The strategic convergence between India and the US has become one of the strongest pillars of stability and security in the world, India’s envoy here has said. Indian Ambassador to the US Navtej Singh Sarna’s comments came as top US lawmakers along with leading Indian-Americans from across the country celebrated Diwali, the festival of lights, at the US Capitol. He greeted the Indian-Americans and thanked the community for the tremendous bipartisan support that India-US relationship has on the Hill. “In the world today, the strategic convergence between India and the United States has become one of the strongest pillars of stability and security,” he said. Ambassadors from Singapore and Suriname were also present on the occasion and lit the ceremonial lamp.
The Trump administration was represented by Raj Shah, the principal deputy press secretary at the White House. The fifth annual Diwali celebrations at the Capitol Hill was jointly organised by BAPS, Hindu American Foundation, Indiaspora and several other organisations. The celebration began with a moment of silence for the victims of the mass shooting at a church in the US state of Texas that left 26 people dead. Co-chair of the Congressional India Caucus Tulsi Gabbard said they are inspired by Rama’s unshakable courage in the face of adversity and his honour to his duty. His story transcends generations, borders and languages.
“Today is the celebration of Lord Rama’s journey and the victory of light over darkness, truth over lies and falsehoods and righteousness over wrongdoing. “There is so much that we can learn from these traditions and virtues as we seek to apply these lessons in our everyday lives especially here in Washington,” Gabbard, the first Hindu lawmaker in US Congress representing Hawaii, said. Ami Bera, the three-term Congressman and the senior-most Indian-American lawmaker in the House of Representatives said, “This is a time for the Hindu American and Indian-American community to stand tall and stand proud”. Other Indian-American Congressmen–Raja Krishnamoorthi, Pramila Jayapal and Ro Khanna–were also present on the occasion. “We hope that by next year there would be more Indian- Americans in the Congress,” Krishnamoorthi said.