History and teachings of India have shaped the entire globe, says Kamala Harris
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Vice President Kamala Harris have hailed the â€œextraordinary impactâ€ made by Indians on America with the former suggesting people-to-people ties make the sweet melody of India-US relations.
â€œThe sweet melody of the India-US relations is composed of the notes of our people-to-people ties,â€ said Modi at a State Luncheon hosted by Harris and Secretary of State Antony Blinken in his honor at the State Department Friday.
In three days of meetings and discussions on numerous topics, the visiting Prime Minister said, â€œeveryone was of the view that the friendship and cooperation between the people of India and America needs to become even deeper.â€
Citing examples of people-to-people ties at every step, Modi recalled Harrisâ€™s mother, Dr. Shyamala Gopalan, came to America from India in 1958. â€œAt that time, most people did not have phones. And so, her mother, she would send handwritten letters to her family back home.â€
â€œAnd at any time, she did not let her relation with India break. She kept the relation alive with whatever ways and means she could find. She made maximum use of it,â€ he said.
â€œFor India and her life in America, she kept them both linked. Despite thousands of miles of physical distance, India always remained close to her heart.â€
â€œYou have taken this inspiration today to newer heights. Your achievements are an inspiration to not only the women in America, but to women in India and women all across the world. This is really inspiring,â€ Modi told Harris amid applause.
Modi recalled that during his visit in 2014, then Vice President Biden had referred to India-America partnership as a promise over the horizon.
â€œIn this period of nine years since then, we have been on a very long and beautiful journey. We have added and expanded the scope of mutual cooperation in defense and strategic areas,â€ he said.
â€œWe are working with renewed trust in areas of new and emerging technologies. We are resolving long-pending and difficult issues in trade,â€ Modi said.
â€œWe are together in these new frameworks, such as Quad and I2U2, and we have made a lot of progress in these,â€ he said. â€œWhether it is on ground or in the skies, in the deep seas or way up in space, India and America can be seen working together.â€
â€œIndeed, in the true sense, the promise over the horizon today is not merely a promise but a reality. And neither is it far over the horizon.â€
â€œWhere we stand today, the achievements that we take pride in are all the result of your dreams and your tireless hard work. I commend you all for it, and I thank you for it,â€ said Modi raising a toast â€œto our friendship. And to the peace and prosperity of all of our citizens.â€
Earlier, welcoming the Prime Minister, Harris too hailed the contributions of Indian Americans saying, â€œAs I look around this room, I am struck by the extraordinary impact Indian Americans have had on our country in every facet of life.
She noted the historic number of members of the United States Congress with Indian heritage: Representatives Ami Bera Pramila Jayapal, Ro Khanna, Raja Krishnamoorthi, and Shri Thanedar. â€œAnd theyâ€™re known as the â€™Samosa Caucus,â€™ for those of you who did not know,â€ Harris said amid laughter.
â€œAnd around our country, we see the impact of Indian Americans, from the C suites of American companies to neighborhood businesses, from the studios of Hollywood to university research labs across our country,â€ she said.
â€œIndia is a very important part of my life,â€ said Harris recalling, â€œWhen my sister Maya and I were growing up, our mother would take us from the Bay Area to India pretty much every other year.â€
She recalled her long walks on the beach with her grandfather, a retired civil servant, â€œteaching me lessons about not just what it means to have a democracy but to keep a democracy.â€
â€œA large part of who I am today â€” these lessons I learned from my grandfather, P.V. Gopalan, and from the dedication, determination, and courage of his daughter, my mother, Shyamala. And it is that being the reason that I stand before you today as vice president of the United States,â€ Harris said amid applause.
â€œThe history and teachings in India and of India have not only influenced me, they, of course, have shaped the entire globe,â€ she said. â€œThroughout history, India has inspired millions of people around the world, whether through philosophy and theology, the power of civil disobedience, or the commitment to democracy.â€
On her travels around the world as vice president, â€œI have seen Indiaâ€™s global impact first hand,â€ said Harris.
â€œIn Southeast Asia, Indian-made vaccines have saved lives and livelihoods. On the continent of Africa, Indiaâ€™s longstanding partnerships support prosperity and security. And throughout the Indo-Pacific, India helps promote a free and open region.â€
â€œIndiaâ€™s global engagement has not only been to the benefit of the people of India but also to the benefit of the people of the United States and people around the world,â€ she said.
Thanking Modi for his â€œrole of leadership to help India emerge as a global power in the 21st century,â€ Harris said Biden and she were grateful for your commitment to strengthen the ties and the relationships between the United States and India.â€
â€œAnd we share that commitment. Under your leadership and that of President Biden, our partnership has become more expansive than it has ever been,â€ she said noting, â€œDuring this trip, our countries have launched new areas of cooperation from artificial intelligence to semiconductors.â€
â€œAs we look toward the future, the United States and India, the worldâ€™s oldest and largest democracies, instinctively turn to each other and are increasingly aligned,â€ Harris declared.