when a Sikh will run for higher office and not shy away from the Sikh religion," said Manpreet Kalra, a 20-year-old Newark resident.

Haley, 38, was born Nimrata Nikki Randhawa, in Bamberg, S.C., to Sikh parents who had emigrated from Amritsar, India.

It wasn't easy being the only Sikhs in town, Haley told The New York Times. Although her father, a biology professor, continues to wear a turban, her brothers broke with Sikh tradition and cut their hair in grade school in an attempt to end classroom teasing.

"It's survival mode," Haley told the Times. "You learn to try and show people how you're more alike than you are different."

Sikhs interviewed for this story identified with Haley's struggle,


but were ambivalent toward her and her candidacy. Most didn't swell with pride over her accomplishments or fault her for her decision to convert to Methodism before she married her husband, Michael Haley.

"I'm kind of neutral," said Sarabjit Cheema, a Union City resident running for a school board seat this year. Cheema hoped that Haley's Sikh heritage and understanding of two faiths could make her a potent advocate for all religious minorities in conservative South Carolina.

"The truth is, the childhood memories, she will not be able to forget those," Cheema said.

Another perceived benefit to Haley's candidacy is improved understanding of Sikhism.

Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Sikhs have tried to educate Americans about their faith so that they wouldn't be accused of sympathizing with terror groups.

"Every time people talk about (Haley) and the Sikh religion's name comes up, I feel like we're gaining ground in the United States," said Gary Singh, a Union City planning commissioner who is running for City Council this year. It's very difficult if you're wearing turban and you have a beard. The more people who know you, the more respect you get."

But left-leaning Sikhs such as Kalra cringe knowing that "the face of the Sikh religion right now" is one of Sarah Palin's "grizzly mamas," who opposed health care reform and backs Arizona's new immigration law.

"People need to realize that one person cannot represent an entire population," Kalra said.

Haley, a three-term legislator, shot up in the polls this spring, with support from tea party supporters and the backing of Jenny Sanford, the popular ex-wife of scandal-scarred Gov. Mark Sanford.

Haley received 49 percent of the vote in the party's primary election and handily won a runoff last week.

If she beats her Democratic opponent in November, who she led in polls by about 20 percent in mid-June, Haley would become the nation's second governor of Indian origin, following Louisiana's Bobby Jindal, also a Republican, who Anglicized his name and converted from Hinduism to Catholicism.

For Harpaul Rana, a Union City teacher, Haley's faith and name are not as important as her roots.

"I'm supporting her because she belongs to Punjab," he said, referring to the Indian state in which many Sikhs reside and where the Sikh faith was founded. "I'm proud that she comes from the land to where we all belong."

Balwinder Kaur, a Republican part owner of the Amritsar Times newspaper who attends the Fremont Sikh temple, said Haley no can longer be considered a Sikh.

"She's a Christian," Kaur said, "but I'm going to support her "... because she's a woman."

On Religion

Pride and Concern Follow Success of Indian-Americans


Published: July 9, 2010


Sign In to E-Mail




When Barry Goldwater mounted his campaign for the White House in 1964, the Jewish humorist Harry Golden took notice. “I always knew the first Jewish president of the United States,” Mr. Golden put it, “would be an Episcopalian.”

Travis Dove for The New York Times

Nikki Haley and Bobby Jindal have gained stature this year.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

On the surface, Mr. Golden was simply stating a biographical fact. Mr. Goldwater’s Jewish father had married an Episcopalian woman and their children were raised as Christians. More deeply, though, Mr. Golden was giving voice to what seemed then to be a bitter and immutable truth: A Jew could compete for national office only by shedding his identity.

Mr. Golden’s dated wisecrack has acquired a surprising relevance recently among a different religious and ethnic group. In Indian-American circles, the rising national prominence of two Indian-American politicians — Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana, and Nikki Haley, the Republican nominee for governor of South Carolina — has provoked both pride and backlash.

While much of America celebrates Mr. Jindal and Ms. Haley as emblems of tolerance, as brown-skinned children of immigrants triumphing in the former Confederacy, a number of Indian-Americans have recoiled from the putative role models because each of them converted from a traditional Indian religion to a form of Christianity.

Not even the most caustic critics suggest that Mr. Jindal and Ms. Haley changed religion out of political expedience; both did so as young adults, well before beginning their electoral lives. Yet there remains discomfort and even disdain with Mr. Jindal among some Indian-Americans for having renounced his Hindu faith to adopt Catholicism and with Ms. Haley for leaving the Sikh religion to become a Protestant.

In their recent campaigns, while noticeably playing down their Indian roots, both have flourished their Christian credentials, at least in part to appeal to evangelical voters. Add to all that the decision of both candidates to change their names — Piyush Jindal taking on Bobby from the “Brady Bunch” character and Nimrata Nikki Randhawa taking her husband’s surname — and you have the makings of a controversy.

“People in the Indian-American community see someone like them doing something that’s in the public eye, but their route to getting there is at least a superficial denial of their ethnicity,” said Deepak Sarma, a professor of religion at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. “With the name plus the conversion, no one would guess they’re Indian-American. Maybe they’re embarrassed.”

One place where the crosswinds of Indian-American reaction can be measured is in the pages of India Abroad, a weekly newspaper with several hundred thousand readers in North America. After Ms. Haley won the Republican nomination for governor last month, India Abroad devoted its entire front page to a photo of her with the headline “The Future Is Here.”

Yet in succeeding issues, after the newspaper published an op-ed column lamenting Ms. Haley’s conversion, the top letter to the editor came from a reader disparaging her as a “female Uncle Tom” who would be “willing to sell Indian-American interests down the river in a heartbeat.”

In such comments, the newspaper’s editor, Aziz Haniffa, said he discerned two different strands of opposition. One comes from older Indian immigrants who may share the political conservatism of Mr. Jindal and Ms. Haley but are Hindu nationalists. Another comes from young, more liberal children of immigrants who view Christian conversion as part of a right-wing political identity.

“Indian-Americans don’t want them to wear their ethnicity on their sleeve,” Mr. Haniffa said, “but they also don’t want them to be apologetic.”

Pyong Gap Min, a professor of sociology at Queens College in New York who has studied Hindus in America, pointed to another factor. From the historical experience of invasion, conquest and colonialism — by Muslims, Portuguese and British — many Indians associate conversion with coercion. “They think of evangelism,” Professor Min said, “as a violation of human rights.”

Whatever Mr. Jindal and Ms. Haley think, they are apparently keeping it to themselves. Ms. Haley’s office did not reply to requests for an interview; a spokesman for Mr. Jindal said the governor was too busy dealing with the oil spill in the gulf.

While both politicians have de-emphasized their Indian heritage on the stump, both also have endured innuendo and ethnic slurs from opponents.

What can also be said is that the tension between group identity and political viability hardly began with them. Alfred E. Smith, the first Roman Catholic to run for president, faced withering bigotry in his 1928 campaign. It took 32 years for another Catholic to try, and when John F. Kennedy did, he had to explicitly promise the American public that he wouldn’t be taking orders from the pope.

The most successful Arab-American politicians — John Sununu, Spencer Abraham, Darrell Issa — have all been Christian rather than Muslim. Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush engaged in a form of intra-Christian conversion by telling voters of their born-again experiences.

“There is a sense that anti-Semitism and anti-Catholicism still lurks in the body politic, so that there is a benefit in modern, pluralist America to being a Protestant,” Julian E. Zelizer, a historian at Princeton University, wrote in an e-mail message. “Conversion serves another purpose. It is used in an era when the religion part of electoral politics defines the character of a candidate.”

Running as a Christian also makes numerical sense. Indian-Americans account for only 0.2 percent of Louisiana’s population and 0.3 percent of South Carolina’s, according to the Migration Policy Institute, a Washington research group. The national figure is more than twice that, and New Jersey’s is almost 10 times higher.

Despite the daunting math, some Indian-American politicians have succeeded without altering their identity. Dalip Singh Saund, a Sikh, in 1957 became the first Indian-American elected to Congress. At least five Indian-Americans, most of them Hindu, are expected to run for Congress this fall, from California, Kansas, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Yet like it or not, Nikki Haley and her critics may be part of the same curve.

“I am asking some of you old timers, the Gen-Xers, to take a breath and see how far things have come,” the blogger Abhishek Tripathi wrote recently on sepiamutiny.com, a South Asian Web site. “When we were kids our parents forced us to be doctors or engineers. When I have a kid I am going to force him/her to be a governor.”
Why do Indians, PIO's, NRI's, etc... expend so much time and energy discussing and extoling the imaginary virtues of self-loathing individuals who run away from their roots and/or heritage like a fox with its tail on fire?

In honor of the New Governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley

My parents came to North America with eight dollars in their pocket and a work ethic that most Indians are known for. This trait would be become one of several foundations of success for the Randhawa children.

- Work hard and do what you love; what you have passion for.

– Always do the absolute best that you can, with integrity and focus.

– Look to serve something greater than yourself.

– Always reach a little higher/farther than you think you are capable and you will attain it.

– You are not the one doing things, there is always a stronger force with you. Keep your faith strong.

Is it written somewhere? Fate, destiny, in the stars? Is it co-creation with a greater Source? Do the contracts we make with our chosen family of souls create the amazing tapestry of adventure, aspiration, valleys and mountains. In the end, is the true meaning of life dependent on just one question, ‘How may I serve?’

I can only speak from my personal experience but I would venture to guess my siblings are not much different in what we gleaned from our parents. Mom exhibited a strong willed and powerful, determined nature. She is the reason we have the drive, tenacity and stamina to move toward our dreams. Dad exhibited a silent, calm strength, one steeped in a deep spirituality and intense faith. He showed us how to appreciate the beauty of life and all experiences as part of a magnificent tapestry. Our core strengths and hearts are of him. In the end, those subtle messages were what shaped all of us.

My parents came to North America on a very practical matter. A foreign degree would avail my father, Ajit Singh Randhawa, with a first class job as opposed to a second class one. He received a scholarship to University of British Columbia, Vancouver Canada. While completing his education, my mother, Raj Randhawa, several months pregnant with me, worked. Beginning early in the morning until 7 AM, she would have a shift at the post office sorting mail. Next, she would care for two children until the late afternoon, one of which was handi-capped. After preparing the dinner meal, she would work at a local department store in the children’s area. After closing, Mom went to the college dormitories to sell Avon and pick up term papers she would type up during the night.

Life was this way for a few years with an intention to return to India. However, the call of an old friend and an open position at a college in South Carolina became an invitation to explore the U.S. for one year. This was the plan, but it was not in their stars. Circumstance or destiny…one in the same and all Divine.

Upon moving to SC, my maternal grandmother collapsed in India and was unable to be treated. She was flown here immediately and through the kind assistance of a local physician, Dr. Michael C. Watson, was able to attain some help. She lived for another year and a half. My elder brother, Mitti, was growing up as was I. My sister, Nikki and younger brother Gogi would be born in Bamberg, SC.

There was no reason to return to India as we got older. As children we had become accustomed to the language and society of the US. As years passed it was harder and harder to retain the language of our parents. Life became too busy. In addition, being one of the few Sikh families at the time, it was challenging to hold on to the culture, yet some parts were ingrained in us.

My Dad continued at Voorhees College becoming Chairman of the Department. My mother received a degree in education and taught in the public schools. Memories are many, some because of the beautiful gifts they were and others because of the disguised blessings they became. We encountered prejudice but also the kindness, compassion and openness of many. One distinct memory for me was initially having to move several times.

My parents were trying to rent a home in Bamberg and the same physician so kindly tried to help. He found a wonderful small home and we moved in. That night he returned to take back the keys as the owners did not want an Indian family renting their home. He found us a second home and we moved. The next night he was back. Once again we were being evicted because of our brown skin. He finally found a third home for us. It was owned by the mill. We would be allowed to live there on three conditions: 1- We had to buy the house and sell it back to the mill when we moved., 2 – We were not allowed to have any alcohol on the premises. 3 – We were not allowed to have people of color at our home. We moved in that evening.

The beauty pageant story was also of significant impact. Both Nikki and I were in Little Miss Bamberg. However, unbeknownst to our parents, only a black and white queen were selected. We were neither. Just before intermission, Nikki and I were called up on stage, thanked for participating, told we were being disqualified and given crayons and a coloring book as the music began to play.

Ironically, Nikki was scheduled to sing during intermission. I always thought it was interesting that the song she sang was ‘This Land is Your Land, This Land is Mine.’ We each did something different with that experience. I went further into my shell, really feeling my difference within society. Nikki anchored more strongly in her right to be a part of this country. She believed the song she was singing despite the appearances. Interestingly enough, it was not until 9/11 that I integrated my ‘Indian-ness’ and my ‘American-ness’ and truly felt part of this American Society. It was then that I felt deep in my core that these were ‘my people’ that were hurt and killed in the bombings.

Regardless of the situations and circumstances we experienced by being Indians in the South, they were the things that molded us into who we are. I would say there was an equal balance of what we experienced and certainly no different than what most people face anyway. We can focus on the fact that were were of a different race and culture, but even those within their own culture and race face the same obstacles, regardless of the country. The stories we each have simply make the movie more interesting.

Our parents worked hard because they wanted to provide for us. They saw within the society around them, families with antiques, heirlooms, and generations of things to pass on. India was very far away but the will of two young people was enough. Mom began a business of importing to maintain a connection to India. As a social studies teacher and a business owner, she desired to educate and expose people to the greater world that existed. We grew up with a great appreciation for all cultures, countries and religions. Even within the community, she began festivals that allowed for education and exposure of International cultures…all in the small sleepy town of 3500 people.

The progressiveness of our parents is to be applauded. In traditional India culture, where many were being raised with the stipulation to be doctors, lawyers and engineers, our parents gave us the power of choice. They told us to do whatever we desired but put 150% into it. They never limited us or fought our decisions. It is why we are all so unique and passionate.

As a family, we were tight knit. Being one of the only Indian families in the area, it was only natural to be close to one another. My eldest brother, Mitti, had a wonderful ability with people. Everyone loved him. His generous nature and smiling outgoing personality endeared him to many, particularly those at the nursing home where he would work after school. He would later go into the army attaining wonderful rankings and eventually serving in the Gulf War. Mitti has always been a strong voice of patriotism, taking great pride in the beauty and opportunities of living in the US. His gentleness, compassion, commitment and sincerity earned him medals and rankings. He now is in an executive leadership position with Johnson & Johnson.

I would go into the business, Exotica international. I began helping within the business at age 4. I had always been more of an introvert, so the security of being within a structure felt good. I was attracted to the beauty of fabrics and texture. Working one on one with people was my comfort zone. The business shaped who I would become. It allowed me to discover the psychology of people and the depths of myself. I went on to blend that world with the spiritual world. I began publishing 11:11 Magazine ( www.1111mag.com ) which also has become a syndicated 11:11 Talk Radio show on Voice America Network, under the umbrella of a healing center, BelieveSC.com.

Nikki too would work within the business. She began at age 12, working in the business office handling the books. It was natural for her and she was a quick study. Always a jovial and happy person, Nikki was mesmerized by numbers and business. She was more of the social butterfly, always surrounded by many friends and creating fun for the family. After graduating Clemson University and working a stint at FCR, Inc., she returned to become CFO of Exotica International. I remember her saying, from the time she was ten years old, that she would be the Mayor of Bamberg. It is of no surprise that she has become the Governor of SC. And it will be no surprise to watch her take that even farther.

The youngest, Charan ‘Gogi’ was more introspective and incredibly gifted artistically. He is probably the smartest and most talented of all of us. From the beginning his creative gifts were expressed through music. He also became a Web developer, producing amazing websites and now commercials and video production. His company is MsndrstdDesigns.com and I am always inspired by the beauty and authenticity with which he expresses.

As children we would spend many hours together, often playing Monopoly, The Game of Life and cards. Our favorite television shows began as Gilligan’s Island and the Brady Bunch and became The Love Boat and Fantasy Island. Nikki and I would build houses out of straw in the back yard and make Gogi be a part of it. Mitti always joked and tickled, especially bringing out ‘the claw’ that everyone would run from so not to be endlessly tickled into fits of crying laughter. It was a simple childhood where our times together, mixed with hard work began creating the set up for future lives and careers. Although we were 4 to 5 years apart, there was a special closeness. A deep undertone of connection always remained present no matter how distant we may become.

Although this story gives an overview of our family, this moment belongs to Nikki. She has attained an amazing achievement. The lucky ones however are the citizens of SC, the young people that have had glass ceilings broken for them, and girls who are now able to see a new example of power and leadership with grace and poise.

Nikki has broken a lot of barriers for people being the first Indian female Governor, the first non-white and female Governor of SC, and the youngest Governor of SC. Although these are her wins, these are everyone’s wins. I know my sister and she has the tenacity, strength and intellect to make a big difference in every office she holds…and she is not done yet! I am sure we will see continued powerful expression from my little sis. We are all extremely proud of her, Michael, Rena and Nalin.

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)