India is a place where dreams become reality every day, said US ambassador Eric Garcetti, referring to how a young boy selling tea grew up to become prime minister and a Santal woman the first tribal president.
He used the phrase sapne sakaar karna, which means realising your dream, saying: “I am a big fan of that idea. As many here know that I’m from California, which is a place where people dream big and they come to life. But I don’t need to convince anyone here of this. India is also a place where dreams become reality every day. In India, a young boy selling tea grew up to lead his country on a global stage. In India, a Santal teacher rose to become the president of her country.”
Garcetti explained that the “Indian dream” and the “American dream” were two sides of the same coin and both countries shared the same vision. “India and America embrace possibility, new opportunities and knowledge as well as the chance to make a difference,” he said, while speaking at a session on ‘Peace, prosperity, planet, people: A new chapter in US-India relations’, where he shared interesting insights with regard to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit.
He said: “I saw a personal rapport between President (Joe) Biden and Prime Minister Modi. I saw the power of transformative friendship and I saw history being made and our future framed.”
The ambassador called the relationship between Indian and US “very personal” and shared statistics reflecting how close they were.
- Last year, one out of every five US student visas issued worldwide went to an Indian student and over 2,00,000 Indians are studying in the US
- The US is India’s largest trading partner with more than $191 billion in two-way trade
- India conducts more military exercises with the US than any other country
- More than 450 Indian nationals work at the US National Institutes of Health intramural laboratories – the highest number of biomedical scientists from any Asian country at the institution
- In the US, over 20 elected and appointed government officials proudly claim to be of Indian heritage. This includes vice-president Kamala Harris
- Indian-origin CEOs head many of the country’s largest and most iconic companies, such as Alphabet/Google, Microsoft, Starbucks and Adobe. In fact, more than 10 percent of Fortune 500 company CEOs are of Indian ancestry
- Within the last six months, five members of the US cabinet – President Biden’s closest government advisers – visited India to meet with their counterparts and more visits are planned.
‘Not an era of war’: Powerful statement by PM Modi
Garcetti called PM Modi’s statement about the Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – ‘Today’s era is not an era of war’ – to President Vladimir Putin a “powerful and necessary idea”.
He said in the coming months, astronauts and scientists from NASA and ISRO will be working together to honour “understanding of space and of the planet we call home”. He added that the India-US strategic dialogue, Quad, Indo Pacific Economic Framework for prosperity were opportunities to increase prosperity and interoperability of the region and to address the most pressing challenges across the Indo Pacific Region, ranging from healthcare to maritime awareness to cybersecurity.
Garcetti talked about his personal experience and said: “I came to India for the first time as a teenager – when I saw firsthand how connected we are to each other despite differences in language, wealth, social status and geography. It changed my life forever. I studied Hindi and learned the history and the cultures of the region. I may not be Indian but India is a big part of me and has helped shape who I am today.”