Leading Indian-American groups across the US have lauded the selection of Indian-origin Senator Kamala Harris as the Vice Presidential candidate by Democratic party presidential nominee Joe Biden, saying it was a moment of pride and celebration for the entire community in America.
Biden on Tuesday named Harris as his Vice-Presidential running mate, making history by selecting the first black woman to compete on a major party’s presidential ticket.
Harris, 55, whose father is an African from Jamaica and mother an Indian, is currently the US Senator from California.
“What an electric moment for the Indian-American community! Indian-Americans are now truly a mainstream community in the national fabric,” M R Rangaswami, an eminent Indian-American and the founder of Indiaspora, told PTI.
“On a personal note, it’s great to have a woman on the ticket whose mother hails from my hometown of Chennai in India,” Rangaswami said.
Harris herself was a presidential aspirant until last year before she dropped out of the race because of lack of popular support.
Welcoming the decision, IMPACT, the leading Indian-American advocacy group and PAC, said that it will raise USD 10 million for the campaign.
“Kamala Harris’s story is the story of a changing, inclusive America. At a time of rapid change, she ties all our national threads together. The daughter of immigrants from Jamaica and India, Kamala Harris represents the future and promise of this country. Her candidacy is historic and inspiring, not only for Black Americans, but for millions of Asian American voters, the fastest growing voting bloc in the country,” IMPACT’s executive director Neil Makhija said.
“An estimated 1.3 million Indian-Americans are expected to vote in this year’s election, including nearly 200,000 in Pennsylvania and 125,000 in Michigan, both must-win battleground states. IMPACT is gearing up to raise USD 10 million to fight for inclusive democracy and candidates who share our values like Senator Harris,” Makhija said. He said Harris knows both the Black American and South Asian-American experiences.
“Harris knows the Black American experience. She knows the South Asian American experience. She knows the immigrant experience. She knows the aspirational power of the American dream. She is the running mate for this moment,” Makhija had wrirtten in an op-ed titled Harris’ ability to mobilise voters and unite the country In 2016, 77 per cent of Indian Americans voted for Hillary Clinton, according to stats by the same research firm. “But Democrat support in 2020 is not assured,” he wrote. A recent survey carried out by Trump supporter Al Mason claims that 50 per cent of Indian-American voters in key battle ground States are moving away from the opposition Democratic Party towards Trump.
Makhija argued that Harris’ vice-presidential candidacy would be historic and inspiring, not only for Black Americans, but for millions of voters of South Asian descent — like him. Asian Americans, more broadly, are the fastest-growing racial or ethnic voting bloc in the country, he said.
Indian-American entrepreneur from Silicon Valley Ajay Jain Bhutoria said its a great moment of pride and celebration for the Indo-American Community to have Harris as Vice Presidential Candidate with Joe Biden for President 2020. “Joe Biden is running to restore the soul of the nation and unite the country to move us forward. Joe knows more about the importance of the vice presidency than just about anyone and he is confident that Harris will be the best partner for him to finally get the country back on track,” he said.