Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi today began his two-week visit to the US during which he will interact with global thinkers and political leaders, and address overseas Indians as part of an outreach initiative by his party. In his first engagement, Gandhi would address students of the prestigious University of California, Barkley on ‘India at 70: Reflections on the Path Forward’, in which he will offer his reflections on contemporary India and the path forward for the world’s largest democracy.
A day before the event, the University announced that the event venue has reached its maximum capacity and registration has been closed. Gandhi, 47, was received at the San Francisco airport by senior Congress leader Sam Pitroda and Shudh Singh, the president of Indian National Overseas Congress (INOC) US. “He is here at the University of California Berkley, where Pandit (Jawaharlal Nehru) addressed in 1949 as the Prime Minister. Today we are at the cross roads where core value of Indian democracy secularism and pluralistic society is in danger,” Congress spokesman Madhu Goud Yaskhi said. “He strongly believes in these values for India to be a strong nation, and what is the way forward for India and his views and his thoughts about India’s future,” he told PTI giving a preview of Gandhi’s speech.
During his trip to the US, he said, Gandhi will also engage with the Indian diaspora with the purpose of making them a part in India’s development. From San Francisco, Gandhi is scheduled to travel to Los Angeles. Gandhi is likely to visit Aspen Institute to interact with the think-tank community. In Washington DC, the Congress vice president is scheduled to interact with members of the think-tank community, political leaders and government officials. Gandhi is also scheduled to travel to Princeton University before his final address to overseas Indians in New York.