Members of the community, from coast to coast, praise the historic choice.
History was made Tuesday afternoon as Joe Biden announced he was selecting Kamala Harris as his running mate in the November elections.
If the presumptive Democratic nominee wins the presidency, California’s junior senator will not only become the country’s first ever female vice president, but the first African American and Indian American vice president as well.
News of the nomination made great waves in the Indian American community from coast to coast.
“Biden couldn’t have chosen a better person as his running mate,” prominent Democratic donor Mahinder Tak told the American Bazaar.
Tak, a retired U.S. military physician and resident of Bethesda, MD, has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Democratic presidential nominees over the years. “Her career graph has been excellent,” she said. “As the California attorney general and as U.S. senator, she did excellent job. As Indian Americans, we are all very proud of her.”
Shekar Narasimhan, another prominent Indian American Democrat and chairman of the Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) Victory Fund, described Harris’ elevation as the coming-of-age for the Indian American community.
“There is so much we have to be thankful for as immigrants to this country or if we were born and brought up here,” who is based in the Washington, DC, area said. “We have succeeded in virtually every profession and contributed mightily to this country. However, we have never had someone of Indian origin stand on a national political stage until Kamala Harris became a presidential candidate. And now, she is going to be the Vice Presidential nominee of the Democratic Party! We should be proud and work our hearts out to make sure that Biden-Harris win on November 3rd.”
AAPI Victory Fund, a Super PAC that mobilizes voters within Asian American and Pacific Islanders communities, has pledged to deliver one million Indian American votes for Biden.
Also welcoming the Biden pick was Neil Makhija, executive director of Impact, a leading Indian American advocacy group and PAC.
“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,” he said.
“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,” said Makhija.
Impact is raising and spending $10 million to help the Democrats recapture the White House. According to the group, an estimated 1.3 million Indian Americans are likely to vote in November, “including nearly 200,000 in Pennsylvania and 125,000 in Michigan,” both battleground states.
Biden’s selection was also welcomed by Indian Americans in California, a state she has been representing in the U.S. Senate since 2017.
Thampy Antony, actor, writer and producer based in San Francisco who has followed Harris’s political career since she became the Attorney General of California in 2011, also praised the selection.
Pointing to a recent interview where the senator said “My grandfather was really one of my favorite people in my world,” Antony said those words are “really thrilling for any Indian American.”
“We wish her and Joe Biden all the best,” he added. “We all are Very proud of her achievements.”
Indian Americans also took to social media to welcome the Biden announcement.
Smriti Mundhra, executive producer of the Netflix hit Indian Matchmaking, wrote: “KAMALA DEVI HARRIS. Daughter of Shyamala and Donald. First of Her Name. Let’s f*cking GO!!!!!!!!!”
KAMALA DEVI HARRIS. Daughter of Shyamala and Donald. First of Her Name. Let's f*cking GO!!!!!!!!!
— Smriti Mundhra (@SmritiMundhra) August 11, 2020
Here are a few other reactions:
All jokes aside, the fact there is a Democratic VP candidate who is a Black & Indian woman whose parents are both immigrants is sign of progress.
— Hari Kondabolu (@harikondabolu) August 12, 2020
I will say, I genuinely did not expect to see an Indian American major party candidate in my lifetime. Grateful for what that represents for a community that has too often told its young people to reject political activism or to avoid claiming power.
— Anil Dash (@anildash) August 11, 2020
MORE FROM ROAD TO THE WHITE HOUSE:
Healthcare: Trump touts Obamacare cuts; Biden promises reversal (August 9, 2020)
COLUMN: Confederacy of Dunces: Trump’s Dystopia (August 8, 2020)
Black racial justice movement leader bats for Kamala Harris (August 5, 2020)
Trump touts historic tax cuts; Biden to make rich pay more (August 2, 2020)
Indian American senator Kamala Harris tops Biden’s VP list (July 29, 2020)
Trump, Biden campaigns wooing Indian Americans (July 21, 2020)
Biden vows to end green card caps, increase H-1B visas (July 15, 2020)
Joe Biden vows to lift Trump’s H-1B ban if elected (July 1, 2020)
Indian American Rep. Pramila Jayapal endorses Biden (April 27, 2020)
Kamala Harris exits the presidential race (December 3, 2019)
Tulsi Gabbard exits presidential race, backs Joe Biden (March 19, 2020)
Iack from India, Trump targets Indian American voters with Taj, Modi ads (February 28, 2020)
Biden-Harris will be a winning combination in 2020 (April 26, 2019)
Tulsi Gabbard outraises Kamala Harris among Indian American donors (April 20, 2019)
Indian American Impact Fund endorses Kamala Harris for President (April 17, 2019)