Editor’s Desk December 2022
Indian-Americans have made it big under the North American skies, both in the US and Canada. While in the US their prominence is more marked in the corporate world and in academics, in Canada it is in the upper echelons of politics that their presence is quite ubiquitous (see story on page 16).
Come November 2024, however, the Indian profile in US politics could go up a notch or two with a couple of prominent PIO women likely to be pitted against one other. Both former governor Nikki Haley (Republican) and current US Vice President Kamala Harris (Democrat) could well throw their respective hats in the ring for the presidential race in 2024.
Of course, America is yet to accept a woman as a president in spite of its storied history of being a nation that has
valued democracy, freedom and gender equality. There, of course, will remain some rough patches and political obduracy that both PIO women must get through for being nominated as presidential candidates by their respective parties. While being Vice President gives her an edge should President Biden decide not to run in 2024, Kamala Harris will no doubt face strong challenges from within the Democratic Party when it comes to being nominated as a presidential candidate.
On the other hand, Haley will have an even more daunting task ahead if she decides to be a part of that race. An
aggregation of polls shows that the former South Carolina governor has only a two percent chance of being backed as a Republican presidential candidate as of now.
Elsewhere in the magazine are stories of diaspora interest from the UK, Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, Uganda and Punjab in India. In Fiji, for instance, Indian-origin lawyer Richard Naidu has been found guilty of contempt and scandalizing the court for pointing out a spelling error in a judgment through a Facebook post in February 2022. He observed that the word ‘injunction’ had been erroneously spelt as ‘injection’. His post read: “Maybe our judges need to be shielded from all this vaccination campaigning. I’m pretty sure all the applicant wanted was an injunction,” Naidu said in his post with a thinking-face emoji. The High Court in Suva held him guilty in November following a complaint by Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum who described Naidu’s post as malicious and inviting others to mock the judiciary. The case will be called on January 5, 2023 to hear sentencing and mitigation submissions.
Kate Schuetze, an Amnesty International Pacific researcher, tweeted that “the charges are ridiculous and should be thrown out!”. In a statement, the Bar Association of India (BAI) called upon the Attorney-General of Fiji to forthwith bring proceedings to a satisfactory closure by causing the conviction to be annulled. “The Bar Association of India calls on the Fijian judiciary to respect the right to freedom of expression. The Fijian judiciary’s reputational excellence is not lowered in any way by mere statements or humorous remarks,” BAI president Prashant Kumar said.
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