By AIJAZ RAHI, The Associated Press
THULASENDRAPURAM, India (AP) – After working as Kamala Harris President-elect Joe Biden’s running mate, people in his small ancestral Indian village woke up Sunday morning to the news of his history-making.
Most of them slept by the time Biden tallied 270 electoral college votes, making Harris the first woman and the first female vice president of South Asian descent.
“Congratulations to Kamala Harris. The pride of our village. Vanakkam (Salutation) America,” a female resident wrote outside her residence in color powder.
“We all look forward to this day. Congratulations, ”said Aulmozhi Sudhakar, a village councilor.
The village of Thulesendrapuram, with a population of 350, planned to celebrate Harris’s success with singing, dancing and firecrackers at a temple on Sunday. Already in the wee hours of the morning, groups gathered on the roadside to read the newspapers and chat about the Democrats’ victory before going to the temple for prayer.
Cutters and posters decorated the village walls, wishing Harris a “grand success”.
“Kamala Harris is the daughter of our village. From children to senior citizens, each one of us looks forward to the day when he will be sworn in as the Vice President of the United States.
J. organizing prayers on Election Day. Sudhakar expressed a wish that Harris now visit the village. As the Americans voted, about 50 residents folded hands, rang the bell in the temple that resonated with the sound of the bell ringing, and a Hindu priest gave them sweets and flowers as religious offerings.
The women of the village, located 350 kilometers (215 mi) from the southern coastal city of Chennai, used bright colors to write “We Wish Kamala Harris Vince” on the ground with a thumb impression.
The lush village is the hometown of Harris’s maternal grandfather, who moved to Chennai, the state capital of Tamil Nadu decades ago.
Inside the temple where people have been performing special prayers, Harris’s name is carved into a stone that lists public donations made to the temple in 2014, as well as his grandfather who gave money decades ago.
Harris’s late mother was also born in India, at the age of 19, before moving to the US, she studied at university California. He married a Jamaican, and they named their daughter Kamala, named “Lotus Flower”.
In a tweet, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi described Harris’s success as staggering, and a matter of great pride not only for his relatives but also for all Indian-Americans. “I am confident that your support and leadership will strengthen the vibrant India-US relationship.”
Regarding Biden’s choice of Harris as both sisters – and there is some concern.
Modi had invested in President Donald Trump, who visited India in February. Many Hindu nationalist supporters of Modi were also upset with Harris when he expressed concern about the divided Himalayan region of Kashmir, which the state’s Indian government canceled in August last year.
Harris was standing by another US Congress president, Pramila Jaipal, of Indian origin, when India’s foreign minister S Jaishankar refused to attend a meeting in the United States over his involvement last year. Jaipal had earlier passed a resolution in the House of Representatives on the important Kashmir issue of India.
Rights groups accuse India of human rights violations in Indian-controlled Kashmir, where rebel groups have been fighting independence or merger with neighboring Pakistan since 1989.
This story has been corrected to show that Harris’s maternal grandfather went to Chennai, not the US
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