Following on the footsteps of the Trump campaign’s launch of Hindu Voices for Trump in mid-August, one of four organizations targeting the Indian-American electorate, the Biden campaign has revved up its outreach to this faith community.
This Sept. 3, 2020, the Democratic presidential campaign under the aegis of South Asians for Biden, launched what it said was “an aggressive push” to engage Hindu Americans by launching ‘Hindu Americans for Biden’, focusing on hate crimes against members of the community “in the Trump era.”
“Every Hindu American vote counts, and the Biden-Harris campaign is committed to actions, not empty rhetoric,” Murali Balaji, co-chair of Hindu Americans for Biden, is quoted saying in the press release. “We can’t stress enough the historic moment we’re in when a Democratic presidential campaign has engaged Hindus at the level of this campaign. We look forward to helping the Biden-Harris ticket and Democrats down ballot win in November.”
The event entitled, “Preventing Hate Crimes and Protecting Mandirs” featured remarks by Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Illinois, a Hindu American member of Congress. Rep. Krishnamoorthi noted that Hindu Americans will play a vital role in the upcoming election, and that mobilizing them will be key to a Biden-Harris victory, a press release from the Biden campaign said.
“This outreach shows the Biden-Harris campaign is serious about the Hindu American community,” Krishnamoorthi said. “I’m excited to work with Hindu Americans for Biden and our core constituencies to help us win in November.”
Niki Shah, Hindu Americans for Biden member and host of the discussion, noted the importance of engaging the Hindu American community. “The socioeconomic and cultural diversity of our community cannot be overlooked,” Shah said. “We have to make sure we are proactively engaging with the entire Hindu American community and ensure we are addressing challenges facing us.”
The discussion, which was co-sponsored by South Asians for Biden, also discussed the need for Hindu temples to embrace enhanced safety measures in light of recent violence and vandalism including the violent attack on a Hindu priest in New York last year.
“Vice President Biden has pledged to increase prosecution of hate crimes committed against religious minority groups such as Hindu Americans,” the press release said.
“Religious minorities, including Hindus, have lived in fear over the past four years,” said Amit Jani, the Biden campaign’s AAPI outreach director. “We need to make sure that the Hindu American community feels safe. A Biden-Harris administration will strive to do that.”
Hindu Americans for Biden plans to hold other events in the coming weeks leading up to the election, organizers said in the press release.