Sat, 19 Sep 2020

By Reena BhardwajWashington [US], August 13 (ANI): India-born engineer turned politician Aruna Miller met California Senator Kamala Devi Harris at an event last year in New York.

Harris' tribulations, achievements and her connection to India always made a special spot in Miller's personal and political journey in the United States.

So when former Vice President Joe Biden picked Harris as his running mate and then made his first appearance with Senator Harris on Wednesday evening, 55-year-old Miller was elated.

"Indian Americans with whom I have spoken are extremely excited and energised by Kamala's selection," Miller told ANI.

The emergence of Senator Kamala Devi Harris has broken barriers for not just people of colour but also for the Indian American women who believe in her. "Her (Kamala) mother said it best - you may be the first to do a lot of things but make sure you are not the last," Miller further added.

Harris is not just another Indian-American politician running for any office, she is also the first woman of Indian descent who is running for the second-highest office in the history of the United States.

More than 1.3 million Indian-Americans are expected to vote in this year's election- and Harris is one of them. With nearly 200,000 in battleground states like Pennsylvania and 125,000 in Michigan the Indian American Vote matters. (Data credit- research firm CRW Strategy).

As a woman of Indian-American and African-American descent, Harris' heritage matters. Experts and political commentators say that Harris's addition to the ticket might influence the election results in close states like Ohio and Pennsylvania because the Senator from California can pull the Indian American voters to the polls.

Harris is being endorsed by Indian Americans for having a ripple effect on the many who were mere fence-sitters up until now.

"I am sure those Indian Americans who have been sitting on the fence will now come in support. The ticket given to Harris by Biden is a proud moment for all of us Indians, and this will be a great thing for India," said Dr Suresh C Gupta, a practising physician and Indian American who has lived in Washington DC metropolitan area since 1968.

Harris' vice-presidential candidacy would be historic, not only for Black Americans but for millions of voters of Indian American descent --who are soon becoming the 'growing political force' in the upcoming elections in the US. "I usually gave a small amount to the presidential candidate, but this time I am going to all go out of my way to make sure that we Indian Americans fund this campaign and fund it to a degree that we will be proud of that. And they (Democrats) will be very happy with our contributions," Gupta further added.

Senator Kamala Harris who made her first appearance today as Joe Biden's pick, as vice president could play a more important role on immigration than in prior presidencies. And her pro-immigration agenda appeals to many including Delegate Kumar Barve, whose ancestors immigrated to the United States in 1911 from Maharashtra.

"We are an immigrant nation. Nearly 100 per cent of the population of America, came here over the last 200 years or so. She is very much in keeping with the traditional view of how America is built as a nation, and I look forward to her as vice president.' Barve, who is a leader in Maryland state politics, told ANI. (ANI)

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