Column: Indian American leaders and supporters kickoff national support for Hillary Clinton as president at Virginia event on July 17.
By Vikrum Mathur
LEESBURG, VA: The Silk Banquet Hall in Leesburg, VA, was packed Sunday evening, as the Indian Americans For Hillary Clinton (IAFHC) held a mega rally and cultural event to galvanize support to elect Hillary Clinton as President of the United States this coming November.
“Indian Americans are going to make a huge impact in the coming general election for Hillary Clinton to defeat Republican rival Donald Trump,” said Dr. Rajan Natarajan, principal architect and founder of IAFHC and former Deputy Secretary of State of Maryland. “We are involved in many areas that include voter registration, fund raising, grassroots campaign work and mobilizing youth voters across the nation, particularly in many swing states.”
Rajan also made a remark that this is not only the first opportunity for Democrats but also for all U.S. Citizens including Independents and Republicans to elect the first female President in U.S. history.
Indian Americans for Hillary Clinton (IAFHC) is a nationwide grassroots volunteer organization launched to be a network of leaders and advocates who share Hillary Clinton’s values and vision for our country, and a commitment to mobilize the resources and ideas needed to compete and win in partnership with the Indian American community.
The event was graced by a plethora of dignitaries, which included Neera Tanden, former Advisor to Hillary Clinton and CEO and President of the Center for American Progress; Mini Timmaraju, Women’s Vote Director for Hillary Clinton; Virginia State Delegate John Bell of the 87th District; Virginia State Senator Jennifer Wexton of the 33rd District; LuAnn Bennett, Congressional Candidate for Virginia’s 10th District; and Maryland State Delegate Aruna Miller of the 15th District.
“There is nothing more core to Hillary’s vision than having everyone at the table, having policies that ensure that every child has a chance, fighting for everyone in this room against intolerance and division, said Neera Tanden, “It has been a nasty race out there, but there is no one better equipped to argue against Donald Trump for an America that is stronger and better than his division.” Highlighting the importance of this election, Tanden also stressed the importance for everyone to register to vote and participate in the upcoming Presidential election.
Every attendee was also mesmerized by the myriad of performances and talent that were presented in the cultural program. Each and every performance presented a different flavor of the various dance forms in India, and ranged from classical pieces to more modern Bollywood items. Among the various performers included the Nrityaki Dance Academy, Arpan Dance Academy, and Amruta Isloor’s Kathak students.
“The purpose of the event was to showcase our children and acknowledge that this Presidential election will shape their future for the next 40 years,” said Devang Shah, a prominent Indian American attorney in Maryland and member of IAFHC. “The election is a referendum on the soul of America. The contrasts have never been greater between the candidates regarding the value of a diverse country. We need to register, we need to get out the vote for our children’s future. This organization and event is a political coming of age of our community. Our population can make the difference in this election. The attendance of senior campaign officials and surrogates acknowledges the respect for our community. However our time is now to seize in this opportunity. We must register and vote and urge all others within our various networks to do the same.”
At a rally earlier this year, Secretary Hillary Clinton acknowledged that Indian Americans are the nation’s fastest growing racial minority. Combined with this fact, 65% of Indian Americans were Democrats or leaned toward the Democrats, making them the Asian-American subgroup most likely to identify with the Democratic Party (PEW study, 2012). Therefore, it is important to mobilize the support of the millions of Indian Americans living here in the U.S. for Secretary Hillary Clinton and enable them to go out and vote (GOTV) for electing Hillary Clinton as our next President. IAFHC has been created primarily to achieve this goal.
This relationship will only strengthen with this partnership between IAFHC and the Clinton campaign.