File photo of US Senator Kamala Harris | Facebook
File photo of US Senator Kamala Harris | Facebook
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New Delhi: Kamala Harris, who was Tuesday selected as Democratic candidate Joe Biden’s running mate for the upcoming US presidential polls, is the first person of Indian — and Asian — origin to enter the vice-presidential race. She had entered the campaign season as a presidential hopeful but dropped out in December 2019 on account of funding constraints.

Harris is the daughter of a Chennai-born mother, Shyamala Gopalan, who arrived in the US in 1960 to pursue cancer research and a Jamaican-origin father, Donald Harris, who retired as an economics professor from the premier Stanford University. Her parents divorced when she was seven, and Harris and her sister Maya were raised by their mother, who brought them to India every other year to visit their grandparents.

As a public figure, Harris has batted for strong ties between India and the US, but was also critical of the situation that emerged in Kashmir after the revocation of Article 370 last year. As she weighed in on the situation in Kashmir after the Modi government’s Article 370 move, Harris said in October 2019, “We have to remind the Kashmiris that they are not alone in the world. We are keeping a track on the situation. There is a need to intervene if the situation demands.” 

She was responding to a question about “human rights abuses” in Kashmir, and the restrictions imposed — including curfews and a communication blackout — following the revocation of Article 370.

She also stood by her fellow Indian-origin Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal when External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar refused to attend a meeting in the US over her participation. Jayapal had earlier moved a resolution on the Kashmir issue in the House of Representatives.

“It’s wrong for any foreign government to tell Congress what members are allowed in meetings on Capitol Hill,” Harris had said in a tweet. While many Congress members decried the Kashmir situation, her comments gained further limelight because of her Indian roots.

Meanwhile, Biden, her partner in the election, has been critical of the Citizenship Amendment Act.

Harris has described the India-US relationship as “unbreakable”. In 2017, she tweeted a welcome message for Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he visited the US, “I welcome Indian PM @NarendraModi to the United States and reaffirm the unbreakable bonds between our two nations.”

Other key elements of her politics include a vocal distaste for US President Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim stance. 


Also Read: Why Modi and Jaishankar are safe from global censure on NRC & CAA, for now


A love for idli-sambhar

Harris has always been “proud” of her roots, joking about having smoked pot (a stereotype often associated with Jamaicans) and talking about her love for idli-sambhar

“I am proud to be who I am, I am proud of the influences that my family have had on my life, that my community had on my life, and similarly the influence of my mentors and colleagues and friends,” she had said in an interview to the CNN when asked about how other Indian-American politicians like Bobby Jindal and Nikki Haley appeared to be distancing themselves from their Indian lineage.  

“When we think about it, India is the oldest democracy in the world — so that is part of my background, and without question has had a great deal of influence on what I do today and who I am,” she added in the same interview.

Harris’ maternal grandfather P.V. Gopalan was a freedom fighter who later became a high-ranking civil servant known to fight against corruption.

In her memoir, The Truths We Hold: An American Journey, Harris said her grandparents had a profound impact on her. 


Also Read: Why Kamala Harris, with Indian & Black heritage, is a safe and smart choice for US VP


 

 

 

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48 Comments Share Your Views

48 COMMENTS

  1. No wonder what she said on j&k issue … nearly all American are arrogant …see Donald Trump…..till 1980 American loves to support pakistan in its foreign policies to tackle many this like Afghanistan Taliban issue …Pak strategic location etc. but after 9/11and Osama found in pakistan then the perception little bit changed..but not much…..she is one of those arrogant ..ignorant… little informed American..you can’t expect any wise and constructive comments from them … Hippocrates…loves idllii …just nautanki for emotional fool Indians ….thullu BHI le lo baba ji Ka…

  2. typical silly trait hijacking successful Indians abroad even by those who frame fake cases/charge sheet MS university is case in point Nobel laureate was indicted on some vague charges … no one will ask why high level Indian prefer to leave country ??/

  3. Kamala Harris’s Hindu name does not make her Indian. She is a typical American. First of all her party does not project her as of Indian origin. They call her person of Asian-African origin based on her father’s lineage. Hence the fantasy of our bhakts is baseless. But one lesson India, particularly the present ruling party at the centre, has to draw from the fact of her nomination. Its leaders always proudly compare India with America when talking about democracy. Democratic Party of US has nominated Kamala Harris, a minority leader, to the position of their country’s Vice President. How many candidates from the minority communities in India are being nominated to the constitutional positions like Vice President and Chief Ministers of states?

  4. Stop fantasizing guys. She has no Indian-ness in her. All fake and her campaign felloews are saying these for Indian American votes. She’s just any other ordinary American, ignorant of world affairs. BTW, she is anti-Modi and so khangress will rejoice.

  5. She is an American first and American to the core. We unnecessarily try to associate Indian-ness to her and think that she would favor Indians if Democrats come to power. US has a set rules on foreign policy and very little is based on individuals. Let us get off this horse and let the Americans decide who they want for the next 4 years.

  6. Isn’t it surprising that almost all Hindus who have risen in politics in western countries, especially in US, that too with the support of Hindu immigrants, both in cash and kind; no Muslim of Indian origin will support them; are always critical of India, just like their pseudo secularists here. You will hardly find any person of Chinese or Pakistani origin, ever critical of their own country, no matter how they treat their own population. Those who are celebrating her nomination, will see that if elected, she will be the most controversial and critical of India, apart from Kissinger and Nixon of that time.

    • not all hindus are hawks especially many of them liberals especially south Indian community. Great statesman Rajaji if available today he will critical of present rulers communal politics.

  7. America 2020 election Democratic Party Vice President nominee Kamala Harris, whose father Donald Harris, a Black person from Jamaica and mother Shyamala Gopalan, a Brahmin woman from India, which is great achievement for the person of Indian origin and it should be appreciated by the people of India.

    • Sir Vishal Anand: Ms Kamala Harris is also celebrated in her native Jamaica. Should not Jamaicans share the joys of her success? Despite her father being a “black person” as you say in a somewhat denigrating manner …

  8. Kamala must talk about human rights with China and with in China , and with in Tibet the sovereignty of Tibet is fully abused. Hindus are treated bad in Pakistan. If Kamala has studied little about the history of Indian heritage and life style , she will accept the feelings of Indians and India. Americans double minded divide and rule politics will not be sold in India.

    • Yes, you are absolutely right. It should be noted that almost all Hindus, who have somehow risen in western countries, especially US, are always critical of India, just like their pseudo secularists here. They want to show the world that they are liberals in their views.

      • Mr Rattan Chand Goyal: You pontificate:

        “.. It should be noted that almost all Hindus, who have somehow risen in western countries, especially US, are always critical of India ..”

        What about Sikhs, Christians and Muslims from India Mr Goyal? What makes you think that the Hindu voice is the only voice that counts? Indeed, one of the most sceptical and apprehensive voices in the West today would be that of Sikhs as thet watch India morphing into a Hindu Rashtra under the stewardship of Modi, Shah and the fascist BJP & RSS.

        You ought to realise that under MoSha India’s image is being tarnished beyond redemption.

        • Mr. Kili deigned to declare:

          “What about Sikhs, Christians etc.. ..”

          India is a democratic country and there are many avenues to express one’s view points (hopefully peacefully). If these communities felt so threatened, could you point to one instance of such dissention being expressed in any forum during the years of Modi administration?

          Even the most volatile Ayothya issue was settled amicably by all the people of India. Indians are at peace cherishing and respecting each citizen of the country.. Please do not try to divide and rule.

        • You know nothing of politics in America. Harris will not gain the Indian vote as she is fake. She does not look Indian, which is to speak the obvious and she is raised by her so called proud Hindu Indian mother as a Baptist Christian. Only liberal fools in India and US think she and Biden are getting the indian and yes, Hindu vote because we are the majority in the Indian community. The Democratic Party has blundered in their anti Hindu, anti CAA rethoric and in fact, many are moving to vote Republican. Just as liberals in India are out of touch, it is the same in the US. You have no clue about Indian American politics or American politics for that matter. Get yourself informed.

  9. She is very anti-India. She has said that when she becomes President, she will force BJP party out. She is a dalit caste member and blames the BJP party for driving her mother to a black man’s arms. She is going to install Brahamin government and elevate Dalit caste to the highest level.

  10. Kamala harris or Jayapal or whichever “Indian” is Indian only in name with no attachment or love for India and no connection with India. Born and brought up in USA they are like any American having shallow or no knowledge of the world, forget about India. They have no knowledge of the history of Kashmir and the history of India. I would like to see them talk about Tibet, Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Mongolia , Balochistan, Mohajirs, Sindh, Pashtuns and the rest in the same way. All they are interested in is the vote and here their objective is to polarise and exploit the black and muslim vote. Well, they can stay in USA and have all the sambar or whatever they want. Not welcome in India and if this attitude persists India will perforce move towards the Russians again.

    • Mr Lalit: You bray:

      “.. They have no knowledge of the history of Kashmir and the history of India ..”

      How do you know that Mr Lalit?

      And then you continue your braying:

      “.. Not welcome in India and if this attitude persists ..”

      Atithi Devo Bhava indeed – Hindutva style !!!

      • Did this dumb lady talk about Human Rights violations when Kashmiri Pandits were driven away? Did she cry for Indian soldiers attacked by Pakistan trained terrorists? Did she raise her voice on the proxy terror in kashmir pushed forward by ISI? If not, she has no clue about India and its pain but talking nonsense sitting in California.

        She is no Indian and has no clue about India and its pains.

  11. Kashmir is integral part of india ..we faced many presidents like bill clinton bush obama no can pluck single hair from our head we are under strong leadership

    • Mr Gopal: You brag:

      “.. no can pluck single hair from our head we are under strong leadership ..”

      Well, Galwan made this much ballyhooed “strong leadership” go bald didn’t it ? So much so that the Gujarathis, quaking in their boots are even scared of uttering the word “China”. But who knows, know that the Chief Gujarathi has laid the foundations of the Ram temple, the Chinese are perhaps scared !!!

      But the abdicating Gujarathis that bhakths like you venerate remind me of the aphorism:

      “When the going gets tough, the tough get going” !!

  12. Kamala Harris considers herself and appeals to her African American heritage. This despite the significant role of her maternal side. Either way, her nomination as VP will not be rosy for India. She will do and should do what is good for her nation. She is American first. However, India has to be prepared for a confrontation on Kashmir, Pakistan and China. I see her as Pro China and Pakistan. The democrats usually are these days. There is a huge Islamic push. On China they will be extremely liberal. The tariffs will be gone, there will probably be a reset of NATO as well. India will again be hyphenated with Pakistan.

    The economic shock of Covid on India will not help. India can see a very difficult next decade.

    • Good one sir. Left lobby is celebrating Kamal@’s choice only because of her statements regarding Kashmir. Same left lobby didn’t celebrate when Indian(Conservative) was made as FM in U.K., because his views were resonant with India’s official stance. Left front mouthpieces should wait for her stances in these issues post election. If she continues this nonsensical rhetoric then it will be Uncle Sam’s loss of a valuable patner near China.

      • Mr Rengaraj R: Mr Rishi Sunak is a spineless man whose chief job is to play the role of the monkey to organ grinder Boris Johnson. In fact, the entire Conservative government consists of men and women whose Brexit policies have driven England to economic and political ruin; their COVID policies have resulted in unusually high death rates and their social policies have wrecked the poor. Another hated figure in the Johnson cabinet is Ms Priti Patel whose draconian stance on immigration, the death penalty etc. have been torn to shreds in the UK press. The third clown in the circus is Sajid Javid, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, but I will not swell on him here.

        Fact is Mr Rengaraj, most Indians in the UK have traditionally voted for Labour, just as most Indians in the US have voted for Democrats. The Overseas Friends of the BJP has tried to influence the outcome of the British election by threatening Labour politicians by saying that they would get Indians to vote for the Conservatives if the Party did not support India’s positions on issues like Kashmir, if the UK passed laws against the caste system and so on. Apart from the fact that this clumsy attempt ended up painting the GOI and the Modi government in a bad light, Indian support for Labour did not waver. After all, if you are an Indian origin voter in the UK, you would be daft to vote for parties that supported BJP positions in India whilst neglecting your own plight in the UK !

        UK politicians have to pass the infamous Tebbit test* – they cannot be seen as putting the needs of their country of origins ahead of UK interests. That applies to Ms Kamala Harris as well – her love of idli-sambar notwithstanding. And besides, all NRIs are not Hindus are they ? Heard of Sikhs Mr Rengaraj R?

        *You can read about the interesting Tebbit test here: bit.ly/3kKSck9

    • Mr Ramesh: I fail to see how you could make such sweeping statements of what Kamala Harris will do or will not do based on the little that has been revealed about the domestic and international policy positions of the Biden-Harris ticket. Clearly, your Ram Rajya centric worldview, with the recent fillip received from a Gujarati laying the foundation stone at Ayodhya, has only made the saffron tinted spectacles you wear become an even deeper shade of saffron ! Additionally, you sing the usual cry-baby song of Indian, rather Hindu victimhood and parrot the myth that the world is stacked against Hindu and Indian interests.

      However, you are right in assuming that Ms Harris will do what is good for America.

      But that apart, you assume that the Democrats are pro Pakistan and China, completely oblivious to the fact that it is under Donald Trump and the Republicans that India has been squeezed hard at every level. Trump has introduced H1B visa restrictions, removed the Enabling Clause of Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program that accords India favourable access to US markets, branded India as a polluter and even mocked PM Modi’s Gujarati accented English. Trump has taken a wrecking ball to just about every institution in the USA, damaged every international organisation and even trashed allies and relationships that have taken years to build. At the same time, Trump has stretched a hand of invitation to every dictator and thug in the world – ranging from Putin through Erdogan to Kim Jong-un. In the process, he has destroyed the enormous soft power resources that the US has had in the world.

      A Biden-Harris government is very likely to push the reset button on many fronts. The US could get back to supporting multilateral institutions like the WTO, NATO, WHO; rethink its strategy with dictators like Putin and Kim Jong-un; take a fresh look at the economic and geopolitical challenges posed by a resurgent China; deny a severely weakened UK favourable terms in a trade deal post-Brexit and so on.

      Personally, I think that authoritarian strongmen and autocrats like Modi are not going to fare well. India’s image and its soft power reservoirs have dwindled enormously during the last 6 years although hardcore, Hindu NRIs and members of the Modi cult might not wish to read the writing on the wall. The Howdy Modi with Trump stunt was just that – a showbiz event that enabled some enterprising Patels to make a quick buck.

      You are right that the economic shocks from COVID have created hard times for India. But what you forget is that long before COVID struck, the economy was in deep distress thanks to colossal mismanagement. After all, you don’t need an expert to tell you that if you wish to promote the leather industry through the PM’s Make in India, you need to slaughter cows. And that was just an example of what happens when you put violent Hindutva as the centrepiece of policy rather than simple economics.

      Perhaps, with the laying of the foundation stone for the temple and the diversion of scarce resources towards that project, the resulting Ram Rajya that will be ushered in magically end India’s problems. Don’t count on much help from the idli and sambar loving lady with roots from Besantnagar, Madras !

  13. Indians excel at everything they aim for.Look at son in law of Murthy,one of the founders of Infosys is a exchequer in UK,plus Priti Patel,Home Minster of UK and so on.We are open minded and don’t shout Allah u Akbar.Jinnah outside Pakistan nobody knows but Mahatma GANDHI everybody across the world.

  14. It is elementary that any person running for political office in any democracy, being the citizen, has first and foremost loyalty to the country of citizenship irrespective of the country of the birth of his/ her parents.
    Having attachment and sympathy to country of origin is Ok as long as it does not run counter to the policies of your government and /or does not go against your own belief.
    We can feel proud of a person of roots in India achieving such lofty heights without expecting a benefit coming out of it !

  15. She can keep her idli and sambhar. We will export by the tonnes if she wants it. We keep Kashmir, Aksai Chin and liberate Tibet. Write what makes sense.

    • Mr Subramani: In a tremendous display of Dutch courage you go on to rant:

      “.. We keep Kashmir, Aksai Chin and liberate Tibet ..”

      Well, the last time Amit Shah said roughly the same words as you do now in Parliamnet on 5th Aug 2019, a panicked Foreign Minister Jaishankar Subramnian had to rush off to Beijing that Amit Shah had not been serious. The Chinese, not entirely placated, showed their anger in Galwan this June. That was a shot across the bow and the 56 inch chested Gujarati had to come to terms with the fact that there was little he could do to the Chinese. Indeed, he does not utter the word China anymore and has gagged the Indian press from stoking tensions.

      Wanting India to declare a war with China to recapture Aksai Chin and to liberate Tibet is nothing but the ranting and raving of a mind high on “pattai sarayam” a.k.a. “country liquor ” !!!!

  16. Hidden has lost this election hands down,
    First losing all the Indian votes by choosing Kamli Ditti and second by his age.
    Please learn that you are giving the election to Trump on the plate.

  17. The bond between America and India is very ‘BREAKABLE”!
    India is turning into a Hindu Fascist state and denies Muslims human rights. I am afraid she will become another Tulsi Gabbard who will kiss Modi’s XXX.
    I prefer her and Biden over crazy Hindutva loving Trump but the Democratic Party must remind her of her that they care about human rights and the rights of Muslims and Kashmiris cannot be denied. If that means turning their backs on India for human rights abuses then so be it!“

    • I hope Biden wins, and Ms Harris promotes human rights in China. The largest population in the world who are denied human rights. I also hope she assists the Tibetans in gaining their human rights & freedom. Maybe she can help the people from Xinjian too.

    • What are you smoking? When you say ‘ denies Muslims human rights.’ , you means allow them riot freely as they did in Bangalore? or want everything for free? As long as every thing is given free, your human rights are intact?

  18. To begin with, I was enthusiastic about her but with her comments on Kashmir, I am skeptical.
    No body, repeat no body, including Kamala Harris, has any right to interfere in Indian affairs. Period.

  19. India should do everything to make sure hindus vote for trump.this woman is dependent on Muslim votes and black ones. Like congress party she will stab her own

    • Mr Sid: What about Indians who are Sikhs, Muslims, Christians, Dalits, Parsis, atheists etc.? Do you really think these NRIs will vote for Trump?

      But most importantly, your pathetic post shows that you prioritise religion rather than the economy and perhaps know precious little about the economy of India. Today, India’s IT sector is roughly 8% of GDP and brings in about 100 Billion USD / year in foreign revenues and about 50 Billion USD in domestic revenues. This thriving export oriented sector employs many skilled graduates and has enhanced India’s reputation abroad. Trump has thrown a spanner into this profitable sector through his visa restrictions for the H1B, delayed green card processing, not allowing spouses to work and so on. And people like you welcome the more wrecking of the economy because you believe that Trump would favour Hindus. Are you even serious ?

      Trump has been a massive disaster for Indian on other fronts too besides IT. And yet, you want Indians to vote for this bigoted, racist, misogynistic pig who actually hates women, non-whites, Muslim, Hindu or Christian. And your love for Trump stems from your mistaken assumption that because he has been openly antagonistic to Muslims, he is therefore someone who loves Hindus. The same stinking, pathetic logic of the RSS shaka: “Because Israel is against the Muslim Palestinians, it is India’s natural ally”.

      Additionally, when you bray:

      “.. India should do everything to make sure hindus vote for trump ..”

      Aren’t you goading India to interfere in the elections of another country? Do you know how the interference by the Overseas Friends of the BJP in the UK panned out? Want the FBI to start investigating Indians to see whether they are trying to influence US elections just like the Russians and Chinese seem to be doing? And I wouldn’t be surprised if the US Chapters of the Overseas Friends of the BJP have already been infiltrated and are under surveillance following the attempts to influence elections in the UK.

      Modi bhakths like yourself and for that matter the 56 inch chested Gujarathi himself do not have the faintest idea of how much damage your ilk does to the image of India.

      • This comment by Kili should be removed by the Print moderators. The writer is clearly intoxicated. The writer is clearly using foul language to draw others into irrelevant issues.

  20. More than India supporter what US needs is the leader who speaks for and stands for human rights and democratic spirit world over. Today the world is threatened with leaders coming up on democratic system who openly back autocratic rulers. People in Muslim world are fighting for their rights and they face persecution, various communities world over face persecution just because the rulers who emerge through democratic process but they do not respect the democratic values. It is necessary that despite Kamala Harriss’s love for Idli Sambher she does not lose the taste of Human rights and freedom of expression that India constitution enshrines but is under heavy attack.

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