The campaign of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris has has been busy reaching out to the Indian-American community with micro focus.
Since its launch August 15, the Indians for Biden National Council has hosted several speaker series focused on particular languages to ensure Indian-American voters feel connected to Biden and Kamala Harris.
Sanjeev Joshipura, director of Indians for Biden, told indica News that the aim was “to make sure we are covering the entire game of the Indian population — whether young, old, first generation immigrants, second generation born here.”
Just after Harris’s name was announced in mid-August, South Asians for Biden, a grass-root campaign, decided to go deeper in reaching out to the Indian-American voters. Thus was launched Indians for Biden National Council.
Joshipura, who was Republican until he decided to register as a Democrat in 2015, also serves as executive director at Indiaspora since 2018.
“We wanted to make sure we are reaching out to all sources with specialized focus effort, the Indian community…and that is why the organization [Indians for Biden] was formed,” he said.
Joshipura said his was a volunteer position, an affiliate organization of South Asians for Biden. He pointed out that Indians for Biden is the only organization recognized by Biden’s national campaign.
Indians for Biden volunteers are across the country and are spreading the message in support of Biden and Harris on WhatsApp, other social media, emails, Zoom events.
“We have a large newsletter data base that goes out every week we have over 3,500 and 4000 emails,” said Joshipura.
He said even during the presidential debates, their rapid response team was active and doing fact-checks on what Trump said about India.
Indians for Biden events have featured community stalwarts such as Rich Verma, Nisha Biswal, Seema Nanda, Deepak Chopra and Rajiv Satyal.
In Texas, considered a swing state, Indians for Biden events focused on specific communities, such as Tamil, Gujarati and Malayalam, in those languages.
“We feel that we want every voter to feel they have a home in the Biden campaign,” Joshipura said.
For the same reason, Joshipura said, Sikhs for Biden, Hindus for Biden, Muslims for Biden, and Jains for Biden have also been launched.
“So Indians for Biden and South Asians for Biden is a collective effort, “ he said, “Standing shoulder to shoulder we will win.”
Asked about what issues matter to the community, Joshipura cited two recent surveys of Indian Americans where he said most Indian American voters care about things like health care, economy, jobs, racism, handling of the pandemic, and taxes.
Do voters question them? “Yes, we encounter a lot of positive comments. The elder segment of the voters want to have a more detailed discussion about US-India and ask valid questions.”
Is India policy, specifically Kashmir, a soft spot for the Biden-Harris ticket in pitching for votes from Indian Americans? Joshipura denied it.
“I personally strongly believe that Kamala Harris and Joe Biden are much, much better for Americans and Indian Americans than Donald Trump and Mike Pence,” he said.
Joshipura also pointed to Biden’s comment: “There is no global challenge that can be solved unless India-US work together.”