Five Indian Americans took oath as the members of the Congress yesterday, creating history for a minority ethnic community that comprises just one per cent of the population.
Kamala Harris (52) was sworn-in as the Senator from California by outgoing Vice-President Joe Biden. She is the first Indian American to have ever served in the Senate. Her mother was from India and father from Jamaica of African heritage.
She was accompanied by her husband Doug Emhoff, sister Maya Harris and other members of her immediate family members during the swearing in ceremony.
Harris, who before the swearing in held the position of California Attorney General replaced Senator Barbara Boxer, who decided against seeking re-election. She is one of the seven new Senators to have taken office in the new Congress.
"Today I was sworn-in to the US Senate. I am humbled and honoured to serve you and the people of California. Let's get to work," Harris said immediately thereafter.
After her elections, she has made it clear that her top priority would be to fight out the alleged divisive policies of the Republicans who are now in majority in both the House of Representative and the Senate.
In the House of Chambers, four Indian Americans were sworn in as its members, including Congressman Ami Bera, who has been re-elected for the third consecutive term. In the process he equalled the record of Dalip Singh Saundh, who exactly 60-years ago became the first Indian American to be elected as a member of the US Congress.
Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, who won the election from Illinois and Tulsi Gabbard from Hawaii took the oath on Gita.
Gabbard, the first ever Hindu to be elected to the US Congress, was sworn-in for the third consecutive term.
Ro Khanna (40), who won from Silicon Valley, was the other Indian American who took oath. He was sworn in on a bicentennial edition of the Constitution on loan from the rare books division of the Library of Congress.