Kamala Harris, the first Indian-origin woman Vice President of United States

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

[Image: newyorktimes]

Kamala Harris will become the first female, first Black and first South Asian American vice president.

Born to Jamaican father and an Indian mother, Harris is a former attorney general of California.

She also becomes the first person of Indian descent to hold the national office in the United States.

Harris has been a rising star in Democratic politics for much of the last two decades.

After Harris ended her own 2020 Democratic presidential campaign, Joe Biden tapped her as his running mate.

Harris’ mother, Shyamala Gopalan, was born in Chennai and moved to the United States to pursue a doctoral degree at University of California Berkeley.

Harris says when her mother Shyamala [Gopalan] stepped off a plane in California as a 19-year-old, she didn’t have much in way of belongings but she carried with her lessons from home, including ones she’d learned from her parents.

Kamala Harris (left) (right)her parents Shyamala Gopalan Harris and Donald Harris.

Kamala is Sanskrit for “lotus flower,” and Harris gave nods to her Indian heritage throughout the campaign. Harris said that her mother would take her and sister Maya to India because she wanted her daughters to understand where she had come from. The 55-year-old Senator recently took a trip down memory lane, recalling her mother’s attempts to “instil a love of good idli” in her and sister Maya.

Harris said her mother raised them with the understanding the world would see them as Black women and that is how she describes herself today.

She attended Howard University, one of the nation’s historically Black colleges and universities, and pledged Alpha Kappa Alpha, the nation’s first sorority created by and for Black women. She campaigned regularly at HBCUs and tried to address the concerns of young Black men and women eager for strong efforts to dismantle systemic racism.

Her victory could usher more Black women and people of colour into politics.

[Source: The Times of India]

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