After supporting Kamala Harris as the life partner of President-elect Joe Biden, residents of the small Indian village of her ancestors woke up Sunday morning to news of how she had made history. .
Most of them had gone to bed by the time Biden had hit the Electoral College’s 270-vote threshold, making Harris the first woman and the first South Asian native to be elected vice president.
“Congratulations to Kamala Harris. The pride of my village. Vanakkam (Hello) America, ”a resident female resident wrote in powder outside her residence.
“We’ve all been waiting for this day. Congratulations, ”said Aulmozhi Sudhakar, a village councilor.
The village of Thulasendrapuram, population 350, planned to celebrate Harris’ success with singing, dancing and firecrackers at a temple the following Sunday. Right from the morning, groups have gathered on street corners to read newspapers and chat about the Democratic Party’s victory before moving to the temple to pray.
“Great success” Harris collages and posters adorn the village walls.
“Kamala Harris is the daughter of our village. From children to the elderly, each of us is waiting for the day she is sworn in as vice president, ”Sudhakar said.
J. Sudhakar, who held Election Day prayers, expressed his wish that Harris should now visit the village. As the Americans voted, nearly 50 residents lined up in a temple line that rang with a ringing bell, and a Hindu priest gave them sweets and flowers as a religious offering.
Women in the village, located 350 km (215 miles) from the southern coastal city of Chennai, used bright colors to write “I wish Kamala Harris Thang” on the ground, next to a thumbprint. .
The verdant village is home to his grandfather Harris, who moved to Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu state, decades ago.
Inside the temple, where people are holding special prayers, Harris’s name is sculpted on a slab listing public donations made to the temple in 2014, along with the name. Her grandfather’s gave money decades ago.
Harris’s deceased mother was also born in India, before moving to America at the age of 19 to study at the University of California. She married a Jamaican, and they named their daughter Kamala, Sanskrit for “lotus”.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a tweet described Harris’ success as a breakthrough and a great pride not only for her relatives but for all Indian Americans. “I am confident that the vibrant relationship between India and the United States will strengthen even more with your support and leadership.”
There’s both excitement – and some anxiety – about Biden choosing Harris as his companion.
Modi has invested in President Donald Trump, who visited India in February. Many supporters of Modi’s Hindu nationalism are also annoyed with Harris as she expressed concerns about the divided Himalayan Kashmir, which the Indian government recalled in August. last.
Harris sided with Pramila Jayapal, another Indian-American congresswoman, when India’s Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar refused to attend a meeting in the United States due to her participation last year. Jayapal had previously forwarded a resolution on an important Kashmir issue for India in the House of Representatives.
Human rights groups accuse India of violating human rights in India-controlled Kashmir, where rebel groups have been fighting for independence or annexation with neighboring Pakistan since 1989.