South Asian Biden supporters in New Jersey discuss impact of 2020 elections on community

Logo of South Asians for Biden showing the multiple languages and people represented in the organization. Photo courtesy South Asians for Biden

The New Jersey chapter of the political organization, South Asians for Biden, recently held a virtual discussion with political leaders titled, “The Good, The Bad, The Future.”

Four panelists participated in the Aug. 8, 2020 webinar –  New Jersey State Senator Vin Gopal, New Jersey Assemblyman Raj Mukherji, New Jersey State Senator candidate Rupande Mehta and General Counsel to NJ Democratic State Committee and attorney with Genova Burns LLC Rajiv Parikh. The meeting lasted nearly two hours, Middlesex County Freeholder Shanti Narra served as the moderator of the event.

The discussion centered around what the 2020 Presidential election means to South Asians and why Presidential candidate Joe Biden is the right candidate for the community.

State Senator Gopal talked about the immigration policy of President Trump and its serious implications on the South Asian community, expressing doubts about whether his parents would have been able to immigrate to this country at this time. He also dwelt on the new rules coming down the pike on H-1B visas which President Trump suspended in a June Proclamation.

Vice President Biden, Gopal said, would unite the country and urged all South ASian voters to particpate in the political process.

The election is “about the fabric of our diverse country which we all love,” Gopal added.

Assemblyman Mukherji said there was a need for stability, sanity, reliability and the country must come before self at this time. President Joe Biden is a candidate who would do that, he said. He dwelt on the Covid-19 situation and the high

fatality numbers, and that a leader was needed who would have a well-planned strategy to mitigate the effects of the pandemic.

Mukherji also contended that President Trump has not been good for the relationship between the U.S. and the Indian subcontinent, especially on trade and other major issues.

Speaking on U.S.-India relationship, Rajiv Parikh envisioned a better relationship under President Biden, and indicated that photo-opps of President Trump and Prime Minister Modi do not automatically translate to good policy.

A Biden presidency “will help this country to restore our place on the world stage,” Parikh contended, and improve the domestic economy.

New Jersey State Senate candidate, Rupande Mehta, spoke of the importance of casting the vote in the November election, whether in person, or via mail-in-ballot, “to send a very clear message that this country does not stand or tolerate hatred and divisiveness.”

Mehta also urged more South Asian American women to get involved in the political process and leadership roles. She said that for her, “the fight is personal as I want to give my daughter a better life.”

“It is not only about India, we live here in America and we have many issues concerning South Asians in this country and we need to bring that positive change for better life,” Mehta said.

Shanti Narra also highlightred the importance of getting involved and participating in the election process for the betterment of the community.

“As we have seen with COVID-19, it is disproportionately affecting Black and brown communities,” she noted

South Asians for Biden – New Jersey Chapter member Dr. Tushar Patel provided information on the organization and why is it important to elect Joe Biden this November.  Karan Virmani, NJ State Director for South Asians for Biden, thanked all those who participated in the webinar and informed them of how they could get involved in the organization.




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