Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday extended a message of felicitation to all Indians, celebrating with them the country’s 63rd Independence Day anniversary.

In a statement, Ms. Clinton said, “Each year on August 15th, we join with Indians around the world to honour Mahatma Gandhi and the heroes of the Indian independence movement who proved that great change can be achieved through nonviolent resistance.”

She said the courage and determination of these leaders had inspired generations of leaders around the world, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others who had advanced the U.S.’ own struggle for civil rights and equality.

Commenting on the promise of freedom, tolerance, and prosperity of the “Indian Dream”, Ms. Clinton said 63 years after independence, India as a world leader continued to offer an example for people who yearn for democracy and liberty around the globe.

On the occasion, the Secretary reiterated that the U.S. was committed to further strengthening its cooperation and partnership with India and, as President Obama had noted during the Strategic Dialogue a few months ago, “The relationship between our two countries is unique.”

Ms. Clinton in her congratulatory message said the bilateral relationship was rooted in common interests, shared values and democratic traditions, and strengthened by extensive people-to-people connections.

She added that the administration looked forward to further developing these bonds when President Obama visited India this fall, because it was only through dynamic, global cooperation between India and the U.S. that the defining challenges of the 21st century might be addressed.

She said, “Once again, I congratulate the people of India on all you have achieved and wish you a safe and joyous Independence Day celebration.”

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