Blog: Will Kamala Harris don a sari to unpack soft power tool in a divided America?

Reuters
Reuters

The sari, a civilisational statement in six yards, embodies Harris’s India connect because of her mother who lived there before immigrating to the US in the late 1950s.



By Joydeep Sen Gupta

Published: Wed 20 Jan 2021, 3:47 PM

Last updated: Wed 20 Jan 2021, 5:59 PM

What US Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris wears on Wednesday’s presidential inauguration goes beyond symbolism, sartorial choice and a power statement?

Flippancy be damned.

Harris, who has created a few records such as the US’s Black and South Asian V-P, may celebrate the pluralism of American dream by wearing a traditional sari at the inauguration ceremony, even if the celebrations will be muted and virtual owing to the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak.

Will she make her heritage familiar amid a fractured US heightened by the raging pandemic?

The sari, a civilisational statement in six yards, embodies Harris’s India connect because of her mother who lived there before immigrating to the US in the late 1950s.

Sari may show the way how the Biden-Harris administration plans to lead the US and make it inclusive for its minorities.

The incoming V-P, whose father was from Jamaica, is not entirely unfamiliar with the Indian couture, as some of her pictures from younger days reveal.

Harris in a resplendent kanjeevaram is a pretty picture that will speak 1,000 words, as women and marginalised people can look up to her occupying the highest office in the US, and have a ready connect with her.

It could be a weaponisation of a woman’s image.

Is Harris ready to oblige us with that groundbreaking image?

joydeep@khaleejtimes.com


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