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Here’s Why You Should Know About Author Meena Harris

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Who is Meena Harris? American author Meena Harris on Wednesday took to Twitter to remark on the ongoing farmers’ agitation in India. Harris is the niece of the United States Vice President Kamala Harris, tracing Indian origins through her maternal side of the family. 

After singer Rihanna’s tweet thrust the farmers’ protest to global attention, several international public figures including climate change activist Greta Thunberg, media personality Mia Khalifa, and author Harris, too shared their views on the matter, extending support to Indian farmers protesting around New Delhi against the centre’s controversial farm laws. 

“Unity” begins with truth. “Healing” is not possible without accountability. Stay loud. Accept nothing less,” Harris wrote

Who Is Meena Harris? 

Meenakshi Ashley Harris, known popularly as Meena Harris, is a lawyer, author, and women’s activist. She is the daughter of Maya Harris, the sister of current US Vice President Kamala Harris. Her recognition grew in 2020, the time her aunt was campaigning for the US Election, which is also when she released a book titled Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea. The book revolved around the life and times of her mother, aunt, and grandmother Shyamala Gopalan Harris. 

Meena Harris, who is vocal on social issues and human rights activism on social media, also founded a women-centric campaign Phenomenal Woman Action Campaign, under her ‘Phenomenal’ fashion label. Her brand is apparently a reference to a poem – Phenomenal Woman – by iconic Black poet Maya Angelou. Her second book Ambitious Girl is also gearing up to delve into women empowerment. She is mother to two daughters with husband Nikolas Ajagu. 

Who is Meena Harris? A look at her desi heritage 

Her maternal side of the family bears roots in India at their ancestral village in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Meena Harris often makes references to her Indian heritage on social media platforms.  

When an American politician took a jibe at Kamala Harris’ Indian name during the election campaign last year, Meena Harris was one among many who expressed pride in their non-American names. “#MyNameIs Meenakshi. I’m named after the Hindu goddess, as well as my great great grandmother. I come from a long line of strong women who taught me to be proud of my heritage,” she wrote. 

In November last year, Harris and Indian-American actor Mindy Kaling exchanged ‘sweet’ notes around the time of Diwali, that pumped up the festive mood on Twitter. Read about it here. 

A recent report by LA Times suggested that Kamala Harris-Joe Biden transition team’s ethic lawyers told the author that she could no longer produce clothing or write new books with her aunt’s name or likeness.  The article raised questions on Meena profiteering from her aunt’s election to the office of US Vice President. 

“Some things can’t be undone,” an unnamed White House official said, further adding, “That being said: Behavior needs to change.” Read more on that here.