Washington: Applauding the role of Indian-
Americans in strengthening bilateral ties, key US lawmakers
and Governors have said the two countries, which are at the
forefront of the global economy, can become "strong partners"
in counter-terrorism and fields like trade and defence.
"In recent years, the relationship between the United
States, one of the world's oldest democracies, and
India, the world's largest democracy, has grown by leaps and
bounds. The two nations share a clear commitment to freedom
and democracy, which has formed a strong basis for our
friendship," said Senator John Cornyn, Co-Chair of the Senate
Senator Mark Warner, Co-Chair of the Senate India Caucus,
said that they have been working on how the two countries,
which are friends, can become "strong partners".
"Partners in trade, partners economically, partners
in defence. I think we've all seen both India and the United
States be victims of terrorist attacks in recent times,
particularly with some of the recent actions in Mumbai.
We need to make sure that we have this united front.
"And we in the Senate India Caucus want to do all we
can to promote that friendship and most importantly that
partnership," he said.
Both Warner and Cornyn along with other lawmakers and
Governors appeared on a special television programme telecast
on several networks on the occasion of India's Independence
Day celebrations in the United States.
The programme was hosted by young Indian-American Riti
Bhalla from New York, who has now made it an annual event
since 2008 when she was 13.
"I do think there's an increasingly important role
for Indian-Americans to reach out to their Senators, to reach
our to their Congressmen, to say, regardless of what party
they belong to, to say that the Senate India Caucus and the
House India Caucus are important in terms of strengthening the
ties between our countries," Warner said.
Making her maiden appearance on the show, South Carolina
Governor, Nikki Haley, said she is proud on being a daughter
of Indian parents.
"A lot of the values that they taught me, we see across
this country every day through our Indian community. Our
Indian community in the United States continues to be the
highest educated, makes the most income per capita, continues
to be the least dependent on government assistance, but the
one I'm most proud of ? is the most charitable in their giving
across this country," she said.
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick said that in
government, science, business and the innovative economy of
the future, his state and India are at the forefront of the
global economy, pushing the limits of knowledge and
"It was an Indian, Mahatma Gandhi, who inspired my
personal hero, Dr Martin Luther King. In his words and his
actions, Gandhi forged a path that the American civil rights
movement would follow, ushering in a new chapter in our
"The same values that defined the struggle for Indian
independence were at the heart of the civil rights movement in
America opportunity, equality, and fair play," Patrick said.
Appearing on the show, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy
announced issuance of a proclamation in his state to mark
August 15th as Indian Independence Day.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said: "As you look
back today on the many years since that important day in
Indian history, it's clear that the words spoken on the eve of
India's independence were true and prophetic. India stands
today as a clear example of a nation that is awake, vital,
free and independent."
New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez said as the
world's second most populous nation, India has capitalised on
the industrious nature and the ingenuity of its people to make
the country the tenth largest economy in the world and the
fourth largest economy by purchasing power.
"President (Barack) Obama's trip to India last December
underscored our strong bilateral relationship and our enduring
political, economic and security cooperation. There is much to
celebrate this independence day, besides the flag raising
ceremonies and kite flying, that have come to mark the day in
India," he said.
"This independence day in the year 2011 is a day to
celebrate not only India's rich cultural heritage but its
bright, glorious economic future, and the continuous strength
of the US-India relationship," Menendez said.
Congressman Frank Pallone appealed to Indian Americans to
write to their Senator or their Congressman and urge that the
House of Representatives or the Senate pass a resolution
supporting India's permanent membership to the UN Security
Another Congressman Joseph Crowley said: "I think India
finds itself in a very unique position today. It is a very
large country with an enormous population. It has incredible
resources and is growing at a very, very fast rate. One thing
that I think that India can continue to do in terms of helping
the relationship between the United States and herself is
continue to be a role model for the developing nations in this
"I think that Indian Americans could help us continue to
build those relationships with India and encourage her to
continue to be a guiding light for the developing nations of
the world. And I think she's proven that there is a way to
feed a people as well as develop an economy, and really become
in many respects a world power," he said.
First Published: Wednesday, August 17, 2011, 12:07