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HomeHeadline newsThere will be more Indian-American members in Congress after November: Neera Tanden

There will be more Indian-American members in Congress after November: Neera Tanden


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Neera Tanden, a top White House Official said that Indian Americans have played a huge role in building and strengthening the relationship between India and the US. Tanden is herself an Indian American and she is the Domestic Policy Advisor to the President Joe Biden. She said this while interacting with former US Ambassador to India Tim Roemer during the seventh annual leadership summit of the US-India Strategic and Partnership Forum (USISPF) on Monday (17).

“I really do believe it is the diaspora that has played a huge role in building this relationship to where it is today,” she said. “Business leaders that have gone back and forth, that have played a huge role. Even in times where … which is not today, in past moments where there have been really fraught tensions between the United States and India, or suspicion or concern, it’s the people (who have helped improve this relationship),” Tanden said.

“There’s just a deep connection to how India perceives the US through how the US treats Indians. That is fundamentally important as we make progress,” she said in response to a question. One of the most influential Indian-Americans in the White House, Tanden said that unlike several decades ago when she worked at the White House for the first time, there are a large number of Indian-Americans working in the building for President Biden.

“I started my career in the Clinton White House. In the Clinton White House, there were a handful of Indian-Americans in the entire executive office of the president. And today, I feel very fortunate to be among so many leaders, there’s a handful of assistants to the president who are Indian-Americans,” she said.

“We have Indian-Americans as leaders of companies, Indian-Americans in Congress, we have a record number. We’re five members of Congress, and perhaps a few more after November,” she said. Tanden said India and the US share the values of education, opportunity, entrepreneurs and innovation.

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“It is this convergence of values, which has allowed so many Indians to want to come to the United States to be the leaders of companies here. There are so many stories of people who’ve come to get an education here and stay and innovate and lead,” she said.

India’s Deputy Ambassador to the US Sripriya Ranganathan said the India-US relationship is absolutely top priority for the Indian government. In less than two weeks after the new government took over after the elections, she said there has been high-level political contact between India and the US.

“Prime Minister Modi and President Biden met on the margins of the G7. NSA Sullivan is in Delhi right now for discussions with India’s leadership. There is going to be a lot of activity and a lot of exchanges between India and the US,” Ranganathan said.

“What both governments have been advocating, exactly what the USISPF has also been trying to do, is we need to have our companies working closely on the very areas that we have prioritised. That will determine our success in the coming century in fields like defence, space, communications, biotech, our companies must see in each other their partners of first choice,” she said.


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