HOUSTON - The local Indian community is reacting to Senator Kamala Devi Harris, after she was chosen to be Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's running mate. Two of her major influences are her mother and grandfather - both from southern India.
“The fact that her inspiration came from her Indian mother and grandfather is what touches the Indian-American community. It speaks to us because we can all relate to that,” said Sanjay Ramabhadran, an active member of the community and member of the Indo American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston.
She recently posted a picture of her mother on Instagram, who immigrated to the US to attend a doctoral program at UC Berkeley from Tamil Nadu, India. Pradeep Anand, a 42-year Sugar Land resident, is from the same roots.
“The interesting thing about those roots, and it is pretty consistent wherever you go or meet people from that place, especially these specific roots, there's a major focus on education as you can see from the journey that her mother made,” said Anand. “What I am seeing is a very marked shift of people who are somewhat indifferent and not taking this election so seriously. Even if they were, they were not conveying it. Now I think they have become a little more vocal.”
Dr. Subodh Bhuchar says the excitement for Harris’s nomination will be short-lived.
“Yes, we are excited as Indians. The democrats may be excited, but after two weeks as this honeymoon period is over, the real issues are going to come forward,” said Dr. Bhuchar who is a member of Indo American Conservatives of Texas. “I think I am happy for her and all the other Indians who are excited by that, but it really didn't excite me that much. I am not looking for race, I am looking for intelligence.”
“Just to feel that a vice president possibly could be from Indian descent, that's just thrilling. Anything can happen. It doesn't matter who you are or where you come from, if you want to achieve it, you can go ahead and achieve it,” said Shikha Gupta with the Indo American Forum of Ft. Bend.
I spoke with many others on all points of the political spectrum, and they all agree it is much more than the race. It is about the qualifications that matter when it comes to possibly becoming the vice president of the United States.