Election of Kamala Harris as next US vice president a historic moment: Indian-Americans

PTI, Nov 8, 2020, 10:45 AM IST


Washington: For Indian-Americans, the election of Kamala Harris as the next US vice president is a historic moment and a day they have been long waiting for.

Biden, 77, and Harris, 56, would be sworn in as the president and vice president of the United States on January 20, 2021.

She will also be the first-ever Indian-origin, first-ever Black and first-ever African-American vice president of the US.

“To have Kamala Harris of Indian descent to become the first vice president, a woman of colour in this country, history has been made,” North Carolina-based eminent Indian-American Swadesh Chatterjee told PTI after Harris concluded her victory speech in Wilmington, Delaware.

Chatterjee, who was awarded Padma Bhushan by India in 2001, migrated to the United States in 1978.

“I never dreamed that this day will come. It is just unbelievable to see a woman of colour of Indian origin become the Vice President of this country, something which has created examples for my grandchildren, and for the generations to come,” Chatterjee said.

Silicon Valley-based entrepreneur and philanthropist M Rangaswami said that he has known Kamala for a decade when she was city Attorney in San Francisco.

“She was a dynamic young leader who quickly became the Attorney General of California. She made a mark in that position and then moved up to represent all Californians as our Senator,” he said.

“Along the way she got to know the Indian Community well and even attended the Indiaspora Ball for President Obama. I was deeply touched when she mentioned her mother Shyamala who is from my hometown of Chennai in her speech. We wish her all the best as she assumes the second most important job in the land,” Rangaswami said.

During her victory speech, Harris remembered her mother Shyamala Gopalan, who she said prepared her for this day.

“No matter who you voted for, I will strive to be the Vice President that Joe was to (former) president (Barack) Obama — loyal, honest and prepared, waking up every day thinking of you and your families. Because now is when the real work begins. You assured a new day for America,” Harris said in a powerful, but emotional speech.

Ajay Jain Bhutoria, who has been supporting the Biden campaign, said, “this is a truly historic election. For the first time, we have a woman of colour and Indian Origin to hold the second-highest office in the land,” he said.

In a statement, Hindu American Foundation (HAF) congratulated President-elect Joe Biden on his election victory and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

“HAF looks forward to working with the Biden-Harris administration to address issues of mutual concern and interest to the Hindu American community,” it said.

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