Indians watch with a mix of pride and skepticism as Kamala Harris prepares to become US VP
A motorcyclist rides past a poster of US Democratic vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris at her ancestral village of Thulasendrapuram in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu Arun SANKAR AFP

n India, all eyes will be on Kamala Harris when she becomes US vice president in January. FRANCE 24 traveled to her ancestral village to see what the locals think of her election.


In the Southern Indian village of Thulasendrapuram, where Kamala Harris’ ancestors come from, people are filled with pride at her election and celebrated the Democrat’s victory with a huge prayer in the temple.

“We are sure she will do a good job,” one woman said. “That’s a given.”

Another woman said she was more inspired by her gender than by her ethic origin. Harris has shown women “how to be successful and brave,” the woman said.

Harris’ uncle, Balachandran Gopalan, remembered her as an inquisitive and playful child, but said her serious side came out when she entered public life with her bid to be District Attorney. Then she was “very focused and intelligent” and she stuck to her values, he said.

But not everyone in India is so thrilled, most notably on the Hindu right.

“She will be constantly siding with these leftist elements in our country who regard every incident as a genocide, as a snuffing of democracy, as Muslim targeting,” said BJP leader and member of the upper house of parliament Subramanian Swamy. “She may be very pro-Indian but she is not going to be pro BJP or very well inclined to the Indian government.”