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‘My Mother Is My Inspiration,’ Says Kamala Harris, American VP Candidate

Posted: August 12, 2020

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Joe Biden’s chosen Vice-Presidential candidate, Kamala Harris is a strong woman whose mother inspired her to fight for her rights and for what is right. 

The United States of America is all set for the US Presidential elections to take place in November. Joe Biden, the US Democratic Presidential candidate, has picked Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate, and choice for the Vice-President. 

This makes Kamala Harris, not just the first Black woman but also the first Asian American to be listed on a major party’s presidential ticket in the US. She is the daughter of Donald Harris a Jamaican born American economics professor and Shyamala Gopalan a Tamil-American cancer researcher and civil rights activist.

Kamala Harris wears many hats. Other than being the vice-presidential contender, she is a successful lawyer, a democratic senator and an influential human rights activist. But before all of these, she is a woman whose mother’s ideologies shaped her life.

Shyamala Gopalan- Kamala Harris’ inspiration

Kamala Harris’s mother, Shyamala Gopalan, is amongst the most significant sources of inspiration in her life. Born in Chennai is 1938, Shyamala Gopalan was a high achiever who pursued a career in medical research.

After completing her graduation from the University of Delhi, at the age of 20, she travelled to the US for her doctorate in nutrition and endocrinology. She did this from the University of California, Berkeley. 

All her life, she was highly involved in civil rights activism and even rejected the cultural and traditional idea of arranged marriages. She married Donald Harris, a Jamaican born American.

Shyamala Gopalan’s fearlessness, courage and determination to fight for the right is what inspired her daughter to be women of grit who stand up for themselves!

‘Her spirit still drives me to fight for our values’

Often, Kamala Harris mentioned how her mother has inspired her to become a better person. In one of the interviews, she said that her mother used to say “Don’t sit around and complain about things, do something.’ I think she was saying, You’ve got to get up and stand up and don’t give up the fight.

Through her Instagram updates, we often see how the earliest lessons for Kamala Harris came from her mother. We can see how her mother taught her to get up and take charge of things. 

In one of the short video on Instagram, she said “My mother was the greatest source of inspiration in my life. She taught me that I had a responsibility to fight for justice.” 

Shyamala Gopalan also made sure that her children never forget their roots. For this, she gave Kamala and her sister Maya, Sanskrit names to connect their heritage to their identities. 

Through her continuous activism and fight for the right, she made both her daughters focus on immigration and equal rights. Shyamala has had a profound influence and lasting legacy on her high-flying daughters. 

Kamala’s fearlessness and combativeness undoubtedly stem out of her ambitious mother. You indeed, cannot know who Kamala Harris is without knowing who her mother was!

Picture Credits – Twitter

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