Kamala Harris Cherishes Memories of India: A Deep Connection
Kamala Harris, the Vice President of the United States, shared her heartfelt memories of India and expressed her deep connection to the country. She acknowledged India’s rich history and teachings, emphasizing their global influence and how they have inspired millions of people around the world.
During a luncheon hosted by Kamala Harris and Secretary of State Antony Blinken in honor of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Harris spoke about the profound impact that India has had on her life. She fondly recalled her childhood journeys to India alongside her sister, Maya, revealing the purpose behind those trips. They were meant to provide them with a deeper understanding of their mother’s roots, to spend time with their grandparents, uncle, and extended family, and to relish the taste of good idli, a popular South Indian dish.
Harris reminisced about visiting her grandparents in what was then called Madras (now Chennai). She cherished her relationship with her grandfather, who held a special place in her heart. As the eldest grandchild, Harris felt the cultural significance of her position and took full advantage of it within her family. She described her grandfather’s morning routine, which involved long walks on the beach with his retired buddies, fellow civil servants. As they debated the pressing issues of the day, Harris held her grandfather’s hand, attentively listening to their discussions.
Although she was young at the time, Harris recalled how these conversations left a lasting impression on her. Her grandfather shared stories about freedom fighters and the founding heroes of India, emphasizing the values of fighting corruption and striving for equality irrespective of one’s beliefs or caste. These walks and conversations became a source of valuable lessons, teaching Harris about the essence of democracy and the importance of safeguarding it. They played a pivotal role in igniting her passion for public service and have continued to guide her throughout her life.
Harris acknowledged the profound influence her grandfather, P.V. Gopalan, had on shaping her character. She also recognized the dedication, determination, and courage of her mother, Shyamala, in contributing to her journey. Harris attributed her position as Vice President of the United States to the lessons learned from her grandfather and the values instilled in her by her mother.
Expressing her gratitude, Harris commended Prime Minister Modi for his leadership in helping India emerge as a global power in the 21st century. She highlighted his efforts in strengthening international collaborations, such as reinvigorating the Quad and leading the G20 to make strides in climate finance. Harris also thanked Modi for his commitment to international institutions and global solutions for tackling global challenges.
As the Chair of the National Space Council, Harris expressed appreciation for Modi’s partnership in space exploration and their joint work on an earth science satellite aimed at addressing the climate crisis. She applauded India’s decision to join the Artemis Accords, a commitment to the safe and transparent use of space.
In conclusion, Kamala Harris shared her deep connection to India, emphasizing the country’s profound influence on her life. Her cherished memories of childhood visits to India and the insightful conversations with her grandfather shaped her values and sparked her interest in public service. Harris expressed gratitude for Prime Minister Modi’s leadership and highlighted the importance of international collaborations in addressing global challenges. The bond between Kamala Harris and India serves as a testament to the enduring ties between nations and the personal impact of cross-cultural experiences.