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More Indian Americans lean Biden for President

By Surekha Vijh in Washington DC

Indian American community in the greater Washington area is enthused about the 2020 election despite Covid19.

Speaking to a cross-section, it becomes clear that a majority  view Biden as a better choice for the country as the next President.  A few would let Donald Trump continue as President to keep the economy in good health and to keep China at bay.

People are even talking about 2024 with an Indian flavor, when potentially two women of Indian heritage from opposite sides of the political aisle — Kamala Harris and Nikki Haley – may duel it out.

“I feel proud to be both an Indian American and a woman with Kamala Harris as the vice presidential candidate,” said Lata Priyadarshini, a Fairfax County teacher and a community activist. She is also excited about the speculated Harris vs Haley in 2024.

Arvind Krishna, a Vienna, VA based retired engineer, who came to the US in 1960s, said, “One could never imagine then that Indian Americans would rise high in US politics so quickly.”

“Seeing Kamala Harris as VP is exciting. She comes across as a genuine person,” Krishna added, and “between Biden and Trump, surely Biden.”

Manjula Kumar, a former Program Director with Smithsonian who is now working as an arts consultant, also prefers the Democrat. “Undoubtedly Biden. Trump has done too much damage already.”

She adds, “It would be exhilarating to see two Indian American women as presidential candidate in 2024.”

Gulshan Madhur, a former VOA broadcaster, says that “both Kamala and Nikki  are pleasant and versatile personalities, but Harris obviously has courage of conviction.” As for his vote, “it will be for the basic human values and whoever upholds them. In that sense Democrats have a better record.”

Zafar Iqbal,  a Maryland based researcher who hails from Hyderabad, said, “Indian American community should get meaningfully involved in making the maximum possible positive impact in this critically important election. We are requesting the community to write post cards to deregistered voters of color in swing states; phone banking; mass texting; and letter writing to targeted groups and discuss how each method worked, and the organizations with which we expect to work.”

 “We definitely want a liberal as the next President,” he added.

Nikki Haley spoke at the RNC convention last week and invoked her Indian roots. She recalled how her parents faced hardships when they first arrived in US from Amritsar in the 1960s, and the struggles they endured to forge a life for themselves so she could have the opportunities she did. Haley served as the governor of South Carolina and ambassador to UN. She has so far not confirmed running in 2024.

Meanwhile, by running on a major-party presidential ticket, the Senator from California has already created a historic landmark: Kamala Harris’ father migrated from Jamaica and her mother from India. Democrats are hoping that she will add fervor to the Democratic 2020 ticket among people of color and women.

Biden, who will turn 81 in 2024, has ruled out a second term if elected, paving the way for Harris to become the Democratic front-runner for the top job.

As for Nikki Haley, with experience on the domestic and foreign policy front, she  is biding her time. She has been fundraising, writing op-eds on foreign policy, and has authored a book, With All Due Respect: Defending America with Grit and Grace.

Even if Harris-Haley match up would excite the community, there can be many twists and turns between now and 2024.

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