US lawmakers are celebrating India’s Independence Day in a big way with a House resolution declaring it a National Day of Celebration and a bipartisan group traveling to New Delhi to attend the festivities at historic Red Fort.
The House resolution introduced by a group of lawmakers led by Indian-American Congressman Shri Thanedar declares India’s Aug 15 Independence Day as the “National Day of Celebration of the World’s Two Largest Democracies.”
Thanedar will also join a bi-partisan Congressional delegation led by Indian American Congressman Ro Khanna and Congressman Michael Waltz going to India to participate in the festivities including Prime Minister Narendra Modi address to the nation from the ramparts of Red Fort on Aug 15.
The House resolution expresses the belief that the strong partnership between the United States and India, rooted in shared democratic values, will continue to advance global democracy and foster peace, stability, and prosperity for all nations.
Co-sponsored by Buddy Carter and Brad Sharman, the resolution says Modi’s official state visit on June 22, “anchored the two nations in a new level of trust and mutual understanding based on common interests and shared commitments to freedom, democracy, pluralism, the rule of law, and respect for human rights.”
“Americans with Indian heritage enhance public life in the United States as government officials, military personnel, and law enforcement officers who diligently uphold the principles of the US Constitution and contribute to the enriching diversity of the nation,” it says.
“It is proper and desirable to celebrate with the Indian people, and to reaffirm the democratic principles on which the two nations were born,” the resolution adds.
Meanwhile, the US Congressional delegation led by Khanna and Waltz, co-chairs of the bipartisan Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans, will also visit Raj Ghat, a historic memorial dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi, according to a media release.
They will meet with business, tech, government, and Bollywood leaders in Mumbai, Hyderabad, and New Delhi.
The delegation includes Deborah Ross, Kat Cammack, Jasmine Crockett Rich McCormick and Ed Case. For Khanna, this is history coming full circle. “His grandfather Amarnath Vidyalankar was an Indian freedom fighter who spent four years in jail alongside Gandhi and later was part of India’s first parliament,” the release noted.
“As co-chairs of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans, we are proud to lead a bipartisan delegation to India. We will be there to discuss how to strengthen economic and defense ties between our two counties, the oldest and largest democracies,” Khanna and Waltz stated.
“Both of us believe that the US-India relationship will be a defining one of the 21st century. India is a key partner in ensuring multipolarity in Asia and the denial of China as a hegemon,” they stated.
“We must continue to strive to make progress and build our partnership based on our shared founding values of democracy, freedom of the press and assembly, and human rights. This delegation is a historic opportunity to drive further collaboration and advance shared aims.”
Earlier this year, Khanna and Waltz hosted a historic US-India Summit on the Capitol Hill featuring panels and remarks from government leaders, experts, and Indian-American leaders from across the country.
Khanna, 46, is the second Indian-American after Ami Bera to hold the position of co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans since its inception in 1993.