Guwahati: August 11 was bookmarked in the pages of American history when California Senator Kamala Harris was picked by Joe Biden to be his vice-presidential running mate.
Harris, 55, has both African and Indian roots, with her mixed parentage. Her father, Dr Donald Harris emigrated from Jamaica, and her mother Dr Shyamala Gopalan, was born in Chennai and immigrated to the US to attend a doctoral program at UC Berkeley. She is the first Asian-American woman to be nominated on a major presidential ticket.
Leading Indian-American groups and individuals, including former Pepsico chief Indra Nooyi, have hailed the nomination of Indian-origin Senator Kamala Harris as Democratic Vice Presidential candidate, saying it was a “great choice” and a “moment of pride” for the entire community in the US.
The significant event was acknowledged by millions around the globe as many welcomed Harris’ candidacy.
Priyanka Chopra was amongst the many important people who hailed Harris’ selection with a show of hands. She summed up her reverence and delight in a social media post. Reflecting on it as ‘a historical, transformational, and proud moment for all women’, she continued, “All women of colour, all Black women, and all South Asian women. Congratulations @kamalaharris on becoming the first Black woman and FIRST PERSON of Indian descent to compete on a major U.S. party’s presidential ticket. #representationmatters (sic).”
She added a footnote for her younger self saying, “PS: To my younger self – look how far we have come!”
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This is a historical, transformational, and proud moment for all women. All women of colour, all Black women, and all South Asian women. Congratulations @kamalaharris on becoming the first Black woman and FIRST PERSON of Indian descent to compete on a major U.S. party’s presidential ticket. ?? #representationmatters PS: To my younger self – look how far we have come! ❤️
“This is a great choice for our country,” tweeted Ms Nooyi, who is seen as a role model by millions of women across the world.
Kamala Harris herself was a presidential aspirant until last year before she dropped out of the race because of lack of popular support.
“What an electric moment for the Indian-American community! Indian-Americans are now truly a mainstream community in the national fabric,” MR Rangaswami, an eminent Indian-American and the founder of Indiaspora, told news agency PTI.
Welcoming the decision, IMPACT, a leading Indian-American advocacy group and a Political Action Committee, said it will raise USD 10 million for the campaign.
“Kamala Harris’s story is the story of a changing, inclusive America…Her candidacy is historic and inspiring, not only for Black Americans, but for millions of Asian American voters, the fastest growing voting bloc in the country,” IMPACT’s executive director Neil Makhija said.
Kamala Harris’s supporters on Tuesday announced to launch a nationwide campaign “America mein Khila Kamal (Lotus blooms in the US)”.