Discussion on “The Future of Indo-US Relationship”

India Foundation organized a discussion on “The Future of Indo – US Relationship” at the India International Centre (IIC), New Delhi on 03 January, 2015 from 04:30 PM to 06:00 PM. The Keynote Speaker was Ms. Tulsi Gabbard, Member of the US House of Representatives. 

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The evening started with welcoming Ms. Tulsi Gabbard, Member of the US Congress (House of Representatives). She started her note by thanking the people for making her first trip to India a fabulous journey with all the enthusiasm and also thanked India Foundation for inviting her to speak people and discuss the future of Indo-Us relationship.

Ms. Gabbard emphasized on the new dimensions of Indo-Us relationship taking off, which is empathetically manifested in the fact that Mr. Obama is the chief guest for India’s Republic Day parade this year. It would be for the first time that any president of USA would be visiting India twice in his term. She began with the asking people to explore common grounds between India and USA where the flowers of mutual interests and understanding could blossom.

She recalled the spirit of aloha, which stresses on the deepest respect and opening of hearts. Indulging in the spiritual dimension of the foreign policy, she stressed on the need for understanding between the two countries with mutual respect for each other and with an open heart. She gave importance to India’s soft power tools like its eminent culture envisaged in its civilization and its divine spiritual teachings scripted in Bhagwad Gita.

Talking further, she recalled her life-long journey, how she started a non-profit organisation with her father to serve the people of her province and to positively intervene in various concerns relating to environment, public service, etc. She portrayed women as equal partners in 21st century’s global concerns and world politics, through the narration of her experiences of serving in the US military for two terms in the most dangerous zones of Middle-East and Iraq.

Taking her note to the final end, she urged to value the spirit of aloha in bridging the gaps between the contentious issues between the two countries. She concluded her address by recalling one of the greatest leaders of this century, Mahatma Gandhi- Be the Change you want to see in the world.

Mr. Kanwal Sibal

Mr. Sibal was the moderator of the discussion. Previously, he has held the post of Foreign Secretary of India. He started his note by thanking Ms. Gabbard for presenting a philosophical guidance to the foreign policy. He embarked upon on his note by mentioning that the relationship between India and US is the most significant relationship between two countries in this 21st century. The Indo-US relationship took a new voyage when the log-jam over the Nuclear Deal was broken and two countries signed the nuclear deal in 2005. The unprecedented and serious relationship between both the countries has taken many new dimensions in the last decade, especially in defense and trade sectors where US has become one of the leading exporters of arms and ammunition to India. The invitation to the US President for the Republic Day celebrations and his acceptance for the same signaled the high priority given to the growth of the relationship between the two countries.

The countries have witnessed a paradigm shift in their relationship from being the natural allies to being the long term strategic partners in the last few years. There have been some of the contentious issues between the countries like Indian IPR policy, Civil Aviation securities, drug and pharma issues that led to the slowdown of the relationship momentum in the second term of President Obama. Nevertheless, the US has always shown the positive sign to support India’s bid for permanent seat in the UNSC and the countries have been working positively on the controversial issues since the new regime has come to place in New Delhi under the guidance of our enthusiastic Prime Minister.
It’s important for two countries to find common grounds to deal with issues concerning geo-politics, Carbon emissions, peace and security, etc.

After the stimulating address of the Congresswoman on the discourse of bilateral interface between the two nations, the Director of Centre for Security & Strategy (CSS), India Foundation, Shri Alok Bansal delivered the vote of thanks expressing heartfelt gratitude to the Congresswoman and Shri Kanwal Sibal on the behalf of India Foundation.

The discussion was then followed by a stimulating Q&A session where the participants raised thought-provoking questions and clarified their doubts.

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