On Wednesday, Democratic Presidential candidate, Joe Biden, had chosen California Senator, Kamala Harris as his vice-presidential nominee. During her first campaign appearance as the vice-presidential nominee, in Delaware (US), in her opening speech, she mentioned her roots to be Indian. She is connected to India not only in terms of her family but also in terms of her policies.
Harris’ Connection to India—Her Indian Mother
Kamala Harris mentioned that her parents are Jamaican and Indian immigrants, who had met during a protest for civil rights in Oakland in the 1960s. She said how much she is connected to her mother. In her career, until now, all the titles that she had gained are precious, but “Momala” remains the closest to her. During her last four years as the Senator of California, she had invoked her mother on various occasions. Recalling and looking up to her mother and grandmother, she said “I come from a long line of tough, trailblazing, phenomenal women”. Her mother is an Indian and she being the first black woman to position herself at the top rung of Democratic Party of the US, strongly connects her to the essence of being an Indian.
Harris’ Connection to India—Her Policies
Harris’ nomination is relevant to India not only because of her Indian roots. She had also supported another Indian-origin US Congresswoman, Pramila Jayapal. In December 2019, a meeting was held in which the S Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister, was to meet the members of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee that included Pramila Jayapal too. Jaishankar asked Eliot Engel, the chairman of the committee, that he would meet all the panelists except Jayapal, as she criticized the Indian government regarding the then prevailing Kashmir case. Eliot, however, did not entertain his word and the meeting was last canceled.
Kamala, in support of Jayapal, tweeted that, “It’s wrong for any foreign government to tell Congress what members are allowed in meetings on Capitol Hill.” Thus, the first US Senator of Indian Origin stood with her colleague, belonging from the same origin.
Others Supports and Contributions
Harris along with Kirsten Gillibrand, another US Congresswoman, on 26th September 2018, had sent a letter to Kirstjen Nielsen, Secretary, US Department of Homeland Security, urging them not to abrogate the employment authorization of around 100000 superbly skilled immigrant women, who are presently covered under the H-4 rule. The H-4 visa holders are spouses of H-1B visa holders. These women are mostly South Asian and under this H-4 rule, they are able to employ their education and all professional training in the US such as scientists, teachers, doctors, nurses, technology professionals, and careers in other skilled fields.
Kamala had also stood out against the human rights record of China, especially with regards to Uyghur’s and also had voted in the US Senate against China’s track record.
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