Nikki Haley, Bobby Jindal and on-and-off relationships with Indian American identity

Following Haley’s (born Nimrata Randhawa) RNC speech earlier this week where she claimed that “America is not racist”, critics point out how picking and choosing when to mention your roots can come across as a political act.

Haley, the former governor of South Carolina and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, was born Nimrata Randhawa to Indian immigrants from Punjab and goes by the childhood nickname “Nikki.” She’s private about her Sikh background and emphasizes her conversion to Christianity. She even listed her race as “white” on a 2001 voter registration card.

On the other hand, Bobby Jindal (born Piyush) has dismissed his Indian identity at times, rejecting the label “Indian American” and referring to his skin tone as just a “tan,” while also looking to wealthy Indian families like the Kailases, big Louisiana landowners, for political and financial support.

Read more via NBC Asian American

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