Nikki Haley, the United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations, has claimed that her mother was not allowed to be a judge in India because she was a woman, while in fact women have been judges in the country since at least 1937.
Answering a question about the role of women at a meeting of the Council on Foreign Relations on Wednesday, she said, “When you didn’t have a lot of education in India, my mother actually was able to go to law school. And she was actually put up to be one of the first female judges in India, but because of the situation with women she wasn’t allowed to sit on the bench.”
“But how amazing for her to watch her daughter become Governor of South Carolina and U.S. Ambassador to the U.N.,” she added. It’s been noted that women have been allowed to serves as judges in India since at least 1937.
Haley’s parents, Ajit Singh and Raj Kaur Randhawa, reportedly emigrated from India in the 1960s. But more than two decades earlier a woman, Anna Chandy, became a judge in Travancore in pre-Independence India.
Haley said that she is “proud” to be the daughter of Indian immigrants who believe the family is “blessed” to be American. Prefacing her answer to a question about President Donald Trump’s attempts to temporarily restrict people from six Muslim-majority countries and refugees coming to the U.S., she said, “I am the proud daughter of Indian immigrants, who reminded my brothers, my sister and me every day how blessed we were to be in this country.”
“I do believe that the fabric of America is legal immigration. That is what makes the U.S. so fantastic,” she said. Haley denied that Trump’s attempts to restrict people from the six countries was based on religion and pointed out that several Muslim-majority countries were not covered by it. “I don’t think that’s what this is,” she said. “If that were the case, there are another dozen, you know, Muslim countries that could have been on the list.”
She said that nothing should be banned based on religion. “We will never close our doors in the U.S. We won’t. But what we did do was take a pause.”
Because of the difficulty of properly vetting people from those six countries as well as refugees, Trump pushed for the temporary ban. “This is not about not wanting people in,” she said, adding that it was about keeping terrorists out.