Dr. Ruby Lal, Professor of South Asian Studies and Associated Faculty in the History Department, recently wrote an op-ed for The Indian Express. The piece examines connections between the biographies of U.S. vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris and Mughal Empress Nur Jahan (1577-1645), the focus of Lal’s 2018 book Empress: The Astonishing Reign of Nur Jahan. Read an excerpt from the article below along with the full piece here: “There are parallels between the stories of Mughal Empress Nur Jahan & US vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris.”
Although four hundred years apart, the life story of Senator Kamala Harris, vice-presidential nominee for the 2020 US election, and the Mughal Empress Nur Jahan, resonate deeply. Both leaders are daughters of migrants who went to new countries in search of a better future; both were raised by strong mothers in mixed ethnic and racial cosmopolitan communities. What connects them above all is experience-building, the slow work of accumulation of power — and their rise as strong and compassionate female leaders.