Celebrating Kamala Harris” selection as the vice presidential candidate for the Democratic Party, Indian-Americans in the US have launched ”Indians for Biden National Council” to campaign for the Indian-origin candidate in the November 3 presidential elections.
In recognition of the historic nature of Senator Harris’s announcement, and the opportunity it presents to further cement the Indian American community’s support for the Democratic Party, the Council will promote and highlight the close ties between the 2020 Democratic Ticket and the Indian American community. The Council will debut on Saturday at the Indian Independence Day event hosted by the Biden campaign and South Asians for Biden.
Under the South Asians for Biden umbrella organization, the Council will mobilize Indian Americans of all faiths and backgrounds to work to get the Biden-Harris ticket and other Democrats elected across the country.
Neha Dewan, National Director of South Asians for Biden, noted that it was critical for Indian Americans and other South Asians to understand what’s at stake with the election, especially with early voting beginning in just a few weeks.
“South Asians for Biden is excited to launch the Indians for Biden National Council to promote a ticket that is reflective of America,” Dewan said. “Joe Biden’s experience and know-how, along with Kamala Harris’s unrelenting grit and passion for fighting for justice, is exactly what is needed for these unprecedented times. That Senator Kamala Harris is the daughter of immigrants from Jamaica and India, adds another dimension to this moment.”
South Asians for Biden has selected Sanjeev Joshipura to serve as the Director for the Indians for Biden National Council. “We are on the cusp of a historic moment with the election of a ticket that features a Black and Indian American woman,” said Joshipura. “It’s up to us to educate and mobilize the community because the Indian American community’s future hinges upon this election.”
Joshipura added that the Council intends to seize on this historic moment by “working to educate community members about Biden’s long history of supporting India and the Indian American community, as well as educating voters of Senator Harris’s illustrious career in public service, and highlighting Harris’s Indian heritage.”
The Indians for Biden National Council will announce key team members in the coming weeks as the group ramps up its efforts to help Joe Biden and Kamala Harris defeat Donald Trump. To register for the Indian Independence Day event featuring remarks from Biden, please visit:
South Asians for Biden is a national, grassroots organization that is dedicated to engaging, educating, and mobilizing the South Asian community to help to elect Joe Biden as the next President of the United States.
The council intends to seize on this historic moment by “working to educate community members about Biden”s long history of supporting India and the Indian American community, as well as educating voters of Senator Harris” illustrious career in public service,” Joshipura said.
Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) congratulated Harris on being the first woman of colour as a vice presidential pick on a major party”s ticket.
The senator from California”s Asian American and Black heritage makes her nomination a milestone for both Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPI) and the African-American communities, it said.
“Senator Harris” achievement highlights the very mission of APAICS in promoting representation of AAPIs in all levels of government,” said Madalene Xuan-Trang Mielke, president and CEO of APAICS.
“As a national non-partisan, non-profit, we believe in community-wide participation of AAPIs in the electoral process as voters and as candidates. Senator Harris” historic achievement has already inspired and excited the AAPI community,” she said.
South Asian Bar Association, North America, in a statement, congratulated Harris on her historic nomination. Harris had delivered the keynote address at SABA”s annual conference in 2007 and 2013.
Meanwhile, Sampat Shivangi, national president of Indian American Forum for Political Education, said Harris is a great choice for the Democratic Party under the circumstances. He said the Democrats needed an African-American or minority group member, or at least a woman candidate for the vice president nomination. Shinvangi said Harris ticks all the boxes and she also has tremendous fund raising capabilities and a strong administrative background.
“In reality she is not an Indian-American, neither she claims to be one. She claims to be African-American or black American as her father is Jamaican and that counts legally,” said Shivangi, who has been elected as a delegate to the Republican National Convention for the fifth consecutive time. “She always said that she is black American or origin from the Caribbean as you have 15 to 18 percent vote bank in the USA, compared to 2.5 million Indians or nearly 1.1 per cent of the American vote. She has always said she is Baptist and African to, possibly, garner those votes,” Shivangi said.
According to Shivangi, Harris as vice presidential nominee will split votes of the Indian Americans. “Some Indian Americans will have a tough decision to make as their loyalty may be towards a so-called candidate of Indian heritage or a candidate of pro-Indian stance such as President Donald Trump,” he said.
“Definitely many Indians are wary about the fact that both Biden and Harris have questioned the legitimacy of India passing Article 370 and Citizenship (Amendment) Bill protests. Both do not have affinity towards India unlike President Trump. Indians are right in saying that Biden is not tougher on China as well,” Shivangi said.