‘I, Nikki Randhawa Haley’: An Inaugural Moment

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Governor Nikki Haley’s inauguration last Wednesday felt like a glimmer of light in a political landscape darkened by the recent tragic mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona. Republicans, Tea Party supporters, Mama Grizzlies, crack-the-fiscal-whip types, Haley’s family, friends and community–all these people and others had reasons to feel happy on the occasion of her inauguration. But what made my day was seeing the young girls who braved the freezing weather in Columbia to see the first-ever inauguration of a woman and minority governor in the history of South Carolina, a history that spans at least four centuries.

Two girls in matching pink striped hats showed up for the inauguration, and lined up afterwards with other young and bundled-up people to meet the charismatic new governor in person. Parents held their blanketed daughters up in the bitter cold to see and hear this moment. Maybe they wanted their children to see what was possible, to feel that they could dream big and really achieve their dreams too. Those kind of dreams were cut short for the youngest victim of the Tucson shooting, nine-year-old Christina Taylor Green, a student council member with a budding interest in politics who was attending a local “Congress on Your Corner” event organized by Arizona Congresswoman Giffords the day she, Giffords and several others in attendance were suddenly shot.

You may have read about Green or heard the President speak about her at the Tucson memorial service, which also took place last Wednesday. With her loss still fresh on my mind, the otherwise ordinary actions of parents taking children to see a historic swearing in felt like moving acts of courage and hope. Haley’s own parents were nearby as she took her oath of office, and in her inaugural speech the nation’s youngest governor (age 38) described how her mom had inspired her own dreams when she was growing up.


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The future governor of the state and her grade-school classmates in Bamberg, South Carolina.

You see, my mother was offered one of the first female judgeships in her native country, but was unable to serve on the bench because of the challenges of being a woman in India. Now she sits here today watching her daughter become Governor of South Carolina, the state she proudly calls her home. When you grow up with a mom like that, the word “can’t” is not in your vocabulary.


I will always be the proud daughter of immigrants. I will always cherish our family’s experience. And I will always strive in my actions and in my words to make South Carolina a place where all of our children, regardless of race or gender, know that unlimited opportunities for happiness and success await them.

Full text of Haley’s speech. Video. Photos of the inauguration, open house and gala.

77 thoughts on “‘I, Nikki Randhawa Haley’: An Inaugural Moment

  1. Might be very inspiring for a lot of people, but I don’t think this is anything to celebrate for the Indian community. First she has to go & convert to even have the slightest hope of surviving in politics. Then she has to deny her Sikh heritage. And now I don’t understand why she has to make comments about how difficult it was being a woman in India in 1950′s. First of all, it doesn’t sound to be true. The first female judge at district level was Anna Chandy in 1937, and at High Court level was in 1959, and at Supreme Court level in 1989. I don’t think her mother, who is 77 now, was anywhere near in terms of seniority/age to be even offered the “first” female judgeship in India. And even if we consider the qualifier “one of the first”, the fact that she declined it (she was offered the job & not denied anything because she was a woman), seems to be a show of weakness rather than anything else. So the only thing this statement conveys, is that her mother’s native country was backwards and Nikki’s native country (USA) is very modern thinking. Just seems to me like pissing on India to play to the conservative American gallery.

  2. The reason it may or may not be anything to celebrate for the “Indian community” (whatever that is), is of secondary importance. Haley is the first woman in South Carolina’s history to become governor. She was able to do so despite the fact that her political mentor disgraced himself and that she was the target of some ugly slurs.

    I would not be surprised if her mother faced resistance in her professional goals. My grandfather did not allow my mother to go to the movies, because such behavior was considered improper for a girl from a good family. My maternal grandmother earned stares and whispers for choosing to stay in school even after she got married.

    Given India’s size, it is possible for one person to experience little discrimination, while others experience much discrimination.

    As for Haley’s religion, whatever set of fairy tales she wishes to believe is her own business. Besides, who looks towards politicians for religious conduct?

  3. And I will always strive in my actions and in my words to make South Carolina a place where all of our children, regardless of race or gender, provided they belong to the right religion, know that unlimited opportunities for happiness and success await them.

    Nikki kicks off her with the frenzy typical of a convert. Just as she threw the tradition of her family under the bus a few years back, she has now trashed her heritage.

    Justice Anna Chandy was the first woman Judge of India [1][2][3]. She became the first woman judge in India in a district court in 1937 [4]. She was the first woman in India, and probably the second in the world to reach a high court judgeship (1959) Justice Chandy incidentally was appointed to the Bench by the then Dewan of Travancore state, Sir CP Ramaswami Aiyar, a scholar statesman, and the architect of the Kerala Model.

    Justice Fathima Beevi India’s first woman to serve on Supreme Court bench, began her legal career in 1950 at 23, was appointed to the subordinate judiciary in 1958, in Kerala, and appointed to the Ernakulam High Court in 1983 at 56, and to the Supreme Court of India in 1989 at 62. So while the senior Ms. Randhawa was allegedly being held back by a “patriarchal society” (since when was that bad in the GOP? The guys want women to stay at home and cook and sew, unless it is Sarah Palin and Nikki Haley!) two other women, one a Christian and the other a Muslim were progressing through the ranks of the judiciary. Must be a different country.

    Just as Bobby has never failed to trash his parents’ traditions and boast about how he tricked them now and then, and how he pities them for their eventual fate, Nikki is taking to trashing her heritage. I guess this is what the “family values” party is all about!

    And for the Sikh-American/Khalistani crowd, who are at pains to distance themselves from even a hint of casteist-ritualistic-superstitious Hinduism, aren’t you glad that Nikki didn’t compromise?

    As for Nikki’s policies there’s nothing new. Succeeding a GOPer, Nikki another GOPer, acted true to form. Whether the economy is booming or down in the dumps (in SC it is mostly the latter), cut the budget to the bone, squeeze the poor, hand out freebies and feed the rich.

    The US national academies in their latest report Rising Above The Gathering Storm, Revisited Rapidly Approaching Category 5 following on from an earlier report in 2005 state

    In the five years that have passed since Rising Above the Gathering Storm was issued, much has changed in our nation and world. Despite the many positive responses to the initial report, including congressional hearings and legislative proposals, America’s competitive position in the world now faces even greater challenges, exacerbated by the economic turmoil of the last few years and by the rapid and persistent worldwide advance of education, knowledge, innovation, investment, and industrial infrastructure. Indeed the governments of many other countries in Europe and Asia have themselves acknowledged and aggressively pursued many of the key recommendations of Rising Above the Gathering Storm, often more vigorously than has the U.S. We also sense that in the face of so many other daunting near-term challenges, U.S. government and industry are letting the crucial strategic issues of U.S. competitiveness slip below the surface.

    Jerry Brown and Kamala Harris are reading this report in all seriousness. Bobby and Nikki are clueless but their rich patrons don’t care.

  4. @KXB: “As for Haley’s religion, whatever set of fairy tales she wishes to believe is her own business”

    Not really. As a policy-maker, her views on religion (indeed, on everything) are the business of everyone who is affected by said policies.

    More so in the case of Southern states, where there have been at least two disputes in the recent past over the display of religious material on public property.

  5. Definitely a real mixed story from an indian american perspective. This person, as far as I can see, is basically passing as a white christian to the absolute maximum extent possible. And, yes, her family rescued itself from the appalling abyss of india by migrating to the USA, so that can always be used as a good contrast in speeches to american citizens. Never mind that her parents are educated in india before coming to the USA and were english-speaking professionals.

    From an american perspective, speaking as a US citizen, this isnt too bad a day. Politicians are politicians, not moral and intellectual giants and increasing diversity is good thing. Perhaps some other girls and women, more proud and accepting of their own distinct backgrounds will also get involved in politics. Besides, denial of ones origins and history is as american as apple pie – just ask your jewish friends about it. In India, Sonia Gandhi (practicing catholic) always makes it a point to show up at the Kumbh mela and other majority faith events. So lets not get all knotted up about it….

  6. It’d be so funny if she edited her family’s picture out entirely. Or if she photoshopped her dad’s turban to be a Chicago Bears cap.

    “And for the Sikh-American/Khalistani crowd, who are at pains to distance themselves from even a hint of casteist-ritualistic-superstitious Hinduism, aren’t you glad that Nikki didn’t compromise?”

    Nikki’s sister is a superstitious charlatan who peddles crystals. This new-age guru is a millionaire, and apparently, it seems that this whole family are only interested in accumulating power/money. http://www.fitsnews.com/2010/10/19/haleys-guru-sister-filed-taxes-late/ The Khalistani crowd will still find reasons to be proud or reasons to secede from India irrespective of election outcomes.

  7. yawn

    Nikki is just another opportunist saying and doing anything to get one step up on the wealth/status ladder.

    As far as desi empowerment, Sikh-Knowledge and his crew are where its at.

  8. I am proud of Nikki. She’s truly an inspiration, and it’s so refreshing to see a second generation Indian who’s not in the cookie cutter mold of Doctor/Lawyer/IT worker etc.

  9. Why are desi Democrats so much more numerous, yet less successful? Does identity politics mean black Dems get the nod over desis in state-wide races? Weird that Republican desis now have two governors, each with possible national appeal.

  10. “Republican desis now have two governors, each with possible national appeal.”

    Uncle Toms go far…

  11. Just because she is Desi-American doesn’t mean there is anything revolutionary about her election into office. If President Obama’s election into office as the first African-American/Multi-ethnic President has taught us anything, it is that a person can wave the minority card around to win but what exactly do they stand for? Obama has done little for working-class Americans and continues to support oppressive foreign and domestic policies towards people of color (Afghanistan/Pakistan, Israel/Palestine, Gitmo, immigration/deportation etc.).

    Yeah her personal choices such as converting her religion and Anglicizing her name are pretty questionable enough, look at her stance on a women’s right to choose, on undocumented immigrants, support of charter schools and performance-based pay for teachers AND she backs the Tea Party Movement! If anything, the woman is bad news for the Desi-American community. No way does she represent me, my family, and many minorities I know.

  12. Yeah her personal choices such as converting her religion and Anglicizing her name are pretty questionable enough

    the rest of the stuff in your comment was substantive (i actually disagree on the substantive details with you, but it was substantive), but why go personal? what’s it your business what religion someone converts too? your ancestors converted to a religion at some point in the past too.

    • honestly, I can care less about what religion she is (and I do recognize my ancestors converted religions probably many times over) but that is what many people focus their criticism of her on. I only mentioned it to say that what others’ focus should be on is what she stands for.

  13. Are there surveys of desis’ attitudes towards illegals? Anecdotally, I’d guess pretty neg.

    • Seema wrote:

      Are there surveys of desis’ attitudes towards illegals? Anecdotally, I’d guess pretty neg.

      Seema, You may be surprised to hear this, but Indian-Americans are the second largest group of illegal immigrants after Mexican-Americans. Any negative attitudes towards illegal immigrants would be hypocritical.

        • whether they are 1st, 3rd, or 29th, the fact remains that Desi’s have the largest undocumented status in the Asian American community and often either work alongside or employ other undocumented workers. Just because there is no survey to corroborate it as an issue in the community does not mean it is not a concern of the people. Organizations like D.R.U.M. have been working to bring this issue out of the closet and mobilize Desis for years. Also, please stop using the word “illegals,” its offensive.

  14. I only mentioned it to say that what others’ focus should be on is what she stands for.

    right, which is why the aside about the ‘questionable’ religious choice struck me as off-note. the fact that people focus on her religious choice or her name is fine, but she has pretty strong ideological commitments. that should be enough to focus on.

    i can understand people having some pride that someone of their ethnic background achieves some power and status. but i think that’s obviously a secondary thing. most american born south asians at least would probably vote a christian convert who was a liberal democrat than a temple going hindu who was a conservative republican.

  15. razib wrote:

    most american born south asians at least would probably vote a christian convert who was a liberal democrat than a temple going hindu who was a conservative republican.

    Razib,

    A few months ago, Stephen Prothero wrote a blog post titled “Is Sikhism a Sickness?” about the controversies surrounding Nikki Haley’s religious beliefs.

    Personally, I think it’s going to take some time before Hindu (or Sikh) Americans can successfully run for office, since both religions are associated with the Desh.

  16. Razib a question

    Do you believe America as a society in 2011 has become more or less hostile towards Indians since the day of Dalip Saund

  17. Do you believe America as a society in 2011 has become more or less hostile towards Indians since the day of Dalip Saund

    less.

  18. How do desis get through the airports without documents? So, how are they undocumented? I seriously doubt that the Mexican gangs are smuggling documentless desis across the rio grande!

  19. Uncle Toms go far…
    If President Obama’s election into office as the first African-American/Multi-ethnic President has taught us anything, it is that a person can wave the minority card around to win but what exactly do they stand for? Obama has done little for working-class Americans and continues to support oppressive foreign and domestic policies towards people of color (Afghanistan/Pakistan, Israel/Palestine, Gitmo, immigration/deportation etc.).
  20. Also, please stop using the word “illegals,” its offensive.

    not in some circles. is this is a liberals-only-blog, so defined by you? seriously. check yourself.

    • I think you’ll find that the full expression is “chiggedy check yo’self befo’ you wreck yo’self”

  21. not in some circles. is this is a liberals-only-blog, so defined by you? seriously. check yourself.

    Alien however is another story

  22. I see, Manju, thanks. I googled it to look up. What a crazy PC term for illegals–they aren’t undocumented, they just have the wrong documents. My sister can’t even get a visa to come to the US and I’m supposed to be in favor of illegals because I’m not white? That’s whack, Sidra.

  23. I seriously doubt that the Mexican gangs are smuggling documentless desis across the rio grande!

    As a recent immigrant with a strong Indian accent, desi cabbies, store and hotel workers readily open up to me when asked the ‘How did you get here?’ question. Among all the stories I heard, the most fantastic story was narrated to me by a cabbie in Seattle. He claimed to have taken a flight to Panama, made his way into Guatemala, onward to Mexico and crossed the border through the desert into California.

    He ended his narrative with “Un dino ki baat aur thi, aaj kal to border pe shoot kar dete hain” (Translation: It was different back then, now they shoot (illegals) at the border).

  24. Wow–Coyote Ugly–that’s fascinating. I saw a movie about central americans being smuggled into the US–it was fascinating. I honestly thought that the Mexicans wouldn’t smuggle desis–because they would be afraid that if they did, and one turned out to be a terrorist, the US would shut the border off to hispanic illegals too! But, I’ll have to ask around more–hahaha, I never talk to the desi uncle cabbies because they ask me too many personal questions–it’s icky.

  25. first of all, I am no liberal. Rizab, maybe you should check yourself? It is just an overused term by the conservative media that perpetuates hatred and fear. Seema, I do not know your intentions when using that term (I apologize if I sounded judgmental) but I would just use it with discretion if you do not support that kind of fear mongering. That’s all.

  26. Sidra, no worries and no need to apologize. I googled the terms and I see the controversy is real. I’m recently in the US from India so I am not up on all the lingo. “undocumented” is a strange term though. I agree with Manju–my instinct was that “alien” was a tad offensive so that’s why I was saying illegals instead of illegal aliens. I’m not sure what to say now–I think undocumented is silly, b/c you need documents like a visa to get into the US unless you are smuggled, and most of the desi illegals are overstaying their visas, not smuggled (though as coyote ugly points out, fascinatingly a few are smuggled!). But as an Indian immigrant to the US I feel hostile to people who came without permission–as I said, my sister is having difficulty coming here–I’m not encouraging her to jump the border from Mexico!

  27. How about “Unfortunately-Documented Extraterrestrials?” If you overstay your visa, well thats no different from sleeping thru your alarm clack. So for them lets go with “Snoozers.”

    Or if there’s a short word that connotates being happy, lively, or merry; we should just adopt that.

  28. Razib…most american born south asians at least would probably vote a christian convert who was a liberal democrat than a temple going hindu who was a conservative republican.

    Amen brother!

    It’s an echo of attitudes back in India. Ilayaraja – the greatest composer to emerge from the subcontinent ever – was a Christian for a few years (used to be credited as David Raja) before he returned to Hindu practice. Of course in keeping with the rich traditions of India’s creative class, Raaja too like others has composed and sung devotional pieces with Hindu as well as Islamic and Christian themes. The great Mohammad Rafi has sung some bhajans and gurbani that will leave even the most hardened rationalist moved (not to talk of his Man tarpat Hari darshan ko aaj, which is written by a Muslim – Shakeel Badayuni and composed by a Muslim – Naushad) It may be a professional thing A.R. Rahman a one time Hindu who embraced Islam scrupulously stays away from any work that hints at syncretism (even if it means just a professional thing). Alone among India’s popular composers, ARR has almost no non-Islamic themed religious compositions. Yet who is the most popular Indian composer today in India as well as among Indian diaspora, especially Hindu expats?

  29. you know, a lot of people feel that way. My family went through the whole immigration process through the system to become naturalized citizens plus I also have family who have trouble getting to the US. They stand pretty mixed about people who are undocumented but they aren’t alone. It’s sad because some people say: “well what about my struggle? why should anyone get special treatment?” but why?

    check this out: …kinda old but informative…. the stats hadn’t come out yet that more immigrants were deported under Obama than Bush.

    http://www.therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=4330

  30. “But as an Indian immigrant to the US I feel hostile to people who came without permission–as I said, my sister is having difficulty coming here–I’m not encouraging her to jump the border from Mexico!”

    Sorry to hear that your sister is having a difficult time entering the US… I imagine it must be extremely frustrating and sad… I do hope that things can be as well as they can be…

    maybe you already have but I sincerely hope that some of your indignation must be directed (to some extent) at the state, immigration and refugee policies of your state, transnational corporate policies of the US and yes your republican parties… the bigger picture behind the undocumented entrances to the US…

    peace…

  31. It is just an overused term by the conservative media that perpetuates hatred and fear.

    oh please. we had illegal friends in the 80s (who got amnestied in ’86). my parents referred to them as illegal. that’s what they are. the rules are the rules. i assume many south asians disagree because they have a personal interest, just like many people do. that’s fine. but many of us don’t agree that the illegal problem should be solved with an amnesty (though if i had to bet $, i think it will be). its your liberty to use whatever term pleases you, just don’t impose your thought-police tactics on people who actually disagree with your politics, whatever they are.

  32. From an american perspective, speaking as a US citizen, this isnt too bad a day. Politicians are politicians, not moral and intellectual giants and increasing diversity is good thing. Perhaps some other girls and women, more proud and accepting of their own distinct backgrounds will also get involved in politics. Besides, denial of ones origins and history is as american as apple pie – just ask your jewish friends about it. In India, Sonia Gandhi (practicing catholic) always makes it a point to show up at the Kumbh mela and other majority faith events. So lets not get all knotted up about it….

    This is exactly how I feel. It is a mixed perspective from a South Asian American perspective – would she have been so successful if she didn’t marry a White Christian guy and convert to his religion? But I still understand her political reasons behind it. Reading her speech, I was instantly reminded of Obama…hey, if talking about being the child of hardworking immigrants combined with American rah-rah patriotism is what’s getting people elected, naturally she’ll go for it.

    Obama has done little for working-class Americans and continues to support oppressive foreign and domestic policies towards people of color (Afghanistan/Pakistan, Israel/Palestine, Gitmo, immigration/deportation etc.).

    Of course he does. He’s an American president and naturally his job is to choose the policies that benefit Americans (or whatever his advisors/cabinet think will benefit Americans, regardless of whether it really makes us “safe”) It’s not like, oh he’s a Black guy so he’ll automatically side with the other colored folks around the world, because we’re all globally united in a multi-colored rainbow against the tenth of the world made of white folks.

    Seema, You may be surprised to hear this, but Indian-Americans are the second largest group of illegal immigrants after Mexican-Americans. Any negative attitudes towards illegal immigrants would be hypocritical.

    It’s not “hypocritical” for someone to dislike illegal immigrants unless that person himself is an illegal immigrant. Your logic here is equivalent to someone saying it’s “hypocritical” for Muslim Americans to have negative attitudes toward Islamic terrorism in the Middle East.

  33. It is just an overused term by the conservative media that perpetuates hatred and fear. Seema, I do not know your intentions when using that term (I apologize if I sounded judgmental) but I would just use it with discretion if you do not support that kind of fear mongering. That’s all.

    I think regardless of what term we use, the hatred and fear will always be there. I don’t mean to offend anyone here either, but I don’t think switching to something more PC like “citizenship challenged” (haha kidding..sort of) is going to change the public’s response to the issue.

  34. ”Libertarian wage-earners” may help get the right on board. Or maybe Minimum-Wage-Resisters. Commerce-Clause-Originalists for the Scalia fans. We gotta Americanize it. Undocumented Workers sounds too stiff, and worker sounds Communist. Go with Free-From-Governmental-Documents Independent-Contractors.

  35. Besides, denial of ones origins and history is as american as apple pie – just ask your jewish friends about it.

    What are you smoking? Or what kind of Jewish friends do you have?

  36. jyotsana – take a look at US politics and identity issues prior to 1960 and how jews fared when running for political office in that period. The grandmother of my jewish friends still recall the thrill when Bess Meyerson became the first Miss USA in the 1940s – there was a sharp and clear sense of difference and (sometimes) exclusion prior to the 60s.

    You may also reflect on the fact that both John Kerry and Madeline Albright were of Jewish background, but this became “known” only after they had achieved their high office.

  37. Would have been super proud of her if for the fact that she is another Bobby Jindal in making. So, good luck to Ms Haley but she will get no support from me.

  38. So, good luck to Ms Haley but she will get no support from me.

    Nikki’s PAC spends quality time with NC triangle desi doctors who commute from SC. At a recent meet-and-greet she reportedly went along with the crowd putting away samosas and chai (I won’t hold that against her because one Democratic Am-Jewish-doc-married-to-an-Indian-doctor-couple in Ohio orders 2,000 samosas every New Year’s party for >35 years now!) and even reeling off pleasantries in Hindi/Gujarati/Punjabi. Word has it that the desis are fida over her.

  39. I should say “Because they think we’re all hopelessly nerdy. . .”

    Well, if they think we’re so nerdy how do you explain the model minority thing? I’ve never seen Kate Moss with a book. Now, I understand if you control for class our seemingly disproportionate beauty is actually quite normal, but everyone knows American classrooms are out of control so thats not going to happen anytime soon.

    Nikki’s representing here. Joey is toast in ’16.

  40. Joey is toast in ’16.

    My apologies for the eliminationist rhetoric here which will clearly inspire someone to take out Joey, just like how calling jfk a commie inspired a commie to kill one of his own, or something.

  41. Well, if they think we’re so nerdy how do you explain the model minority thing?

    Maybe I’m missing something here, but…doesn’t the very definition of model minority imply nerdy? I like the wiki definition of the phrase:

    Model minority refers to a minority ethnic, racial, or religious group whose members achieve a higher degree of success than the population average. It is most commonly used to label one ethnic minority higher achieving than another ethnic minority. This success is typically measured in income, education, and related factors such as low crime rate and high family stability.

    Whoaaaa we’re a bunch of nerds :P Yoga Fire is right; when you’ve got renal failure and need a brilliant nephrologist you want the nerd, but when you’re running for office it’s not a good image to have. I recall some Americans back in ’08 convinced Obama was “too smart” for example and belonged in an ivory tower somewhere…

  42. Whoaaaa we’re a bunch of nerds :P Yoga Fire is right; when you’ve got renal failure and need a brilliant nephrologist you want the nerd, but when you’re running for office it’s not a good image to have. I recall some Americans back in ’08 convinced Obama was “too smart” for example and belonged in an ivory tower somewhere…

    The US is alone among the developed nations (economically and/or politically) in disparaging the learned. There’s this mistaken belief (almost hallucination) that governing is all about common sense and mouthing platitudes. Which is why a nincompoopish non-performer like Sarah Palin came so close to becoming veep in 2008. The learned are rockstars in China, most of EU, India of course etc., In the state of TN, Karunanidhi’s right hand man for over 1/2 a century the former Premsundar has always been known as Perasiriar Anbazhagan (Prof. Anbazhagan). Even politicians who have not had the benefit of college education in the past (because many of them abandoned studies to join the freedom struggle) like the great Kamaraj respected learning and acted by the advice of the learned. Few know how much is owed to Kamaraj for locating the Southern IIT in Madras arming out stiff competition from the other states. kamaraj kept an eye on its development all his years. Even the comic Lalloo went to college before he started putting on folksy airs.

    The disdain for knowledge and learning did not matter post-Nixon all that much as long as Asia was in slumber. But today with a China that threatens to absorb and lead every area of technology this disdain is hurting us badly. Bobby’s espousal of creationism in LA schools is matter of shame.

    It’s worrying that not one leading light of the political sky save for an Obama here and a Jerry Brown there thinks that science and learning offers the way out of the mess we are in.

  43. jyotsana the US has always respected learning but it has always put ACTION above WORDS.

    You will get no respect for being a PHD, cloistered away in a dusty university as you would in India. Here the PHD must go forth, start a company make millions, divorce his first wife and marry a stripper :) before he gets any respect.

    • Jyotsana, How can you take such a right-wing position in India (that news post about the Kashmiri Pundits) but such a left-wing one in the USA? I’m confused–maybe you can help me out? Thanks in advance.

      • Because a crazy right-wing nut-bag in India is like a Ted Kennedy Democrat in America. Indian politics is profoundly screwed up with profoundly perverted definitions of words like “secularism” and “rule of law” that would make Voltaire turn over in his grave.

        • I like your posts. Add “social justice”, “capitalist”, “freedom of speech” and “superpower” to that list.