Kamala Harris
Kamala HarrisReuters

Vice presidential election nominee Kamala Harris shed light on her Indian ancestry on Saturday. On the occasion of India celebrating 74 years of independence after British rule. Speaking at an event by the 'South Asians for Biden', Harris recalled her childhood. 

Kamala Harris' memories of Chennai

On the Indian Independence Day, Democratic nominee Harris wished all Indians celebrating the day, "To the people of India and to Indian Americans all across the US, I want to wish you a happy Indian Independence Day. On August 15, 1947, men and women all over India rejoiced in the declaration of the independence of the country of India."

Harris was born to a Jamaican father and Indian mother and will be the first nominee for Vice-President of the United States belonging to South Asian descent. The event on 15th was organised by Indians for the Biden National Council. 

Kamala Harris speaking at the inaugural meet, recalled her childhood growing up and how her mother had tried to keep her connection to her Indian ancestry born in 1964, "When my mother, Shyamala stepped off the plane in California as 19 years old, she didn't have much in the way of belongings. But she carried with her lessons from back home, including ones she learned from her parents, my grandmother Rajan, and her father, my grandfather P V Gopalan. They taught her that when you see injustice in the world, you have an obligation to do something about it."

She said that her mother had also been political in raising her voice against injustice. speaking about her memories, Harris reminisced, "Growing up, my mother would take my sister Maya and me back to what was then called Madras because she wanted us to understand where she had come from and where we had ancestry. And of course, she always wanted to instil in us, a love of good idli."

Harris also recalled how her grandfather would take her on long walks in Chennai, India, "In Madras, I would go on long walks with my grandfather, who at that point was retired. We would take morning walks where I'd hold his hand and he would tell me about the heroes who are responsible for the birth of the world's biggest democracy. He would explain that it's on us to pick up where they left off. Those lessons are a big reason why I am who I am today." 

Harris' nomination and if she does win the position will be a historical moment for African-American women and Indian-American women as well. 

(With agency inputs.)