Hindus for Human Rights, a US-based nonprofit organisation that advocates for civil and human rights in South Asia and North America, as well as Indian American Muslim Council, the nation’s largest advocacy organisation for Indian American Muslims, condemn the Biden Administration’s recent appointment of Amit Jani to serve as acting White House liaison to the Department of Homeland Security.
Jani, the National Asian American Pacific Islander Director for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, is now the acting White House liaison at the Department of Homeland Security, Politico’s West Wing Playbook has reported. The Indian American was most recently director of the chief information officer action group at the Pentagon, Jersey Globe said in its report. Before joining the Biden campaign, the New Jersey native was a legislative liaison at the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
Previously, Jani worked as an account executive at Vision Media Marketing, the political consulting firm run by Phil Swibinski. He started as a youth organiser for 32BJ SEIU and as a member of the Hudson County Schools of Technology Board of Education.
Jani’s appointment comes just a few months after the appointment of Sonal Shah, an Indian American economist with ties to Hindu extremist organizations, to the Department of Homeland Security’s Advisory Council. A petition demanding her removal from the council garnered over 12,000 signatures.
“Given his documented links to Hindu nationalism, Jani’s appointment sends a deeply worrying message to the Muslim community, in particular Indian American Muslims, and it continues the Biden administration’s disturbing trend of elevating individuals with Hindu nationalist ties to key positions,” said Indian American Muslim Council President Syed Ali.
Jani, who was formerly the national AAPI director for the Joe Biden 2020 presidential campaign, has been the subject of controversy in the past for his support of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and India’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, as well as his deep-seated family ties to Hindu nationalist organisations.
Modi has been a controversial figure since 2002, when he was implicated in deadly anti-Muslim pogroms in his home state of Gujarat, and since coming to power in 2014, he and his government have pursued an increasingly authoritarian Hindu nationalist agenda that has targeted Muslims, Christians, and other marginalised minorities.