Tuesday, 16 August, 2022
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Was always going to happen, says uncle of Kamala Harris, the first Indian American US V-P

G. Balachandran speaks to ThePrint on niece Kamala Harris' victory in the US. Harris will be the first woman vice-president of the United States.

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New Delhi: “This was always going to happen. Now that news channels have announced it, the tension is gone,” said G. Balachandran as news of his niece, Democrat Kamala Harris becoming the US vice-president-elect reached him.

Speaking to ThePrint, the 79-year-old said this was “nothing new” and “Kamala and Biden knew they had won yesterday itself”.

Securing Pennsylvania with a 0.5 per cent margin, Democrat Joe Biden won 273 Electoral College votes, drawing a close on a nearly week-long nail biting presidential race that remained too close to call till the end.

Biden will be the 46th president of the US, inheriting the White House from Republican Donald Trump, whose tumultuous four-year term ends in even more acrimony with him claiming the elections were fraudulent.

Trump’s campaign released a statement Saturday saying, “We all know why Joe Biden is rushing to falsely pose as the winner, and why his media allies are trying to help him; they don’t want the truth to be exposed.”

Most American news channels like CNN and MSNBC had decisively reported Biden’s win along with international networks like BBC.

Harris, who was Biden’s running mate, is a woman of many firsts — the first woman US vice president, the first woman of colour to hold either of the top two government positions, as well as the first Indian American to hold the position.

As the news broke, Harris’ younger sister tweeted: “OMG it’s happening…our next Vice President of the United States…our first-ever MADAM Vice President…my sister.”

Also read: Assured of victory in US elections, Biden-Harris begin work on public health and economy

US to get its first woman vice president

Balachandran, a former consultant at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, expects Harris to be the “most active” vice president in US history.

Born of Indian and Jamaican descent, Kamala Harris, a former California Senator, is setting several precedents with her win. She is the first woman, first Indian American, first black, first South Asian American and the first Asian ever elected to the position.

Her mother Shyamala Gopalan Harris, an alumna of Delhi University’s Lady Irwin College, had immigrated to the US from Chennai, and was part of the civil rights movement in the 1960s. She went on to become a breast cancer researcher. Her father Donald Harris had come to Berkeley to pursue a doctorate in economics, and is now an emeritus professor at Stanford.

The 56-year-old Oakland born politician has been the California Senator since 2017. She previously served as the attorney general of California between 2011 and 2017, and became the first woman of colour to be the district attorney of San Francisco in 2004, serving until 2011.

Also read: Trump may lose, but Trumpism has arrived in US – it’s more about populism, not performance


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