United States sees relationship with India as “most consequential”: top Biden advisor

Indian Ambassador to the United States, Taranjit Sandhu addressing the gathering on November 20, 2022, at India House in Washington DC. PHOTO: T. Vishnudatta Jayaraman, News India Times

Washington DC:Top officials of the Biden administration stressed the importance of Washington’s relationship with India and noted it was the most consequential relationship in a turmoil-ridden world.

They were speaking at a luncheon hosted by India’s Ambassador to U.S., Taranjit Sandhu  November 20, 2022, at India House, for members of the Indian diaspora and friends of India to celebrate festivals including Diwali, Eid, Gurupurab, Bodhi Day, Hanukkah, and Christmas.

From left, Amos Hochstein, President Biden’s Energy Advisor, Jon Finer, Neera Tanden, Ambassador Sandhu, and Aruna Miller on November 20, 2022, at India House in Washington DC. PHOTO: Indian Embassy

Underscoring the US-India relationship, Jon Finer, principal deputy national security advisor to President Joe Biden, said, “We at the White House.. and certainly, President Biden sees this as one of the most consequential relationships for the United States anywhere in the world.”

While emphasizing the importance of ties between the leadership, Finer, noted, “Looking around the world when the United States and President Biden look for partners that can truly help carry the load [and] move forward a global agenda, India and Prime Minister Modi are very high on that list. We just saw this in real time at the G20, where the Prime Minister was instrumental in forging a consensus around a joint statement among a far-flung group of countries.”

Welcoming the gathering, Ambassador Sandhu said “we celebrate what we stand for – our cherished values and spirited ideals. We celebrate togetherness, we celebrate our greatest strength, we celebrate us over me, bridges over walls, and good over evil,” adding these festivities exemplify positive messages of peace, compassion, equality, hope, and optimism.

He added, “India is a global talking point today – a beacon of stability amidst geopolitical uncertainties and usher of global economic growth, a solution provider to some of the complex challenges of our times, and a consensus builder in times of conflict and rising tensions,” adding, “We bring on the table our strengths and successes. And we are always ready to share it with the world, from vaccines to our digital public goods, to our skills.”

One of the cultural performances, a classical Bharatnatyam sequence devoted to the festival of Diwali, being performed on November 20, 2022, at India House in Washington DC. PHOTO: T. Vishnudatta Jayaraman, News India Times

Sandhu invited the diaspora to participate in the upcoming 17th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas being held from January 8-10, 2023, in Indore, India.

Special Advisor and Staff Secretary to President Biden, Neera Tanden said she’s proud to be an Indian American serving in the Biden administration. “This event really demonstrates so much about what the President Biden is talking about when he talks about an inclusive country, a country that celebrates our diversity and our strength in diversity,” Tanden added.

US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy credited the collaborative effort of the communities and countries for the significant progress made over the last two years in saving lives through vaccines, treatments, and global cooperation.

Dr. Murthy while stressing that there is a need to ensure the benefits of science reach everyone, emphasized, “You know, our countries share a number of common challenges when it comes to chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease. We see those soaring in our countries. We are also under the threat from infectious pathogens COVID-19, only one among them. But we also know that other areas like mental health and emotional well-being are increasingly important issues for our countries to take on.”

Indian-American Lieutenant Governor-elect of Maryland, Aruna Miller, said, “On behalf of my friend Governor-elect Wes Moore, and myself, I bring you greetings and happy holidays in the very unique ways each of you celebrate them.”

As the first immigrant elected to a statewide office in the State of Maryland, and the first Indian-American elected to the Office of Lt. Governor in the nation, Miller recalled the peaceful civil disobedience actions of Mahatma Gandhi, and Dr. Martin Luther King that led to the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and the Immigration Act of 1965.

Noting that the Immigration Act helped lift the racial quotas so that people could travel freely to this great nation, Miller added, “So, I think it’s fair to say that it’s not just my family, but many of you that are here today that is benefited from the bold and courageous act of those before us.”

Several cabinet members from the Biden administration along with members of US Congress who couldn’t participate in person sent their greetings as well. More than 500 Diaspora members participated in the event where cultural performances by various local groups were also held.



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