Illinois Congressman Danny Davis makes a pitch for Modi visit to Chicago

Ritu Jha-

People in the United States Congress see India as a nation seeking peace and not wanting to promote discourse that creates dissatisfaction, said senior Congressman Danny Davis in Chicago.

Congressman Davis, 81, was one of the keynote speakers at The Global Eye’s Global Strategic Alliance (GSA) India@75 EXPO 2022 curtain raiser event held on September 23 and 24 at Sheraton Lisle Naperville in Chicago. It was attended by people from several US states as well as from India and Singapore. The main GSA conference is scheduled for December 15-17.

Davis, who represents the Illinois’ 7th Congressional district and serves on the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade, lauded the Indian American youth for their participation and for showcasing Indian culture.

He also invited Prime minister Narendra Modi to Chicago.

“I welcome Modi one of outstanding businesspersons not only for India, not only for the United States of America, but the world,” Congressman Davis said. “It [India] is a country that has leaders with democratic principles and is one of the leading nations of the world when it comes to having elected representatives. This is one of the reasons… we are together because of the leadership.”

On the sidelines of the event, Congressman Davis told indica on inviting Prime Minister Modi, “Yes, we want to invite Modi. He has been to Texas and other places. We want to work in the direction of peace and prosperity, help the needy and create hope for the hopeless. Our interaction [with Modi] is based on that.”

When asked about American concerns about India’s relationship with Russia, especially with India importing oil and defense material from Russia, Congressman Davis said that he has studied Russian history during graduate school. “I am kind of familiar with the Russians,” he said. Davis, who has been in Congress since 1996, represents an area in Chicago that includes Ukrainian Village, Chinatown and Greektown.

“They are different,” he said, “but we continue to try and make the world a more congenial and peaceful place for people to live in. I just believe that when people get to know each other and understand each other then there is a greater possibility of peaceful coexistence.”

He added, “I think what the United States wants to do is protect democracy and democratic principles around the world, and we have helped other countries achieve that. We need to use as much civility in our approach in dealing with public decision making as we possibly can.”

Only 37 Congressmen have served longer than he has. “I suspected I will get reelected in November and I hope to visit India as well. I have not been to India and it is the one thing I’d love to do before I move away,” he said.

During his speech, Congressman Davis said he has had a great relationship with the Indian community. “Doctors, lawyers, business people, children… all have participated in community and ethnic diversity issues,” he pointed out.

“We interact with that group just as we interact with Pakistanis, Japanese, and Indonesian people, but the dominant membership in the group is that of Indian-Americans, so we have great leadership,” he said.

Congressman Davis said that Dr. Vijay Prabhakar, the man behind the conference, is one of the principal community organizers. “We do a lot of things together, including social service and political activity, even spiritual
Things. We have raised money on several occasions to send supply materials to India during Covid,” Davis said.

On Russia’s conflict with Ukraine, Davis said peace brings the opportunity to resolve global health issues and economic problems. If you focus on war and only one thing, you won’t have the outcomes you want for the globe. “We have to checkmate Putin, and we will do anything in our power to protect Ukraine… so that it remains free and an independent nation,” Congressman Davis said. “We will do everything we can to protect Taiwan so that it remains a free and independent nation. We are a force for peace, but not be so timid as to allow ourselves and allies to be violated,” Congressman Davis said.

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