Indian-Origin Kamala Harris Is USA’s First Female VP: What Should India Expect?

Indian-Origin Kamala Harris Is USA’s First Female VP: What Should India Expect?

After days of hopeful speculation, the Biden-Harris partnership has finally made it first past the post in the run towards the White House. As Joe Biden prepares to become USA’s 46th President, Kamala Devi Harris, daughter of an Indian immigrant and a Jamaican father, makes history by becoming the first woman, the first South Asian, and the first Black person to become US Vice President.

“I’m grateful to the woman most responsible for my presence here today, my mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris. When she came here from India at the age of 19, she maybe didn’t imagine this moment. But she believed so deeply in America where moment like this is possible,” Kamala Harris said in her first address to the nation as Vice President-Elect, NDTV reports.

There are no two ways about the fact that the US has a massive stronghold on global politics. The Indian Express explains, “The relationship with the United States of America matters to India more than any other bilateral engagement: economically, strategically and socially. ... The Indian diaspora in the US is one of the most successful expatriate communities, and while their political preferences may differ — they all favour a closer bonding between their janmabhoomi (place of birth) or pitrabhoomi and their karmabhoomi (place of work).”

At a point when Indo-China relations are at one of their lowest points, India’s relations with the US can be consequential. Foreign Policy hopes, “Ultimately, the United States and India will find common cause in their hardening stances against China.”

President-elect Biden has also long been known to have been a strong advocate of deepening US-India ties.

It is being speculated that since Democrats, in recent years, have been seen to be more liberal towards immigration, the new President-elect will be softer towards Indians who go to the US to work and study and aspire to pursue a better life.

On the other hand, Harris has long been known for being a fierce advocate of human rights. Modi government, with the ousting of Amnesty, its attitude towards Kashmir, its ruthless stance on dissenters, and the unfair rampant use of the colonial-era UAPA, amongst other instances, does come under the radar and could expect some tough decisions from the USA.

The Print also reports, “Biden has expressed disapproval of the CAA and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), and Kamala Harris’s words on the abrogation of Article 370 should alarm New Delhi.”

Meanwhile, Harris’s victory is another glass ceiling, another barrier broken. It is to be remembered with hope that this victory is a testament to the dedication of generations before, as Harris also says. We wait in awe as more such elevators are sent down, more such doors are opened, and more such glass ceilings are broken.

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