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Indian-Americans say Biden, Harris have best understanding of community; describe Trump as 'foe'

Joe Biden and his running mate Senator Kamala Harris have the best understanding of the Indian-American community, the diaspora leaders supporting the two Democratic candidates have said, describing US President Donald Trump as a "foe" who criticises India on the world stage.

PTI | Washington DC | Updated: 24-10-2020 11:08 IST | Created: 24-10-2020 11:06 IST
Indian-Americans say Biden, Harris have best understanding of community; describe Trump as 'foe'
Representative image Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Joe Biden and his running mate Senator Kamala Harris have the best understanding of the Indian-American community, the diaspora leaders supporting the two Democratic candidates have said, describing US President Donald Trump as a "foe" who criticises India on the world stage. With less than a fortnight to go for the November 3 presidential election, Indian-Americans on Friday asserted that Biden, first as a US Senator and thereafter as the vice president, has a strong track record of helping the community.

Trump, a Republican, is being challenged by Biden in the US presidential election. "After four years of the Trump administration, we know our children and grandchildren will not have the same opportunities as we had. We need a leader who understands our community, our values, our pride and appreciates our hard work and gives equal opportunity and say in his administration," said Ajay Jain Bhutoria, a Silicon Valley-based entrepreneur.

Bhutoria said that Biden and Harris are the leaders who will lead the country out of this mess and restore its soul, revive the middle-class economy and re-establish America's leadership on the world stage and best relationship with India. Referring to the final presidential debate between Trump and Biden on Friday, Bhutoria said that the president criticised India on the world stage.

"The community understands who the real friend of India is, who the foe. Trump is a foe. Most recently on the debate stage saying- you cannot trust India's COVID-19 numbers and India is filthy. He has suspended the H1 Visa Programme, put trade deals with India in jeopardy, and has used (Indian Prime Minister Narendra) Modi's friendship for photo opportunities only," he alleged. During the final presidential debate, Trump accused China, India and Russia of not taking care of their "filthy air" as he justified America's withdrawal from the landmark Paris climate agreement.

"Biden celebrated Diwali with (former) president Obama in the White House and at his residence. The former vice president has a deep connection with Indo-American community and India. Biden understands the values of Indo Americans. In his recent Op-ed he shares how he felt deeply connected to the Indian community and the values of the Indian community," he said. Indian-Americans share deep connections with Biden and Kamala Harris, he said. According to a recent survey, 80 per cent of Indian-American community is strongly behind Biden and Harris. "Indo Americans understand that the way they share their values with Biden and Harris, (they) think that (US President Donald) Trump does not share their values and has failed and is leading America on the wrong path," Bhutoria said.

California State Assembly member Ash Kalra said that he has known Senator Harris and her sister Maya for over two decades. "Kamala's pride of her Indian heritage runs as deep as her love for her late mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris. Kamala speaks fondly of her trips to India as a child and connects many of the ideals she fights for as an elected leader to the Indian values of her upbringing," he said.

"With Joe Biden, a leader who during the course of his long career has proven his deep understanding of the needs of the Indian community, Kamala Harris will reaffirm the commitment our future president will have to our needs. The entire Indian community will be well represented with her as our next vice president," Kalra said. Aditi Pal with Desi Blue said that the community has always known Biden as a friend of India.

"Seven years ago, as vice president, he told business leaders in Mumbai that the US-India partnership was the defining relationship of the 21st Century. As a Senator, he was instrumental in the passing of India's Civil Nuclear Deal. And it was during Obama-Biden administration that the two countries saw their best years for the Indo-US relationship. Joe's choice of Kamala Harris also gave us immigrants from India a sense of pride," Pal said. "Joe's humility & inclusiveness is evident when he tells immigrants 'thank you for choosing America'," she said.

According to Ashok Bhatt, businessman and former California Water commissioner, Obama-Biden administration Democrats gave India priority. When Narendra Modi became Prime Minister, Obama-Biden welcomed him and opened up economic areas and visas to students and tourists. H1 visas became so liberal and India benefitted the most from it. "I believe the Biden-Kamala team will be great for Indo-American relationships and the economy of both countries will be flourishing," Bhatt said.

Biden is deeply connected to the Indian-American community. As vice president, Biden strengthened relations with India and Indian Americans, said Neha Dewan from South Asians for Biden. "The Obama-Biden administration appointed Indian-Americans to serve in high level cabinet and ambassador positions, and as judges. Biden has consistently recognised Indian Americans," Dewan said.


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