Washington: Daughter of Sikh immigrant
parents from Punjab, Indian-American Namrata "Nikki" Randhawa
Haley created history today when she was sworn-in as the first
women and non-white Governor of South Carolina, where an
emergency has been declared due to heavy snowfall.
After Bobby Jindal from Louisiana, 38-year-old Haley
is only the second Indian-American Governor and the first ever
Indian-American women governor in the United States.
This reflects the quite but strong emergence of this
small Indian-American community as a political force in this
Analysts now say that Indian-Americans are now the
second most influential community in the US after Jews.
Haley was sworn in as the 86th Governor of South
She took the oath of office on a chilly morning on the
State House`s south steps.
"Thank you for allowing our family to serve the great
families of SC," Haley said in her tweet this morning.
Haley succeeds Mark Stanford, who has been South
Carolina`s Governor for the last eight years.
She now also becomes the youngest governor in the US,
replacing her fellow Republican and Indian-American Jindal.
The day started for Haley, who was born in a Sikh
family but later converted to Christianity, with a prayer
service, during which she was asked to "be real and true" when
she takes office to help restore trust in government.
"We`ve grown cynical," said Pastor Pamela Pond of
Greenville`s First Presbyterian Church.
"We`ve grown lethargic in fear. We`ve come to believe
we can`t trust our government officials."
The Rev. Jeff Kersey pastor of Mt. Horeb United
Methodist Church in Lexington urged Haley to return to the
faith of the ancestors.
With conviction, creativity and courage, he one can
solve the state`s problems.
The recent murders at an Arizona Congresswoman`s
public event, Kersey said, was evidence of the "greater
spiritual and moral depression" facing the country and its