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IndiaAs Kamala Harris inches closer to victory, TN's twin villages prepare for...

As Kamala Harris inches closer to victory, TN’s twin villages prepare for early Diwali

Published: 7th Nov 2020 6:35 pm

Nagapattinam: With Democratic candidate for the Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris confident of her victory, the people of two villages in Tamil Nadu, which are native to her maternal grandparents, are also equally conviced that she would emerge victorious and eager to celebrate her win, an early Deepavali.

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The mood is upbeat at Thulasenthirapuram and Painganadu, tucked away in a corner of Tiruvarur district, a part of the fertile Cauvery delta region, and people are waiting only for a formal declaration that Kamala has won alongside Joe Biden to start celebrations.

The villagers have now kept firecrackers ready to hail a win for Kamala Harris, also a US Senator. Women are also planning to draw a mega rangoli in front of the village temple.

“We have collected Rangoli powders in different colours and are planning to draw the image of Kamala Harris. It is a matter of pride for the entire womenfolk,” said Meenakshi, a housewife at Thulasenthirapuram. The people feel proud that their villages happen to be the native place of the grandparents of Kamala Harris.

The road leading to Thulasenthirapuram and Painganadu villages from nearby Mannargudi town is filled with wall posters and digital banners wishing a resounding win for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

Though it may sound strange, US presidential election results are an animated topic of disucssion presently in this hinterland of Tamil Nadu in public places like tea stalls. Some people are also glued to the television looking for updates on US elections.

Earlier, on November 2, when the US went to the polls, the people performed special prayers in the local temple praying for a win for Kamala. Thulasenthirapuram and Painganadu are agrarian villages and are located very close to each other near Mannargudi which is about 50 km from here.

Kamala’s grandfather P V Gopalan moved out of Thulasenthirapuram village as a young man and took up a job in the British government service.Her grandmother Rajam belonged to the nearby Painganadu village.

Though Kamala’s ancestors left the village many decades ago, family members had kept their connections with the temple at Thulasenthirapuram intact. Gopalan and other family members have made donations for temple renovation during various periods.

As recently as 2014, a donation was made says the temple trustee Ramani. “It all started about a year back when Kamala Harris herself disclosed about her grandfather in social media.We realised that someone connected with our village was becoming prominent in the US.
Everyone here started talking about her,” said Ramanathan, a retired school teacher in the village.

“We don’t know much about her ancestors.Yet, it feels good she is creating history in the US,” he added. In all likelihood, Thulasenthirapuram and Painganadu villages appear to be headed for prolonged celebrations.

Confident of their victory in the US presidential election, Democratic candidate Joe Biden and his running mate Senator Kamala Harris have begun working on the task ahead by focusing on two critical areas of public health and economy, both battered by the raging COVID-19 pandemic.

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