iNDICA NEWS BUREAU
America ka neta kaisa ho, Joe Biden jaisa ho! What should America’s leader be like? He should be like Joe Biden. The Biden campaign supporters are reaching in 14 languages to the over 4.4 million Indian Americans across the country, who are a potent political force.
DNC chairman Tom Perez stated that the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community can be an “absolute difference maker” in the elections. Perez noted that Hillary Clinton lost Michigan by only 10,700 votes while the state has over 125,000 Indian Americans. The story is the same in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
Mobilizing the 1.3 million Indian Americans registered in battleground states is the key to Biden’s victory in November.
However, the job can be tough, feels Ajay Bhutoria, a National Finance Committee member of Biden for President 2020, who has dedicated his life to turning out the Asian-American vote for democratic candidates.
Even though Indian Americans are likely to vote for Democrats, they often do not make it to the polls. Bhutoria explained: “Maybe they do not vote because we do not reach out to them, or because we do not focus enough time, campaign resources, or media attention on Indian Americans.”
Bhutoria feels that Asian Americans value their culture deeply. He is thus planning on reaching out to these voters in their own languages. Currently, he is collaborating with the Biden AAPI Team to communicate directly with Indian Americans in over 14 languages including Hindi, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Urdu , Kannada , Malayalee, Odia, Marathi, and Nepali.
Bhutoria believes that graphics in voters’ native languages or simple phone greetings in Indian local languages build strong, enduring relationships with the voters. They also make people feel recognized by the campaign and part of political process.
Bhutoria is also organizing teams of volunteers to phone bank in languages like Vietnamese, Korean, and Chinese. He says his initiative fits perfectly with Biden’s focus on empathy, community, and restoring the soul of the nation.
Bhutoria is confident Indians Americans will flourish under Biden’s leadership.
“At home, he will reverse the Trump administration’s crackdown on H1-B visas and green cards, enabling Indian Americans to grow and succeed. Abroad, rather than ignoring America’s allies, he will value them, expanding economic and security partnerships with India and responding to the Chinese government’s repression in Hong Kong.”
Neha Dewan, national director, South Asians for Biden, said the Biden campaign felt that there was a need to create campaign graphics in regional Indian Languages “so that our diverse Indian-American community feels even more connected to Joe Biden.”