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US Elections: Prayers For Kamala Harris In Tamil Nadu; For Trump In Delhi

The locals of Tamil Nadu's Thulasenthirapuram offered special prayers for Harris because her maternal grandfather was born there.
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Getty Images/Reuters
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The elections are happening in the US, but in faraway India, people are praying for two of the top contenders — President Donald Trump and Democratic vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris.

While Harris has her roots in India, a fringe Hindu right-wing group, Hindu Sena, has long been showing their support for Trump.

Posters of Harris have been put up in the village of Thulasenthirapuram in Tamil Nadu where her maternal grandfather, PV Gopalan, was born. The locals in the village of Tamil Nadu’s Thiruvarur district held special prayers for Harris on Tuesday.

Harris’s connections to India don’t end here. When Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden announced in August that Harris would be his running mate, people from Chennai’s Besant Nagar — where Harris’s mother grew up — were ecstatic, eliciting several jokes on Twitter.

A temple priest gives holy ashes to residents as they offer prayers for the US Democratic vice-presidential candidate, Kamala Harris, at her ancestral village of Thulasendrapuram in Tamil Nadu on November 3, 2020.
ARUN SANKAR via Getty Images
A temple priest gives holy ashes to residents as they offer prayers for the US Democratic vice-presidential candidate, Kamala Harris, at her ancestral village of Thulasendrapuram in Tamil Nadu on November 3, 2020.
A poster of US Democratic vice-presidential candidate, Kamala Harris, is displayed at a temple in Thulasendrapuram in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu on November 3, 2020.
ARUN SANKAR via Getty Images
A poster of US Democratic vice-presidential candidate, Kamala Harris, is displayed at a temple in Thulasendrapuram in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu on November 3, 2020.

The locals of Thulasenthirapuram want Harris to win. One of them, who participated in the prayers, told PTI, “She has to win and that is all we want. Her win will be a proud moment for India, Tamil Nadu and more importantly our village.”

RR Kalidas Vandayar, a businessman and the head of a cricket association in the nearest town, plans to offer food to more than 150 people to seek their blessings for Harris, reported Reuters.

“She is from here and we are proud of her,” said Vandayar’s brother RR Jayakumar Vandayar told the news agency.

But the prayers from India are not just for her, but also for US President Trump.

Activists of Hindu Sena, a Hindu right-wing group, perform a special prayer to ensure a victory of U.S. President Donald Trump in the elections, in New Delhi, India November 3, 2020.
REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
Activists of Hindu Sena, a Hindu right-wing group, perform a special prayer to ensure a victory of U.S. President Donald Trump in the elections, in New Delhi, India November 3, 2020.

The right-wing Hindu Sena are long-time supporters of Trump, even celebrating his birthday every year.

Hindu Sena founder Vishnu Gupta told Reuters, “India can fight terrorism only if Trump is around, and both China and Pakistan will stay restrained as long as he is the president.”

“We wish Harris well because of her Indian ancestry, but vice presidents are not as powerful,” Gupta said.

(With inputs from PTI and Reuters)

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This article exists as part of the online archive for HuffPost India, which closed in 2020. Some features are no longer enabled. If you have questions or concerns about this article, please contact indiasupport@huffpost.com.