Byline by- Vinayak Heliwal
Kamla Harris on Saturday made history by becoming the first woman, the first Black person, and the first Indian -American to be named vice president-elect of the United States, shattering barriers that have kept men entrenched at the highest levels of American politics for more than two centuries.
In her historic victory speech Kamala Harris encouraged girls by saying “While I may be the first woman in this office, I won’t be the last. Because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.”
The 56-year-old California senator Kamala Harris, a woman of Colour has broken the gender barrier after 244 years of America’s existence as a nation speaks to the increasing diversity of the US, a county built on the back of slave labor and which is facing its biggest racial reckoning since the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.
A senator from California, Harris had also shattered many glass ceiling earlier. She was San Francisco’s first female district attorney and California’s first woman of color to serve as the attorney general.
Earlier Kamala had launched her presidential bid and competed against Biden. However, she pulled off the race in December after she was struggled to address her past as a prosecutor. In August Joe Biden named Harris as his running mate and she has established himself as a crucial partner successfully garnering the support, not women, and voters of colour that played a key role in Biden’s victory.
Harris is known for fighting for seemingly progressive reforms in California. She introduces a program in San Francisco that offered first-time drug offenders education and work opportunities instead of jail time.
By her elevation to the second-highest office in the world’s sole superpower, Harris has the opportunity to bring issues that impact girls and women to the center of global attention and policymaking in ways that may have never happened before.
Harris, who was raised by her Indian mother for much of her childhood, also knows what it means to grow up in an immigrant family, and her Tamil-South Asian and Jamaican roots add layers of complexity to her idea of America.
Kamala Harris for the next four years will eventually be judged for her successes and failures as vice president like every other public official and politician holding high office. However, her presence by Biden’s side in his first term as they lead a new government and grapple with the enormous challenges ahead signals the beginning of something new and exciting for the Democratic Party, the United States, and the world.