Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) falsely stated on Wednesday night that India is the "oldest democracy in the world," a title that actually belongs to the United States.
Harris, whose mother Shyamala Harris is from India, made the remark after she was asked by the Washington Post‘s Jonathan Capehart how "being half Indian-American" shaped her "identity and political views."
"You know, India is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, democracy in the world," Harris said.
The statement has no basis in fact. The Republic of India wasn't established as a democracy until 1950 after it won independence from Great Britain. Its first democratic election, which took several months to conduct, was not completed until February 1952, just under 67 years ago.
The world's longest surviving democracy is actually the United States, which ratified its Constitution more than two centuries ago in 1788 and has held continuous elections ever since.
A spokesperson for Harris did not respond to an inquiry into the comment and whether the senator believes India is the oldest democracy in the world. India's actual claim to fame is that it's the world's largest democracy, with over 800 million people eligible to vote in its elections.
Harris is expected to announce her run for president of the United States later this month.