Prayers for Kamala Harris at ancestral Indian village

Harris, 56, was born in California, but was often taken to India by her mother — breast cancer specialist Shyamala Gopalan — and has spoken about the positive influence of her grandfather.

Her maternal grandfather P.V. Gopalan, a senior Indian civil servant, was born in Thulasendrapuram village in Tamil Nadu state.

At the village’s main temple Tuesday, some 60 locals offered prayers, bathed an idol of Dharma Sastha — an avatar of Hindu god Ayyappan  — and served food as part of a ceremony.

Kamala Harris et al. riding on the back of a bicycle: 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 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

On nearby streets and outside the temple, large posters featuring Harris had been erected.

Villagers from the southern Indian ancestral home of US vice-president hopeful Kamala Harris prayed Tuesday for her victory in an election on the other side of the globe as polls opened.Indian art school teachers paint images of US President Donald Trump and Democratic Presidential Candidate and former US Vice President Joe Biden ahead of the upcoming US presidential elections, outside an art school in Mumbai.© Indranil MUKHERJEE Indian art school teachers paint images of US President Donald Trump and Democratic Presidential Candidate and former US Vice President Joe Biden ahead of the upcoming US presidential elections, outside an art school in Mumbai.

“The entire village is rooting for her,” villager Rajesh told AFP.

“We are hoping for her to win, which is why we are offering special prayers here.”

“We are immensely proud that she is from this particular village,” added Arulmozhi Sudhakar.

“After she wins, we want her to visit this village and come to this temple. We even have plans for special prayers when she comes.”

Harris is already a trailblazer as California’s first Black attorney general and the first woman of South Asian heritage elected to the US Senate.

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