Udayavni Special

Biden campaign seeks support from Hindu Americans


PTI, Sep 22, 2020, 12:40 PM IST

Washington DC: Contending that the vote of Hindu Americans will be an essential part of Democrats’ electoral success, prominent community members, including those who have worked with former US vice president Joe Biden, have said that a Biden administration would always work to have a constructive and positive relationship with India based on trust and conversation.

US President Donald Trump, a Republican, is seeking another term in the November 3 presidential election. Trump is being challenged by Biden, the Democratic Party’s nominee.

A Biden administration would always work to have a constructive and positive relationship with India, and by extension, with Hindu Americans who identify strongly with their Indian identities, Nisha Biswal, former assistant secretary of state for south and central Asia, said during a “Dharma of Voting” event by Hindu Americans for Biden and South Asians for Biden.

“In a Biden administration, there will always be trust and conversation with India. Conversations will happen with a sense of regard and respect,” Biswal said during the virtual event that featured high-ranking Obama-Biden administration alumni including Arun Kumar, former assistant secretary of commerce and Nishit Acharya, former director of innovation and entrepreneurship.

The panel also included Anu Natarajan, former vice mayor of Fremont, California, the first Hindu American elected to the Fremont city council and Aminta Kilawan-Naraine, a nationally recognised Caribbean Hindu leader and activist who founded the South Queens Women’s March in New York.

During the event, the speakers touched on the centrality of their Hindu identity, and how following their dharma, the quest for righteousness through selfless duty, led them to public service.

They also made impassioned pitches to fellow Hindu Americans to support the Biden-Harris ticket.

“Hindus participate in a quest for truth. The Biden administration will be committed to that quest,” said Kumar, now chairman and CEO of KPMG India.

Natarajan discussed the Hindu American and Indian American communities’ impact on election results.

Kilawan-Narine noted that Biden’s connection to his faith resonates with many Hindu Americans.

Dr Murali Balaji, co-chair of Hindu Americans for Biden, noted that the Trump administration’s actions against Hindu Americans contradicted his boasts of being a “big fan of Hindus,” as he once claimed in 2016.

“This administration has conducted raids against our Caribbean Hindu brothers and sisters, limited refugee opportunities for Hindus escaping religious persecution, capped immigration for Hindus coming from abroad, and revoked temporary protected status for nearly 10,000 Nepali Hindus displaced by the 2015 Nepal earthquake,” he alleged.

Hindu Americans are absolutely one of the most critical voting blocs in this year’s election, said Neha Dewan, national director for South Asians for Biden.

“As highlighted at the event, the Biden-Harris ticket has a deep and longstanding relationship with the Hindu American community, and is actively listening to their voices and working to earn their votes,” she said.

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