Four million Indian diaspora are pillars of India-US relationship says Ambassador Sarna

No longer do people have the impression I used to be asked some earlier days, do you to have roads in India: Ambassador Sarna
Staff Reporter

The Indian Diaspora, which now is estimated to be more than four million, is one of the strongest pillars of India-US relationship, country’s top diplomat based in Washington has said.

Even if at a time when there were ups and downs and the political relationship, there was a tremendous closeness between the two societies, a lot of people traveling back and forth, a lot of Indian students coming here and a lot of Indian professionals coming to the US, the Indian Ambassador to the US, Navtej Singh Sarna, told the Asia Group in a recent podcast interview.

“As a result of which today you have a diaspora Indian origin of almost 4 million, which, when you look back has been one of the strongest pillars of this relationship and bringing the two countries together,” the Indian Ambassador said in a podcast interview conducted by Kurt Campbell, the former Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs and Richard Verma, the former US Ambassador to India.

“Today when we look at the relationship overall, it is an entirely positive relationship. It is a relationship of which there is are no questions about, no fundamental differences about. The only thing that constrains us is perhaps our own time, energy and the sources. And if we had double of those, we could probably have doubled the relationship,” he said.

But given all that, whether one looks at strategic cooperation, defense cooperation, security cooperation, economic given take investments from both sides, the cooperation in international fora and, of course, the people to people linkages that one sees the two countries are in a very good place, Sarna said.

Sarna has had served in the US as an Indian diplomat on the earlier occasion. Over the decades, he said it has been a revelation to see the change in perception about India in the United States.

“What has been most welcome a revelation, if not a surprise, has been the huge change in the perception of India that you find in different areas and different communities of the United States for India. It is not always only the international relations communities or the think tanks whose business it is to study for a relationship and so on,” he said

“But, if you go to small towns, there is a much more of a knowledge about India,” he said attributing this to India’s growth and its advancement in technology and communications sector.

“That has been something which has been, very reassuring in some ways that you don’t have to constantly tell people about India. No longer do people have the impression I used to be asked some earlier days, do you to have roads in India,” he said.

As a reflection of the growth of the Indian Diaspora, they are now increasingly in the politics of the country. “You find them now increasingly in the politics of the country. You see them as mayors and councilors and, of course, a larger number of people on the Hill are of Indian origin. So that is something which has been a major change,” Sarna said.

The Indian Diaspora, which now is estimated to be more than four million, is one of the strongest pillars of India-US relationship, country’s top diplomat based in Washington has said.

Even if at a time when there were ups and downs and the political relationship, there was a tremendous closeness between the two societies, a lot of people traveling back and forth, a lot of Indian students coming here and a lot of Indian professionals coming to the US, the Indian Ambassador to the US, Navtej Singh Sarna, told the Asia Group in a recent podcast interview.

“As a result of which today you have a diaspora Indian origin of almost 4 million, which, when you look back has been one of the strongest pillars of this relationship and bringing the two countries together,” the Indian Ambassador said in a podcast interview conducted by Kurt Campbell, the former Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs and Richard Verma, the former US Ambassador to India.

“Today when we look at the relationship overall, it is an entirely positive relationship. It is a relationship of which there is are no questions about, no fundamental differences about. The only thing that constrains us is perhaps our own time, energy and the sources. And if we had double of those, we could probably have doubled the relationship,” he said.

But given all that, whether one looks at strategic cooperation, defense cooperation, security cooperation, economic given take investments from both sides, the cooperation in international fora and, of course, the people to people linkages that one sees the two countries are in a very good place, Sarna said.

Sarna has had served in the US as an Indian diplomat on the earlier occasion. Over the decades, he said it has been a revelation to see the change in perception about India in the United States.

“What has been most welcome a revelation, if not a surprise, has been the huge change in the perception of India that you find in different areas and different communities of the United States for India. It is not always only the international relations communities or the think tanks whose business it is to study for a relationship and so on,” he said

“But, if you go to small towns, there is a much more of a knowledge about India,” he said attributing this to India’s growth and its advancement in technology and communications sector.

“That has been something which has been, very reassuring in some ways that you don’t have to constantly tell people about India. No longer do people have the impression I used to be asked some earlier days, do you to have roads in India,” he said.

As a reflection of the growth of the Indian Diaspora, they are now increasingly in the politics of the country. “You find them now increasingly in the politics of the country. You see them as mayors and councilors and, of course, a larger number of people on the Hill are of Indian origin. So that is something which has been a major change,” Sarna said.

 

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