US Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris' uncle, Dr. Gopalan Balachandran, has said that he and his family will fly to the United States (US) to attend her swearing-in ceremony in January 2021. The 80-year-old Delhi-based professor, who is Harris's maternal uncle, has always been sure of her win, even claiming in the past that his niece will become the first female vice-president of the US.
An accomplished scholar who previously worked as a consultant at the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA), Balachandran is a resident of Delhi's Malviya Nagar and is the brother of Harris's mother Shyamala Gopalan.
"My daughter is already there, helping Kamala with her campaign. All of us will fly down... I wouldn't miss it for anything," Balachandran told the Indian Express. Meanwhile, Harris's sister, lawyer Maya Harris, also tweeted, "OMG it's happening... our next Vice President of the United States... our first-ever Madam Vice President... my sister, Kamala Harris!"
OMG it’s happening...our next Vice President of the United States...our first-ever MADAM Vice President...my sister, @KamalaHarris! 😭😭😭🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸— Maya Harris (@mayaharris_) November 7, 2020
Balachandran further told the daily that had Harris' mother been alive today, she would have been extremely proud of her daughter. Harris' mother, Shyamala Gopalan, an Indian biomedical scientist, died of cancer in 2009. The 56-year-old Harris was vociferous against racial injustice and in favour of police reforms after African-American George Floyd was killed by police in Minneapolis. She also marched with protesters on the streets of Washington.
In an attempt to explain her penchant for social activism, Balachandran said that she was inspired by her mother Shyamala, who would be a regular presence at civil rights protests in the US. As a result, Harris grew up to be a fervent believer in equal rights for all citizens. The accomplished scholar on international relations and economics further stated that he was sure that his niece would take steps to "guarantee these rights in her country."
He also acknowledged that Harris' victory set a landmark in ways more than one-first female Vice President, first Indian-American Vice President, and the first African-American Vice President in the US and said, "She believes in equality for all. I know that she will make her mark."