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U.S. will be key partner in creation of new India, says Ambassador Taranjit Sandhu

Indian Ambassador Taranjit Singh Sandhu addresses during 76th Independence Day celebrations at the India House, in Washington DC, on Aug 15, 2022.

Indian Ambassador Taranjit Singh Sandhu addresses during 76th Independence Day celebrations at the India House, in Washington DC, on Aug 15, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

The U.S. will be a key partner in India's journey in the next 25 years as it aspires to ascend to new heights of prosperity, the Indian envoy here has said, terming the bilateral ties as one of the most consequential relationships for both the countries and for the world.

The remarks by Taranjit Singh Sandhu, India’s Ambassador to the U.S., came after he hoisted the national flag at the India House to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Independence Day on Monday in the presence of embassy staff and members of the Indian diaspora.

“As the country (India) is making positive strides, we have more work to do to fulfil the aspirations of future generations. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed…The journey of the next 25 years would mark the creation of a new India. The goal of this ‘Amrit Kaal’ is to ascend to new heights of prosperity,” Mr. Sandhu said.

“In this journey, the United States will be a key partner for India,” he said.

“The India-U.S. partnership, led by Prime Minister Modi and President (Joe) Biden, has become one of the most consequential relationships for both the countries and for the world. We are continuously working together and leveraging our synergies and complementarities to advance global peace, stability, sustainability of the planet, and human development,” Mr. Sandhu said.

He said the Indian diaspora will continue to be a critical pillar in this journey.

A short cultural programme involving classical Indian dance performances including Kuchipudi, Odissi, Kathak and Bharatnatyam was presented by Indian-origin students during the ceremony.

The ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ campaign was commemorated with a large handcrafted tricolor being displayed during the occasion.

Leaders from across the United States, including senior members of the Senate and the House of Representatives and dignitaries from the diverse fields of business, arts, science, etc conveyed their greetings on the momentous occasion.

Later during a reception, Mr. Sandhu said: "Back in 1947, when India became independent, predictions on its ability to survive challenges – political, economic, and social – were rather mixed." "75 years later, India is here, strong, full of hope and optimism, for her future, and for the future of humanity," he said.

Addressing a select gathering of influential and powerful people in the American Capital, Mr. Sandhu India has been a beacon of peace and stability in a region of uncertainties and complexities, "From facing regular famines under colonial rule, India today has the wherewithal to feed not only itself but also the world," he said.

The Indian economy, which recorded less than one per cent growth for 50 years before independence, is on its way to become the fastest growing economy in the world this decade, he said.

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai was the chief guest at the reception.

“Led by the political leadership, India has embraced technology, to deliver development to people – Just to give two examples: Today there are 350 million internet users in rural India- in addition to 290 million internet users in urban India," Mr. Sandhu said.

"And 40% of the world's digital payments happen in India - the highest number of real-time digital payments for any country in the world,” he said.

Led by Prime Minister Modi and President Biden, the U.S.-India cooperation today spans the length and breadth of every conceivable area, he said.

“And what is heartening, is that the partnership has evolved to become truly symbiotic,” Mr. Sandhu said.

"To give an example - The IITs, some of them set up with the U.S. support in India, have produced talent – much of it is contributing today to the U.S., India and the world," he added.

He said the Indian diaspora has given more wings to "our dreams, and more wind to our sails." The way American technology, and Indian manufacturing capacities, have combined in affordable healthcare solutions, like the three COVID-19 vaccines, reflects the true power and potential of the U.S.-India partnership, he said.

The importance attached by the Biden administration to closer ties with India across diverse sectors was reflected in the list of luminaries who graced the occasion.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf was in attendance, while the White House was represented by Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha and Director of National Drug Control Policy Dr. Rahul Gupta.

Dr. Jha in his remarks lauded work done by the US and India during the coronavirus pandemic.

"I can't think of two nations that have done more to vaccinate and protect their own populations, and to donate and support and vaccinate and protect the world than India and the United States,” said Dr. Jha.

“So it is in that light that I think we look at an evening like tonight, where Indians and Indian Americans and Americans come together to celebrate what I think is a monumental occasion,” he said.

Secretary United States Air Force, Frank Kendall and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Christopher Grady were also present at the event.

Several members of the US India CEOs Forum like Raj Subramaniam, CEO FedEx and Venkatesh Sharma, Executive Director, Aquatech LLC also attended the reception.

Astronaut and Deputy Administrator NASA Madam Pamela Melroy and Nobel Laureate William D. Phillips, known for his seminal work in Physics, were in attendance.

There were several other high-ranking officials in attendance, including Deputy Secretary of State Brian McKeon, Deputy Secretary Treasury Department Wally Adeyemo and Deputy Secretary U.S. Department of Commerce Don Graves.

A commemorative video encapsulating the progress made by India and the U.S. in their bilateral relations over the last 75 years was screened at the event, serving as a timely reminder of how far the two countries had come together in this journey, with the future promising much more to come.

Independence Day was also celebrated at other Indian consulates in Atlanta, Houston, Chicago, New York and San Francisco.


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Printable version | Sep 23, 2022 9:43:02 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/us-will-be-key-partner-in-creation-of-new-india-says-ambassador-taranjit-sandhu/article65774613.ece