When Shyamala Gopalan first set her feet on American soil and was clearing her immigration formalities, she did not know what the future would bring. She was totally unaware that she was going to give to that nation a daughter who would create history close to six decades later.
It was a moment of joy when Joe Biden selected Kamala Harris to be his running mate in early August. It was an endorsement of the American dream of diversity and acceptance. However, I was taken back down memory lane to 1988 to come to terms with a reality.
The topic of a debating competition that I had attended was “The world today is a world of women ”. Of the arguments that I had presented, I remember citing examples of Margaret Thatcher making a hattrick with her prime ministership and Corazon Aquino restoring democracy in the Philippines.
In my youthful spirit, I was indulging in blissful ignorance, nurturing the thought of women ruling the world on all fronts in a few years to come. I did not realize that three decades later, we would still be talking about equality and gender bias.
A moment of joy!
It was mid morning in Atlanta when news channels all across buzzed with the announcement of the outcome of the US presidential elections. Joe Biden was to become the 46th President, and the country, for the first time ever, would have Kamala Harris as the first woman Vice President!
Today, the moment has arrived when I feel that we have hope. I am totally overwhelmed as I celebrate the power of a woman. The United States will be having the daughter of an immigrant Indian walking into the West Wing of the White House.
“We did it, we did it Joe. You’re going to be the next President of the United States”, said Kamala Harris in her vivacious laughter. She accepted the news casually dressed and walking amidst the greenery, looking forward to a journey where she has a lot to accomplish.
The true essence of a leader is when one thinks about the nation as a family. It was so heartwarming to read a tweet from Kamala shortly after the announcement of the results. She said that the election was not just about Joe Biden and herself but the soul of America and the drive to fight for it.
Hoping for a bright future
It was 6:35 AM when I stood in line to vote early for the presidential elections back in early October. I moved to the United States in the early 90’s, and this country has given me a lot. I have had my share of joys and hardships.
I have never demonstrated any political leaning by openly being a Democrat or a Republican. What I look for in a leader is honesty, empathy, sincerity, and the desire to make the country united and not a polarized playground.
The United States is pinning its hope on its new leaders to guide the nation towards the path of true democracy, openness, positivity, and progress. A lot will be bestowed on the shoulders of Kamala Harris as she gets ready to assist Biden to navigate the ship.
It’s a historic moment as Kamala becomes the first African-American/ Indian-American woman to ascend the Vice-Presidency. Here’s to wishing her the very best of luck in her noble endeavor as we salute her mother Shyamala Gopalan Harris for gifting to this nation her lovely daughter!
(This article was featured today in Women’s Web )