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Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Biden keeps Indian Hindu rightwing Democrats on sidelines: reports

US president Joe Biden has sidelined at least two Democrats who have links with India’s ruling right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party, and its ‘neo-Nazi’ fountainhead Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, a media report said on Thursday. 

An Obama administration staffer Sonal Shah and Amit Jani, who worked on the Biden campaign team have so far been excluded, allegedly due their RSS-BJP links which has been brought into the limelight by over a dozen Indian-American groups.

Shah has served on Biden’s Unity Task Force but her father was the President of Overseas Friends of BJP-USA and is the founder of RSS-run Ekal Vidyalaya for which she has raised funds.

Jani was first named Biden campaign’s Muslim Outreach Coordinator, and was re-appointed as National Asian American and Pacific Islander Director after it was pointed out that his family has ties with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other BJP leaders, many of whom have openly expressed violent hate and called for violence against India’s minority Muslim community.

In order to ensure that the Biden administration does not backtrack on excluding those with right-wing RSS-BJP links, 19 Indian-American groups have written to the US president pointing out that many South Asian-Americans individuals with ties to far-right Hindu groups in India are affiliated with the Democratic Party.

The Tribune reported that the Democrats may have been more circumspect over accommodating pro-BJP-RSS elements in the government due to renewed activism by groups opposed to the Hindutva project and also after witnessing the fate of such candidates.

Biden’s team has people like senior diplomat Uzra Zeya who has raised concern over the plight of Indian Muslims or Samira Fazili who had joined protest rallies in the US against the Indian law against Muslims, and the snatching away of Kashmir’s autonomy and lockdown.

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