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How the Kamala Harris pick is playing with Indian Americans, a fast-growing and influential voting bloc

WASHINGTON — Rep. Pramila Jayapal got a one-word text from her mother Maya Jayapal when Sen. Kamala Harris was announced as the Democratic vice-presidential nominee. 

“KAMALA.” 

An uncle texted her about the connection between her great aunt P.K. Devi, and Harris’ aunt Sarala Gopalan, who studied under Devi in medical school. 

The flood of texts from her family has not let up. 

The California senator’s first name, which means “lotus” in Sanskrit, has cascaded across social media and spilled into Indian family WhatsApp message groups since Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, announced her as his running mate Tuesday. An emotional video of a tear-filled Harini Krishnan, an Indian American on the Biden campaign, percolated online while a 2019 video of Harris making dosas, a south Indian dish, with comedian Mindy Kaling again went viral on Twitter.

Sen. Harris’ aunt, Sarala Gopalan, wrote this acknowledgment to Rep. Jayapal's aunt, P.K. Devi in a medical textbook.
Sen. Harris’ aunt, Sarala Gopalan, wrote this acknowledgment to Rep. Jayapal’s aunt,
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