In a virtual interview on Wednesday after Joe Biden’s picked Kamala Harris as his running mate, her uncle Balachandran mentioned that Harris’ views of politics and civil rights were shaped by her strong-willed mother.
Her mother Shayamala Gopalan went against the norms by traveling to the U.S for her higher studies back in 1958. Comparing Kamala with her mother he said his strongest impression of his niece was her ability to stand her ground.
He referred to incidence back in 2004 where Harris made a decision of not seeking the death penalty for the killer of a policeman while she was serving as a district attorney in San Francisco.
Despite the opposition from the Police Union, Harris had the ability to stick to her decision. “Her ability to stick to her principles and to convince those who opposed her logic to come to her side was my strongest impression of her,” Balachandran said.
Harris’ uncle Balachandran is a resident of New Delhi, India and specializes in civil nuclear issues and holds a Ph.D. in economics and computer science from the University of Wisconsin.
Her mother Shayamala was also politically active in the U.S even when it was very uncommon for an Indian – American to do so. She had met Kamala’s father Donald Harris, a Jamaican national during the black civil rights movement of the 1960s.
Harris’ views and principles concerning Human rights and justice are majorly influenced by her mother.
He also mentioned that he is going to refrain from talking to Harris until the elections are over because their conversation might be used against Harris during the campaign.
He said he feared if they talk then some people might as well think that since he has been a consultant to the Americas division of the external affairs ministry, he is probably guiding Harris. Which could actually sound like “Indians are interfering in the U.S” he said.
He has only been able to send her a congratulatory message so far that said “Kamala, congratulations. Shyamala would have been very proud.”
Harris is the first American of Indian and African origin to have received a Nomination for Vice Presidential run from a major party. Although her political views are shaped by her Indian mother and she has a lot of love for India but that definitely does not means that she gives a free pass to everything India Does, her uncle said. Harris’ ability to take stand for her principals and her commitment to human rights was evident when she positioned herself against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act being passed in India. She refused to change her views even if it upset those in power.