• 17 August, 2020 8:49 am


Meet Kamala Harris’s ‘very progressive’ Indian family

Kathmandu, Aug 17

Although Kamala Harris has been more understated about her Indian heritage than she has about her experience as a Black woman, her path to becoming the Democratic U.S. vice-presidential pick has also been guided by the values of her Indian-born mother, her Indian grandfather and her wider Indian family.

file photo- NYT

One of her brightest childhood memories was walking down the beach in Chennai, hand in hand with her grandfather, P.V. Gopalan, a career civil servant who had an unusually progressive outlook on public service and an unswerving support for women, especially in terms of education. He instilled great confidence in Ms. Harris’s mother, Shyamala Gopalan, who went to the U.S. in the late 1950s, young and alone, and made a career as a breast cancer researcher. When Ms. Gopalan won admission to a Ph.D. program at the University of California, Berkeley (without anyone in the family knowing she had applied), P.V. Gopalan did not hesitate to pay. Quotable: “One thing that he strongly believed in was that, whether it is a son or a daughter, they must be equally educated,” said Ms. Harris’s aunt, Sarala Gopalan, who became a well-known gynecologist.

“I do not know whose influence it was, but this is how he was.” Last visit: Ms. Harris took her mother’s ashes back to Chennai 11 years ago, after she died of cancer, and with her uncle scattered them in the waves from the very beach she used to stroll on with her grandfather. She hasn’t been back since. A fire drill conducted by Japan’s self-defense force last year.

source : NYtimes

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