Several eminent Indian-Americans believe that Republican leader Nikki Haley, who launched her White House bid, has great credentials and leadership skills to be the next president of the U.S.
Ms. Haley, 51, formally launched her 2024 presidential bid on Wednesday, casting herself as a younger and fresher alternative to the 20th century politicians like her one-time boss and former president Donald Trump.
“Nikki Haley comes with great credentials, as governor of South Carolina and with foreign policy experience as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations,” M.R. Rangaswami, founder of Indiaspora told PTI.
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Ms. Haley, a former two-term governor of South Carolina, is the third Indian American to have launched a presidential bid. The other two are Bobby Jindal in 2016 and Kamala Harris in 2020. Harris is now the Vice President of the country.
“It is gratifying to see the rise of Indian Americans in the Republican Party, mirroring their prominence on the Democratic side,” Mr. Rangaswami told PTI.
“She [Ms. Haley] represents the majority of the middle. She is not extreme either. The way she ran South Carolina was amazing,” said Raj Vasudeva, from South Columbia who has known her for more than 30 years now.
Mr. Vasudeva and his wife both were present at the formal launch of the presidential campaign. “We believe in her. She has got a great heart and a great head. We believe she can bring both sides together,” he said.
“I think she would do great things for the country,” Mr. Vasudeva told PTI.
Dr. Anil Yallapragada, who grew up in South Carolina and has lived in South Carolina for the past three decades along with his parents, said Ms. Haley is an extraordinary and special person.
“I believe South Carolina has a lot to do with her success in terms of the environment,” he said.
Describing Ms. Haley as “a highly talented and gifted leader” Dr. Yallapragada said that her leadership would take the country to a new level and unite its people.
“The [Indian American] community is proud of her. She represents the best and brightest of us,” he said.
“She is a great human being,” he said.
“We want the best person for the job to run the country. There are very few people who are prepared to be the president of the country. She is one of them,” Dr. Yallapragada told PTI.
He was among the small group of Indians to attend the launch of his presidential campaign of Ms. Haley.
Dr. Yallapragada resides in his hometown of Charleston and is a practising Neurohospitalist and Board Certified Vascular Neurologist. He currently serves on the American Heart Association National Advocacy and Policy Board and the World Stroke Association Global Policy Board.
Kartar Singh, also from South Carolina, who has known the family of Nikki Haley for more than three decades, said that the former governor and the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations have all the credentials to be the president of the country.
“She’s a hard worker. She is very intelligent. She is very sincere in what she says. She is not like other politicians. I feel she had a very good chance in primaries,” said Mr. Singh, who now leads a retired life in South Carolina.
“She is very conservative. She is very reasonable. She’s outspoken. She is not afraid of anything. If something is right she will stick her head,” Mr. Singh said, referring to Ms. Haley’s decision to remove the confederate flag during her term as governor following a mass shooting in a church in Charleston.
“She can make brave decisions. She did a very good job as a governor, revived a lot of industries and opened up new ones in South Carolina,” Mr. Singh said.
Dr. Rajwant Singh, chairman of the Sikh Council on Religion and Education and senior advisor of the National Sikh Campaign said that it is a proud moment for people of colour in America that a first-generation American of Sikh background is aspiring for the top post in America.
“You may disagree with her policies and her political views but it is still a remarkable journey. Her father is a proud Sikh and wears a turban and had attended her swearing-in ceremony when she was elected governor of South Carolina,” Mr. Singh said.
“It is important for Americans to see that she belongs to a rich heritage and turban-wearing Sikhs are part of her immediate family. This widens the horizon for many people including Sikhs to aspire for higher office in the United States,” he said.
According to him, Ms. Haley’s running will also help sensitise Americans about Sikh identity and turban.
“Still a majority of Americans have a misconception about Sikhs and Sikh identity. So there is a good chance that her political campaign will help educate about the Sikhs in America as an additional benefit,” he said.