Recently, legitimate concerns have arisen about Amit Jani, the AAPI Outreach Coordinator on Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, regarding his connections to the BJP and support of the Modi Administration, which has unleashed violence aimed at Muslims, Dalits, and other minority populations. Amit Jani was a participant in SAALT’s Young Leaders Institute (YLI) in 2012. We hope that our alumni will always take a stand against hate violence targeting South Asian communities in the U.S. and globally.
As a non-partisan organization (c3), SAALT is prohibited from taking positions about people who are either running for elected office and/or connected to political campaigns. Nevertheless, we are allowed to ask a campaign to share its positions on issues of concern to our communities. Our communities have been personally and directly impacted by the rising tide of state sanctioned anti-Muslim violence and discrimination in India and Kashmir as well as in the U.S. We ask the Biden campaign to condemn Islamophobia and Hindu nationalist violence across the world and acknowledge the impact it has on South Asian communities everywhere.
As an organization rooted in values of dignity and inclusion, we believe that South Asians holding positions of political influence must be responsive to the most critical issues in our community, including Hindu nationalism and Islamophobia. When it comes to hate violence and discrimination, neutrality is not an option.