BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy does not hesitate to speak his mind, even when his opinion goes against party lines. Over the last few months, Swamy had made headlines with his differing stance on a slew of issues, from holding competitive exams amid the COVID-19 pandemic to stabilising the Indian economy. Now, he has criticised the Indian government's reaction to a new issue.
For the uninitiated, while vote counting in the US Presidential election continues, the polls have been called in Democratic candidate Joe Biden's favour. While President Trump continues to concede graciously, alleging foul play and threatening legal action, most people across the globe now acknowledge Biden as the President-elect and Kamala Harris as the Vice President-elect. Among them is Prime Minister Modi and other Indian officials who have congratulated the newly elected leaders.
Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy however struck a cautionary note on Monday, taking to Twitter to urge the Indian government to "stop fawning" over the incoming Biden-Harris government. Urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi to "practice (and be) Atmanirbhar", he suggested that the new administration would not work in India's favour.
"Indian Government should stop fawning on the new Biden Harris Govt by running to invite them to India as reported by media. On India affairs Biden will go by Kamala Harris and she is ideologically against “Hindu nationalism” which decoded means BJP. Modi must practice Atmanirbhar (sic)," he tweeted.
With Kamala's maternal family hailing from Tamil Nadu, many have also cheered the 'daughter of India' for her win. Harris for her part has frequently recalled her Indian ancestry. She's spoken about the influence her mother, who came from India at the age of 19, had on her and even recalled her interactions with her grandfather.
Her grandfather P. V. Gopalan was born in Tamil Nadu's Thulasenthirapuram and was an Indian career civil servant. Her mother Shyamala Gopalan was a biomedical scientist whose work in isolating and characterizing the progesterone receptor gene is notable.
While her ideological leanings and indeed her administrative decisions as a result of that remain to be seen, Kamala Devi Harris is not a Hindu per se. Going by reports, while she was raised on Hinduism and Christianity, she considers herself a Baptist.
Her mother Shyamala gave her daughters Sanskrit names to connect their heritage with their identities. She reportedly brought her daughters home to India for visits, she cooked Indian food for them, and the girls often wore Indian jewellery. However, Harris worshipped at an African-American church. And as she puts it in her autobiography, while Harris has a “strong awareness and appreciation for Indian culture" she was raised primarily "in an African American world" and as such identifies with the same.