A woman wrote in color powder outside her home: “Congratulations Kamala Harris. Pride of our village. Vanakkam (Greetings) America.”Most of them had gone to sleep by the time Biden clinched the winning threshold of 270 Electoral College votes, making Harris the first woman and the first person of South Asian descent to be elected vice president.“For two or three days we kept our fingers crossed while the result was delayed,” said village resident Kalidas Vamdayar. “Now it’s a joyful moment for us. We are enjoying it.”
America Votes 2020: Kamala Harris makes history
J. Sudhakar, who organized prayers on Election Day, expressed his wish that Harris will visit. As Americans voted, around 50 residents, with folded hands, lined up in the temple that reverberated with the sound of ringing bells, and a Hindu priest gave them sweets and flowers as a religious offering.Women in the village, which is located 350 kilometers (215 miles) from the southern coastal city of Chennai, used bright colors to write “We Wish Kamala Harris Wins” on the ground, alongside a thumbs-up sign.The lush green village is the hometown of Harris’ maternal grandfather, who had moved to Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu state, decades ago.Inside the temple where people have been holding special prayers, Harris’ name is sculpted into a stone that lists public donations made to the temple in 2014, along with that of her grandfather who gave money decades ago.
U.S. election: VP-elect Kamala Harris says road ahead won’t be easy, ‘but America is ready’
Harris stood by Pramila Jayapal, another U.S. congresswoman of Indian origin, when Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar refused to attend a meeting in the United States over her participation last year. Jayapal had earlier moved a resolution on the Kashmir issue critical of India in the House of Representatives.Rights groups accuse India of human rights violations in Indian-controlled Kashmir, where insurgent groups have been fighting for independence or merger with neighboring Pakistan since 1989.