'Kamala isn't just of Indian descent': Anand Mahindra on Indians claiming the US VP nominee as 'our own'
Photo via Instagram / AFP

Leading Indian-American groups and individuals have hailed the nomination of Indian-origin Senator Kamala Harris as Democratic vice presidential candidate, saying it was a "great choice" and a "moment of pride" for the entire community in the US.

On the contrary, Indian billionaire businessman, and the chairman of Mahindra Group, Anand Mahindra took to Twitter and wrote, “There will be an explosion of celebrations by Indian communities claiming her as ‘our own.’ But we should recognize that Kamala Harris isn’t just of Indian descent; she epitomises what the world should be—borderless & interracial...”

Presumptive Democratic Party presidential nominee Joe Biden named 55-year-old Harris as his vice presidential running mate, making history by selecting the first black woman to compete on a major party's presidential ticket.

She is currently the US Senator from California.

"This is a great choice for our country," tweeted former Pepsico chief Indra Nooyi, who is seen as a role model by millions of women across the world.

"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.

Welcoming the decision, IMPACT, a leading Indian-American advocacy group and a Political Action Committee, said it will raise USD 10 million for the campaign.

"Kamala Harris' story is the story of a changing, inclusive America...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.

Harris' supporters on Tuesday announced to launch a nationwide campaign 'America mein Khila Kamal (Lotus blooms in the US).

California-based Indian-American entrepreneur Ajay Bhutoria told PTI that he is planning to release graphic and social media posts around this slogan in the run up to the November 3 presidential elections.

Harris, who is Black and Indian American, makes history as the first woman of colour and the first South-Asian American to be on a major party's ticket.

Harris highlights the quintessential American immigrant story as the daughter of Shyamala Gopalan, a cancer researcher from India, and Donald Harris, an African Jamaican economics professor.

Her grandfather P V Gopalan was an Indian freedom-fighter, who became a civil servant and was assigned by the Indian government to help Zambia deal with its refugee problem in the late 1960s.

Her parents divorced when she was seven years old and she and her younger sister were raised by their mother.

She wrote in her memoir that they were also "raised with a strong awareness of and appreciation for Indian culture," crediting her grandparents from Chennai and aunts and uncle for it.

While she was running for the presidential nomination, she made a video on cooking masala dosa with Indian American actor-director Mindy Kaling highlighting the other side of her genetic heritage.

Harris is married to Douglas Emhoff, a lawyer, and a step-mother to his two children from his previous marriage.

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Free Press Journal