Indian Americans in spotlight during Modi’s welcome to White House

A section of the crowd of Indian Americans on the White House lawns during President Biden and PM Modi’s speeches. PHOTO: videograb Twitter @narendramodi

A sea of Indian Americans crowded the White house lawns eagerly awaiting and then witnessing the red-carpet welcome accorded to India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi by President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden June 22, 2023.

PM Modi being welcomed to White House by President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden, June 22, 2023. PHOTO: Twitter @POTUS

Newscasters remarked how this was the largest crowd to welcome a leader, and slogans supporting Modi rang out on the lawns, the two leaders praised the Indian diaspora in the US for its contribution to the nation and the Biden administration

Even as both Biden and Modi emphasized their bilateral commitment to making a better world and cooperating for national security and a free Indo-Pacific, they pointedly commented on the role played by Indian Americans in bringing the two nations together.

President Biden and PM Modi walk on to the stage in the South lawns of the White House, and seen in background, the crowd of Indian Americans, including publisher of News India Times Dr. Sudhir Parikh, standing next to naval officer. PHOTO: ANI

Reiterating the US-India relations as the ‘defining’ partnership of this century, President Biden had high praise for the role Indian Americans play in every walk of life in the United States, including his own administration, starting from Vice President Kamala Harris, his Domestic Policy Advisor Neera Tanden, among others.

Biden said in his visits to India, he saw the dynamism of the people.

“I have seen that dynamism in the Indian American diaspora which reflects every part of American life, remains a bridge between our nations, and only grows stronger with every generation.”

Some of the Indian American VIPs at the White House during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Photo: courtesy community member

Biden noted that a record number of Indian Americans were in Congress, and in his where House, “where proud Indian Americans serve our country every day, including our Vice President Kamala Harris,” to a shout of applause from the crowd. He went into Harris’ life journey noting how her 19 year-old mother came to the US to specialize in a cure for cancer. Indian Americans have similar “Thousands of stories of  determination, courage, and hope,” he added. He said these stories “define the relationship and the limitless possibilities” between the two great nations that can define the 21st Century.

We face an inflection point when so much is changing technologically socially, politically etc., so that decisions made now will have generations of impact, Biden noted. “As democracies we can tap into the potential of ALL our people,” he added. Shared values of the people such as family, education, hard work, entrepreneurship etc.

“After becoming Prime Minister, I came here many times, but today, for the first time the doors of the White House are open for the Indian-American community in such large numbers,” Modi said in his speech. “The people of the Indian community are enhancing the country’s honor in the US through their talent hard work and dedication. You are the real strength of our relationship. Today, I thank President Biden and Dr Jill Biden for the honor you have been given,” he added.



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