Kamla Harris: Lotus blooms in United States

Indian-origin Senator Kamala Devi Harris scripted history when she became the first Black woman to be appointed as running mate by Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in the November presidential elections.  She is the first Asian-American on a major presidential ticket.
The 55-year-old California senator becomes just the third woman to be selected as the vice president on a major party ticket. Kamala Devi Harris is the daughter of Prof Shyamala Gopalan, a cancer biologist, who was from Chennai, India, and had emigrated to the US in 1965. Her father, Donald Harris, was from Jamaica. After her parents divorced, Harris was raised primarily by her Hindu single mother who adopted black culture and immersed her two daughters - Kamala and her younger sister Maya - in it. Harris grew up embracing her Indian culture but living a proudly African American life. She often joined her mother on visits to India. Harris was born in Oakland and grew up in Berkeley. She spent her high school years living in French-speaking Canada - her mother was teaching at McGill University in Montreal.
Harris is now the first American of Indian and Asian descent to run for vice-president. She is also the first African American of a major party and only the third woman yet to run for that office, after Democrat Geraldine Ferraro and Republican Sarah Palin.
Harris is known for many firsts. She has been a county district attorney; the district attorney for San Francisco - the first woman and first African-American and Indian-origin to be elected to the position. She would be several firsts in her role as vice president also: the first woman, the first African-American woman, the first Indian-American and the first Asian-American.
Harris’ supporters on Tuesday announced to launch a nationwide campaign ‘America mein Khila Kamal (Lotus blooms in the US). California-based Indian-American entrepreneur Ajay Bhutoria is planning to release graphic and social media posts around this slogan in the run-up to the November 3 presidential elections. Bhutoria is also the creator of a multi-language campaign, including in Hindi, which says, “America Ka Neta Kaisa Ho, Jo Biden Jaisa Ho!! (How America’s leader should be, like Biden)”, as part of the efforts to reach to the Indian-American community.
Around 1.3 million Indian-Americans are expected to vote in this year's election, with nearly 200,000 in battleground states like Pennsylvania and 125,000 in Michigan, according to the research firm CRW Strategy. In the 2016 presidential election,  77 percent of Indian Americans voted for Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton. President Donald Trump has been seeking to win over Indian voters, praising Indian-Americans as business and technology leaders.
 

- Prabhakar Purandare

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