Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam on Wednesday termed the nomination of US Senator Kamala Harris as the Democrats’ Vice Presidential candidate for the upcoming US poll as a moment of pride for Indians.
Panneerselvam tweeted: “It is a moment of pride for Indians and Tamil Nadu especially, as Kamala Harris, the first Indian senator, whose mother hails from Tamil Nadu has been nominated as the Vice Presidential candidate by the US Democratic party. My hearty wishes to her.”
DMK MP Kanimozhi in a tweet said: “It’s really a matter of pride that Democratic Presidential nominee @JoeBiden has chosen US politician of Indian Tamil origin Kamala Harris as his VP running mate for the US Presidential elections. I wish Kamala Harris the best in the US elections. Good to see the inclusiveness.”
Kamala Harris, whose mother tongue is Tamil, is the first Indian-American to be the Vice Presidential choice in a US Presidential election.
Her mother Shyamala Gopalan had gone to the US to study medicine and became a cancer researcher. She later married Donald Harris, a Jamaican economist. The couple had two daughters – Kamala and Maya – but subsequently divorced.
Though born and raised in the US, a young Kamala often visited her maternal grandparents in Chennai’s Besant Nagar locality, and had strolled on the Elliots Beach here along with her grandfather P.V. Gopalan, a retired civil servant.
“You can’t know who @KamalaHarris is without knowing who our mother was. Missing her terribly, but know she and the ancestors are smiling today,” Maya Harris tweeted after her sister was selected.
Shyamala Gopalan’s sister Sarala Gopalan and brother G. Balachandran are still in India.
A thrilled Sarala, who got the news early on Wednesday, told a publication that her niece has not forgotten her roots and calls her ‘Chithi’ – the form of address for the younger sister of one’s mother.