Cementing India-US ties

by Apr 20, 2022Diaspora0 comments

In order to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations with India, the US diplomatic missions in India are arranging a series of events throughout the year.

The US Embassy in India and its consulates and other establishments in India have just released a star-studded video message featuring some of the most iconic and accomplished Indian Americans and Indians in America to celebrate 75 years of US-India relations.

“Their remarkable contributions reflect the journey of Indians in the United States over the past 75 years” the US embassy in New Delhi said releasing the video Thursday. The full video can be viewed on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Featured celebrities range from tennis ambassador, philanthropist and filmmaker Ashok Amritraj to US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, film director and producer Mira Nair to former chairman and CEO of PepsiCo and author Indra Nooyi.

Also included are author and wellness pioneer Dr. Deepak Chopra; activist, first Indian Miss America and actor Nina Davulur, tabla virtuoso, composer and music ambassador Zakir Hussain and food and travel author, TV chef and actor Madhur Jaffrey.

CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, actor, producer and philanthropist Priyanka Chopra Jonas, television host, producer, food expert and author Padma Lakshmi too have messages in the video.

So have comedian, actor and television host Aasif Mandvi, literary author and journalist Suketu Mehta, 2019 Scripps Spelling Bee Champion Shruthika Padhy and 2020 TIME Magazine Kid of the Year, scientist and inventor Gitanjali Rao.

“At the core of the US-India partnership are the countless personal friendships formed over the years between individual Americans and Indians as they study, work, live, and learn together,” Chargé d’Affaires Patricia Lacina stated.

“The contributors to this video stand at the pinnacle of their respective fields of endeavor, highlighting the many ways that these people-to-people connections have helped both our countries thrive.”

People-to-people ties are one of the cornerstones of the US-India relationship. In 2019, 15 million Indian visitors traveled to the United States, and Americans are now the second-largest group of foreign citizens visiting India.

Approximately 200,000 Indian students currently enrich US university campuses as they pursue higher education opportunities, the mission noted.

The Indian American diaspora numbers an estimated four million people, and roughly one-third of all immigrant-founded start-ups in the United States have Indian founders.

Meanwhile Indian Defence Minister Singh, who along with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar , were in the US last week to attend the 2 +2 ministerial talks in Washington DC with their American counterparts, have also highlighted the importance of the Indian Diaspora in furthering Indo-US ties.

The people of Indian origin keep the identity of India alive wherever they are in the world, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has said, applauding the Indian Americans for maintaining the “complete identity” of their culture thousands of miles away from their home country.

“I congratulate you for maintaining this complete Indian identity,” Singh told a group of Indian-Americans during a public reception hosted in his honor by the Indian Consulate in San Francisco on April 14. “This is not a small thing. People lose their (cultural identity) when they stay at some place for a long time,” he said.

Singh said that Indians living outside India always feel proud in calling themselves Indians, even though they have established themselves in their new home. “This is a result of the efforts of the community”, he pointed out, adding, “Had I come here as a political leader, not on my official tour, I would have met the Indian community in all the places I visited here.”

The defence minister said that India and the United States, being the largest democratic powers, have the potential to establish global “peace and prosperity”. The relationship between the United States and India is multifaceted, economic, strategic, and defence as well. “Today the entire world knows that India and the US are natural allies,” Singh said, asserting that this relationship has stability and continuity and at the same time the two countries have an important role to play in maintaining this stability and continuity. “This ground reality cannot be ignored.”

The Indian Diaspora, which keeps on climbing to new heights in the US, plays a key role in this relationship, Sigh said. People in India are always proud of the achievements that the people of Indian origin or its Diaspora achieve here. For instance, when Parag Agarwal became the Twitter CEO, people in India felt that someone among their own has become the head of Twitter, Singh said amidst applause. Similarly, there are several tech leaders in the US from among us, be it Satya Nadella of Microsoft or Sunder Pichai of Google, he added.

Similarly, while attending an event at Harvard University, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar highlighted the transformation in India-US ties in the last two decades. And in this transformation, the key driver, according to him, has been the human element , which includes the Indian Diaspora.

“The 4.4 million Indian diaspora has literally defined our image in this society and helped forge relationships that are an enormous source of strength for us,” Jaishankar said.

“At its centre are students, academics, and professionals who have contributed to America’s progress even as they remained a bridge between the two societies,” he added.

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