CHICAGO, IL – The U.S.-India Friendship League led by Dr. Bharat Barai, organized an informal meet-and-greet with former with U.S. Consul general in Mumbai, Thomas Vajda, at Gaylord India Restaurant in Schaumburg, Illinois recently. Vajda is currently the acting deputy assistant secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian affairs at the State Department in Washington, D.C.
Vajda was accompanied by Travis Coberly, India Desk officer at the State Department. India’s Consul general in Chicago Neeta Bhushan. Indian-American and Indian American Republican candidate for Congress from District 8, J. Diganvker, was also present. The discussion at the event involved bridging U.S.-India relations.
“i’m really optimistic of the future of Indo-US relationship and committed to work together so that we can be a force in this world,” Vajda asserted addressing the gathering, according to a press release. Bhushan welcomed Vajda, adding, “President Trump believes in freedom, democracy, and diversity and i believe Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi can build a special relationship with President Trump,” she is quoted saying in the press release. Consul general Bhushan also pointed to defense cooperation and spending, as well as Indian companies like Infosys, Mahindra & Mahindra, and Wipro hiring more american workers in their U.S. operations.
Vajda thanked the Indian community for its contributions to America, and joked about his Bollywood experience.
“For three years i lived in Mumbai and met film actor Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan at some events. i was waiting to be discovered and wanting a big break in Bollywood – which did not happen,” Vajda quipped. he noted the number of Indian-Americans serving at various levels in the U.S. government and Congress, and hoped trade with India would increase further.
Barai said he had invited Vajda to Chicago to meet the Indian-American community.