Applauding the Indian Americans for their accomplishments in almost every walk of life in the United States, India’s top Ambassador to the US said Saturday their achievements are a reflection of the bilateral relationship between the two countries.
Addressing a gathering of eminent Indian-Americans from across the country, the first-of-its-kind since the COVID-19 pandemic, at India House in Washington DC, India’s Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu applauded the achievements of this influential ethnic community, which constitutes just one per cent of the population of the US.
“All you have played a very significant role in transforming the India-US relationship, especially in the last two-and-a-half decades. Your achievements are actually a reflection of the India-US relationship today,” he said.
“The most wonderful part of this evening is that we have people across the United States, across the spectrum, who have come here,” he said.
The largest gathering of Indian -mericans at the India House in recent years included people from the Biden Administration, from the US State, Capitol Hill, to those heading professional organisations, and also top entrepreneurs, scientists, academicians, civil servants, civil society, artists, and many students.
“I can see that there is hardly any sector which has not been represented here today. We have with us the cybersecurity czar of the White House. We have the global health security czar at the White House. We have the drug control czar of the administration,…all Indian-Americans,” he said.
“We have a number of CEOs of multinational companies this evening, hardworking professionals, spirited entrepreneurs, self-made farmers from California and other states, members of the think-tanks, leading academics and scientists. We also have even nonprofit workers who are helping women in distress,” he said.
“All this shows the strength of the Indian American diaspora in the United States. And we are very proud of your achievements,” Sandhu said amidst applause from the gathering. The reception was also attended by the Indian Consul Generals from its other diplomatic missions in the US in Houston, San Francisco, Atlanta, Chicago and New York. In his address, the top Indian diplomat praised the community leaders for their support towards India.
Sandhu said the India-US relationship has solid bipartisan support. “I’ve seen this relationship closely for the last 25 years. Whether it was President Clinton or President George W, and President Obama, President Trump and now President Biden, there is a steady upward trajectory,” he said.
“In the last one-and-a-half years, despite all the challenges and difficulties, Prime Minister Modi and President Biden have met in person twice, seven times virtually. The most recent last month had the bilateral and the QUAD summit in Tokyo,” he said.
India, he said, has joined the Indo-Pacific Economic Partnership Framework. Several ministerial interactions have taken place. “In fact, two months ago, three of our top four ministers within the span of 10 days visited the United States. These are among the top four top members of the Cabinet Committee on Security. We had the External Affairs Minister, that Defense Minister and the Finance Minister visiting here,” he said. Sandhu said the bilateral trade has reached an all-time high.
“Of course, it’s still the tip of the iceberg. It’s USD160 billion despite the supply chain constraints, despite the pandemic, despite not having an FTA between our two countries,” he said. “The pandemic has not slowed down the pace of our engagements and activities,” he said.