US Congressional Delegation to witness Independence Day Celebrations in New Delhi

Community members pose with Congressman Ro Khanna at Capitol Hill on July 26, 2023, in Washington DC. PHOTO: T. Vishnudatta Jayaraman, News India Times

Washington DC: An eight-member delegation from the United States Congress will be in New Delhi, India, on August 15, 2023, to witness India’s Independence Day celebrations.

Speaking at an event organized by Indian American Leadership Committee, a conglomeration of ethnic Indian organizations, on July 26 at Capitol Hill, Congressman Ro Khanna (D-California), Co-chair of the US-India Caucus, noted, “We are going on a historic delegation – the first time in my view – a delegation from the United States Congress is going on India’s Independence. We will be there at the Red Fort, and at Rajghat on August 15.”

Khanna said that the delegation is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar, other Ministers, and business leaders and Bollywood personalities in Hyderabad and Mumbai. The delegation according to Khanna “will help strengthen the economic, national security, and political relationship – the relationship has never been stronger than after the Prime Minister’s visit to the state dinner.”

Khanna recalled that he and Congressman Michael Waltz (R-Florida) had requested the Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy to enable Prime Minister Modi to address the Joint Session of the US Congress on June 22.

Khanna appreciated the hard work of the diaspora in engaging members of Congress on issues such as immigration reform, cooperation on defense and economy, and underscored, “I do believe that the US-India relationship will be one of defining relationships of the 21st century, one of the most important alliances… So, it’s a good time to be Indian-American.”

During his address Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Chicago), House Ranking Member of the Select Committee on the Strategic Competition between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party, said the US-India partnership, “Goes beyond any individual. It goes beyond any President. It goes beyond any party. It goes beyond politics,” adding that the essence of this relationship is its commitment to shared values based on democracy, human rights, entrepreneurship, free enterprise, and freedom itself.

“That is a collection of shared values that underpins this relationship. That’s why it is becoming deeper, wider, and it’s going to new heights because of you,” Krishnamoorthi added while crediting the community. “Now the G20 is happening and as you know 76 years ago when India was born, who would have thought that it would be hosting the G20 Summit at this point. Now, it [India] has become the fifth largest economy…”

Congressman Shri Thanedar (D-Michigan) said he believes that home and business ownerships should be accessible to every American regardless of race, gender, and what zip code they live in. “And that’s what my focus is on in Congress to promote and make it easier to own businesses, get government contracts, and get visas for skilled workers,” said Thanedar who is currently serving on Small Business and Homeland Security Committees.

Thanedar recounted his ordeal about when his US visa was rejected and said today he is one of the ranking members in the Homeland Security subcommittee.

Hailing the US-India partnership, Congressman Pete Sessions (R-Texas) said “We have confidence of working together that we can work towards a brighter future for not just India, but the United States. I come to you today to say thank you for being a part of this partnership. It’s a partnership that will demand that we continue to listen to each other…”

Adapa Prasad, one of the main organizers of the event told News India Times that “The main theme of the event is India’s G20 Presidency, and US-India partnership. So, this is particularly important because this is the first outreach event to lawmakers organized as a follow up to the very successful visit of Prime Minister Modi’s state dinner.” Prasad said organizations such as the Sikhs of America, National Council of Asian Indian Associations, and other ethnic organizations supported this event.

Jesse Singh of Sikhs of America said he is proud that India is hosting the G20 Leaders’ Summit this year and praised India’s unprecedented economic growth and the infrastructure development over the recent years. He credited the Indian Diaspora for its unwavering support to India.



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