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Press Release on the Valedictory Address of Ambassador Meera Shankar at the "PEOPLE-TO-PEOPLE" Conference

Washington DC 

 Ambassador Meera Shankar gave the valedictory address at the "People-to-People" Conference organized by the U.S. Department of State and the Indian American Leadership Council on 28th October 2010 at the Loy Henderson Auditorium, U.S. Department of State.  Congratulating Under Secretary McHale for organizing the event, she said that with President Obama's visit to India only a little over a week away, there could not have been a better occasion to showcase the contributions of the Indian American community in realizing the extraordinary transformation that India-U.S. relationship has witnessed in recent years.

 She said that the conference is a testimony to the growing presence of the Indian American community members in the United States, the strong influence they bring to bear in strengthening India-U.S. relations, and the great expectations that both countries have in them in taking this important relationship forward.  She felicitated them for their capability and contribution, which instills great confidence, and their ability to serve their adopted  home in this country and make sterling contributions to its society and economy.

 She observed that the Indian American community has come of age, playing rich and diversified roles in almost all walks of U.S. society - from art and culture to medicine, science, business, education, media, administration, politics and military, to name a few.  She recalled the invaluable role the community played in seeing the India-U.S. civil nuclear agreement through the Congress two years ago by creating the right environment. 

 Ambassador remarked that the growing people to people connections had facilitated a dynamic cultural osmosis in both directions as reflected in the increasing popularity of Yoga, and Indian cuisine in the U.S., and the impact of American Pop Music and fast food in India.  She referred, in this connection, to the example of fusion represented by the vegetarian Aloo Tikki Burger served in India and the vegetarian Indian restaurants in the U.S., which call themselves Kosher!  She touched upon the growing economic relations between the two countries and the contribution of the community to that effect, whether through IT, banking, investments or entrepreneurship.  She outlined the future prospects for engagement of the community through the various schemes that the governments are working on.  

Please click here for the full speech.