Indiaspora honors Indian Americans in public service at Diwali event


Neera Tanden, Senior Advisor and Staff Secretary to President Biden.

Prominent members of the Indian American community along with top US lawmakers White House officials celebrated an early Diwali in Capitol Hill on October 26.

The celebration at Capitol Hill was organized by Indiaspora. During the program, the diaspora honored some of the top Indian Americans in the US President Joe Biden’s administration for the exceptional work in enhancing the influence of the community.

Silicon Valley based MR Rangaswami (Above photo(R) with Dr. Vivek Murthy), founder of Indiaspora, a non-profit, an entrepreneur, investor, and community builder has been hosting Diwali celebration at Capitol Hill since 2015 said, “With such a growing number of Indian Americans serving in all facets of government, it felt fitting that during Diwali, one of the most auspicious and celebrated occasions of the year, we recognize the seva, or service, of these public servants in our community.”

The top Indian Americans who were honored included Vice Admiral Surgeon General Vivek Murthy and Neera Tanden, Senior Advisor and Staff Secretary to President Biden.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal

“The fundamental lesson of Diwali is to recognize and remember our light and the light within others, and to focus on that. That is our charge today, in a world that has been turned upside down by this pandemic as well as a growing pandemic of polarization,” said Dr. Vivek Murthy.

All four members of Congress of Indian heritage, including the longest-serving Indian American in Congress Rep. Ami Bera; Vice-Chair of the India Caucus in the House of Representatives Rep. Ro Khanna; Rep. Pramila Jayapal, the first Indian American elected to the House of Representatives; and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi all spoke about what Diwali meant to them, and their call to public service.

During the celebration, the traditional ‘Diya’ was lightened, where each of them made their remarks.

(Lto R) Rep. Ami Bera,Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi,Rep. Ro Khanna.

Congressman Bera said, “As an Indian American to see the Diwali celebrations getting bigger at the Hill, is not just about Indian Americans but also members of the Congress both Republicans and Democrats. Diwali is about coming together and enlightenment, that’s something to remember,”

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, who was instrumental in helping Indiaspora and community partners in their advocacy for a United States Postal Stamp commemorating Diwali which came to fruition in 2016, said, “As we close out 2021, I plan to introduce legislation that would further enshrine this day of light, Diwali, as a federal holiday.”

In a tweet,  Indiaspora informed that Congresswoman Maloney told them about her efforts to get Diwali recognized as a federal holiday in the US.

Sanjeev Joshipura, Executive Director of Indiaspora, who served as emcee for the evening, said “We are honored to celebrate Diwali on Capitol Hill and share our traditions with the leaders who have dedicated themselves to serve the public. The Indian diaspora has had a profound impact in American society, and their diverse contributions continue to strengthen our nation.”

Singer Mary Millben was also part of the celebrations at Capitol Hill. She sang the ‘Om Jai Jagdish Hare’ aarti rendition for the community with others hymning too.