Biden as President could make India and US a stronger ally


Indian Americans, although a minority with less than 2% of the US population, has grown into a highly influential community in the country.

In a strong pitch to get their support for Joe Biden, former Indian-American diplomat Richard Verma said that if elected, he could help India get a permanent seat on the United National Security Council.

Indian Americans have largely sided with Democrats in the past. In this election on November 3, they can do more, Democrats believe and put former Vice-President Joe Biden in the White House.

“There’s no question that under Biden’s leadership, he would help shape international institutions like the UN to give India a permanent seat on the Security Council, he would fulfil India’s status as a major defense partner,” former US Ambassador to India Richard Verma said on Saturday.

“Biden would work together with India to keep our citizens collectively safe. That means standing up against cross-border terrorism and standing with India when its neighbors attempt to change the status quo,” he added.

Verma, who was US ambassador to India from 2014 to 2017, joined three other prominent Indian-Americans to make a strong pitch for the small but highly influential community to support and vote for Biden in the US presidential elections.

India has been pushing for reforms of the United Nations, including the Security Council, stating that its composition doesn’t reflect the current realities and is not representative enough.

Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said that “The Indian American vote — the AAPI more broadly — can be an absolute difference-maker.” Pointing to their demographics in the three Rust Belt swing states of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania that put Donald Trump in the White House in a stunning upset in 2016.

Indian Americans of voting age are insufficient numbers in these states to obliterate Trump’s lead and put Biden across the finishing line, Democrats have argued. There are an estimated 4 million people of Indian origin in the United States, but only about a third are eligible to vote — 1.3 million, according to AAPI Data.

Vinay Reddy, a new addition to Biden’s team of campaign speechwriters, chipped in at the virtual town hall with an appeal to “uncles and aunties”, deploying a playful inside-joke among second-generation Indian Americans about their parents, their “distant” relatives and their friends.

According to Verma, Biden has the ability and an intention to strengthen the ties between India and the US. He urged his community to make this dream come true for bigger possibilities.

“In 2006, I remember the remarks he made where he said, ‘My dream is that in 2020, the two closest nations in the world will be India and the United States. If that occurs, the world will be safer.’ Think about that for a second. He made those remarks in 2006. And here we are, it’s 2020. Let’s make Joe Biden’s dream a reality. That only becomes a reality if he becomes president,” he said.

Sonal Shah said she will vote for Biden as she wants a country that is open to people like her, to her friends, to her colleagues and to everyone else.

“We are not just immigrants, we are not just people sitting on the side, we are part of that American fabric and welcome us to help create that fabric because we’ve been lucky enough to be able to do that. But it took people like Joe Biden to allow us and help us participate and give us those chances. We’ve benefited from that. So now I vote because I believe he is the right person, and we can build that country together with him,” she said.

Later in a statement, Ajay Jain Bhutoria, who is on National Finance Committee for Biden, said, “Most Indian-Americans would say without hesitation that Biden would be a better president and world leader and better for India on all counts.”

“The choice is clear for voting in November 2020. The choice is even clearer for Indo Americans and South Asians. Biden is the best answer for India and Indian-Americans. The Indian community sees him as one of ‘our’ leaders,” he said.