Nikki Haley claims her mother was denied judgeship in India for being a woman

Nikki Haley, the US Permanent Representative to the UN, has claimed that her mother was not allowed to be a judge in India because she was a woman, despite the fact that women have been judges in the country since 1937.

Answering a question about the role of women at a meeting of the Council on Foreign Relations on Wednesday, she said, “My mother actually was able to go to law school. And she was 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.”

Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the United Nations.
Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the United Nations. Photo courtesy: Wikimedia

Haley’s parents, Ajit Singh and Raj Kaur Randhwa, reportedly emigrated from India in the 1960s. But more than two decades earlier a woman, Anna Chandy, had become a judge in Travancore in pre-Independence India.

Chandy was promoted to District Judge in 1948, the year after Independence, and became a High Court judge in 1959.

Defending US President Donald Trump’s travel ban against six Muslim-majority countries, Haley said there should be no ban on the basis of religion, but the ban was a matter of national security.

“I’m 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,” she said responding to questions after her speech at the think tank Council on Foreign Relations here.

“We should never ban based on religion. Period. I don’t think that’s what this is,” she said, adding that there are another dozen Muslim-majority countries that could have been on the list. A US court has stayed Trump’s orders temporarily banning people from six countries coming to the US.

Haley said the travel ban was a measure to ensure the safety of US citizens. “This is not about not wanting people in. This is about keeping the terrorists out,” she said.

Haley also brought up the recent terror attack in London as an example of why the ban was needed. “When you look at situations like what happened in London, not just the President but everyone is trying to make sure we are keeping our people safe.”

However, the UK Parliament attacker was identified as Khalid Masood who was born in the county of Kent in southeast England according to reports.