Indian Americans excited over someone who ‘looks like us’ becoming VP

Kamala Harris being sworn in as the Vice President of the United States on January 20, 2021.
Kamala Harris being sworn in as the Vice President of the United States on January 20, 2021. Photo credit: C-SPAN

Kamala Harris’ story resonates with many Indian Americans from immigrant families.

From Indian American actress Mindy Kaling to young members of the community are all excited to see Kamala Harris, someone who “looks like us,” becoming America’s vice president.

Kaling, whose love letter to Indian American culture, the Netflix drama “Never Have I Ever,” won fans over last summer, took to social media as Harris was sworn in as vice president on Wednesday with a message about representation, ABC News reported.

The “A Wrinkle in Time” actress shared a photo to Instagram of her daughter, 3-year-old Katherine, watching the television as Harris, 56, made history as the first woman, first Black and first Indian American vice president.

“I was at work, but apparently she said: ‘Is that mommy? It looks like mommy.’ Best compliment I ever got! It matters. Happy Inauguration everyone,” Kaling wrote in the post.

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This isn’t the first time the Emmy-nominated writer, parents both immigrated to the US from India in 1979, the year she was born commented on what Harris’ political journey has meant to her, her daughter and others who look like them, ABC News noted.

When the 2020 presidential election was called for Joe Biden, Kaling — who is also mom to her 4-month-old son, Spencer — tweeted a photo of Harris and wrote, “Crying and holding my daughter, ‘look baby, she looks like us.'”

Harris had also talked more about her love of Indian food with Kaling in a Twitter video in 2019.

Harris’ family story has resonated with many Indian Americans, many of whom are from immigrant families, ABC News noted citing the example of Rani Gopal, 9, a South Carolina resident, who was excited to see Harris assume office.

“I’m so excited to see a woman vice president that’s Indian just like me,” Gopal said Wednesday.

Ajay Bhutoria, a Biden delegate from California and member of the national finance committee for Biden’s campaign, told ABC News that Harris’ success will help encourage more South Asians to aim for those leadership positions.

“It’s a matter of great pride, great joy,” he said. “Someone of Indian descent, the whole community is uplifted. Now I can look up and say to my kids, ‘Hey, if you work hard, and play by the rules, you could be VP one day and maybe president in the future.”

“The generation before me and my generation has worked hard to be a part of the political process and I think we’ve achieved something through this journey,” he added.


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