The Hindu influence in the US presidential elections 

Washington: The two million Hindus residing in the United States are a vital and key voting bloc in several swing states. The Hindus will play a crucial rule in this year’s presidential elections in the United States. This was disclosed by Indian-American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi. He said this while addressing fellow community members and asserted that it was their ‘dharma’ to exercise their franchise.

Krishnamoorthi during his virtual keynote address made the comments. He was talking at the formal launch of the ‘Hindu Americans for Biden’ campaign. Krishnamoorthi is a three-time Democratic Congressman from Illinois. He urged community members to vote for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his Indian American running mate Kamala Harris. The elections come off November 3.

“I feel it is so important to elect Joe Biden because of a Hindu value ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ (entire world is a family) a core tenant of Hindus. We believe in treating everyone with dignity and respect,” Krishnamoorthi said.

“It is an old saying in Washington DC, which is, if you don’t have a seat at the table, you’re on the menu. And none of us on this zoom call or our families, or communities, or Hindu Americans as a whole can afford to be on the menu, and neither can our agenda. That’s why it’s so important that you vote,” asserted the Congressman.

“This year is the most important election of our lifetime before us. In 60 days, November 3rd, believe it or not, the two million Hindu, Americans in this country will be a vital and key voting bloc in several swing states. Not only Florida, but Virginia and Pennsylvania and Michigan and Wisconsin, and the list goes on and on. It is our duty, indeed it is our dharma to vote. Voting is our dharma,” he added.

Moderating the launch event, Niki Shah, co-state director of New Jersey, South Asians for Biden, said that hate crimes and acts of vandalism have increased in the last three-and-half-years and that it was unacceptable. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), under President Donald Trump, hate crimes against Hindus have tripled, Shah said.

“It is my very strong believe that when we have that phenomenon going on, that we have a president that has an actual plan… Biden is going to make sure there are the resources we need to fight hate crimes,” said Machmud Makhmudov, policy analyst, ‘Biden For President’.

Rajesh Patel, spokesperson, ‘Maninagar Swaminarayan Temple’ in Kentucky gave a brief presentation on the vandalism of the temple. “We, as mandir folks, had never experienced anything like this (hate crime at a mandir),” he said.

Krishnamoorthi said that Biden is a man of faith, a man of principle, and most importantly, he’s a man who believes in equality. “He believes that everyone should be treated the same with dignity and respect,” he said.

This is for the first time that two major political parties have made specific outreach efforts towards the Hindu Americans. While the Trump camp has created the ‘Hindu Voices for Trump’ campaign, Biden camp launched the ‘Hindu Americans for Biden’ campaign.