‘Nikki Haley victory triumph for Indian diaspora in N America’

By Gurmukh Singh, IANS,

Toronto : Ecstatic over the victory of Nikki Randhawa Haley as governor of South Carolina in the US Tuesday, Indian Canadian lawmakers have congratulated the fellow Indian-origin leader for making it to the top position.

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“It is really a great and sweet moment for us in the Indian diaspora that an Indian-origin woman has made to the top in the US. I am really excited by Nikki’s victory,” MP Nina Grewal, who in 2004 became the first Indian-origin woman MP in Canadian history, told IANS.

“For me, her victory is a reminder of how much the Indian diaspora has accomplished here (in North America). Nikki has made us all very very proud,” said Grewal who, like Nikki Haley, traces her roots to Punjab.

Considering that America is now going through some very tough times, Grewal said, “It will a test for Nikki to tackle the crisis and I am sure she will turn out to be a great leader.”

For top Indian Canadian leader Ujjal Dosanjh, who too made history 10 years ago by becoming the first-ever non-white premier of any province in Canada when he won the top post in British Columbia in 2000, Nikki’s victory was another sign of the spread of diversity in North America.

“I am pleased that browns are making to the top along with the blacks in the US. I am happy that diversity is spreading everywhere (from Canada to the US) and this is a new era. After Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana), Nikki is the second person of Indian origin to become a governor in the US,” Dosanjh, who till 2008 also served as Canada’s health minister, told IANS.

He said, “Her victory is doubly significant because she is not only of Indian origin but also a woman.”

Deepak Obhrai, who as parliamentary secretary is the highest-ranking Indian Canadian in the current government, said, “Every time someone from our community reaches high office, it is a momentous occasion for all of us.

“Nikki’s success sends a very strong message about the strength of our community globally.”

Obhrai said India’s greatest export to the world are its people.

“That’s what I told Prime Minister Manmohan Singh when he was here in June. We have made a name for ourselves wherever we have gone and the Indian diaspora is breaking new ground everyday,” said Obhrai who in 1997 became the first Hindu MP of the Canadian parliament.

(Gurmukh Singh can be contacted at [email protected])