Harris, 55, who is the first colored person to be selected as a vice-presidential candidate of a major party, took a trip down the memory lane, mentioning her “long walks” in Madras now Chennai with her grandfather who would tell her about the “heroes” responsible for the birth of the world’s largest democracy.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, 77, ed history by selecting Harris, an Indian-American and an African-American, as his running mate in the presidential election on November 3.
Born to a Jamaican father and an Indian mother, California senator Harris, if elected, would be second in line of succession after Biden.
“Today on August 15, 2020. I stand before you as the first candidate for vice president of the United States of South Asian descent,” Harris said in her address organised by Indians for Biden National Council.
Joined by Biden, she greeted Indian Americans on the occasion of India’s Independence Day.
Harris was born on October 20 in 1964, at Oakland in California. Her mother Shyamala Gopalan migrated to the US from Tamil Nadu in India, while her father, Donald J Harris, moved to the US from Jamaica.
Harris said it was during the civil rights movement of Dr Martin Luther King Jr that her mother met her father. 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 instill in us, a love of good idli, Harris said. Our community is bound together by so much more than our shared history and culture, she said.