A “nikki” footnote

Nikki Haley (formerly Nimrata Kaur Randhawa) will be noted in history as South Carolina’s first female Governor, and of Indian American descent to boot: ‘But what I want this to be is that we’re turning a page. We’re turning a page on where we’ve been, but the history is going to be on where we’re going to go.’ Indeed, she has turned the page on quite a few things. She has gone on public record to disassociate herself from her Indian – […]

The accidental benevolence of Donald Trump

While in 2012, the Republican Party offered sympathy and support to the Sikh American community, by 2016, this sentiment has ostensibly been disregarded — and even reversed — by the dominating Republican candidate for President who openly disparages a Sikh article of faith. And, there has been little tangible response from the Republican Party or the other Republican candidates to this incident or other similar protests. One wonders how or why this shift occurred.

When a Sikh runs: a recap of the Ricky Gill campaign

It was just over a week ago that we learned of the results of the elections in the United States, including that to represent California’s 9th Congressional District in the House of Representatives. In that race, a Sikh American named Ricky Gill challenged incumbent Representative Jerry McNerney to represent the district in Congress. Rep. McNerney would win this election by receiving almost 55% of the vote. As a Sikh American, I followed the Ricky Gill campaign on this blog. His […]

When a Sikh runs: the curious case of Ricky Gill

The case of Republican candidate for Congress Ricky Gill, running against incumbent Jerry McNerney to represent California’s 9th Congressional District, makes for an interesting study about a Sikh American seeking public office in this country. His campaign, and his reluctance to publicly acknowledge his Sikh background, has been a recurring topic on this blog. On Saturday night, I had the opportunity to observe Ricky Gill in person. I had attended the Centennial celebration of the Stockton Gurdwara — which is […]

Who do Sikh Americans vote for, and why?

The recent higher profile civic engagement of the Sikh American community has been notable in this election cycle. Ishwar Singh, of Orlando, Florida, was invited by the Republican Party to provide an invocation during the Republican National Convention and we also saw a sizable and very visible contingent of Sikhs attending as delegates at the Democratic National Convention. By apparent attendance at the national conventions, it appeared that Sikhs were more supportive of the Democratic Party rather than the Republicans.  […]

The Sikh American vs. Sikh Canadian politician

Last year, Canada went through a federal election in which Canadian Sikhs factored significantly. I asked at that time whether American Sikhs will ever be as important, politically, as our Canadian counterparts: In terms of garnering a higher percentage of the vote, politicians in America would not likely get a lot of bang for their buck in collecting the Sikh vote as they do in Canada.  Accordingly, while taking inspiration from our brothers and sisters to the north, American Sikhs […]

Why Indian Americans flock to the Democratic Party

A piece in First Post discusses why Indian Americans have been more supportive of President Obama and the Democratic Party rather than the Republican Party. Of particular note, the behavior of several prominent Republican Indian Americans within the Party itself is partly to blame: But Indian Americans take note of how Nikki Haley runs as far away as she can from her identity, brushing it aside with one obligatory “I am the proud daughter of Indian immigrants” line at the […]

How America’s political parties and Sikhs see each other

From the Sepia Mutiny Twitter feed, we are introduced to a study by the Arab American Institute entitled “The American Divide: How We View Arabs and Muslims” that compares the perceptions of Republicans and Democrats towards various ethnic and religious groups, including Arabs, Muslims, and Sikhs: The study highlights the disparity with which voters identifying with each political party view Sikhs, Muslims and Arabs: Of the 13 religious or ethnic groups included in the survey, only Sikhs had anywhere close […]

Wherefore art thou, Ricky Gill?

I have written several times about Ranjit “Ricky” Gill, the Republican Party candidate for Congress in California’s 9th Congressional District. Gill is challenging Democratic Party incumbent Jerry McNerney for the seat. Gill, 25, is the son of Sikh physicians in the Stockton, California area. Much of the donations to his campaign have come from the Sikh community, as well as interests in the healthcare and agricultural industries.  The northern California constituency for which Gill is contesting is an area that […]