In an exceptional recognition of India’s rising global prominence, influential figures in the American political landscape are advocating for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to a joint session of the US Congress. This remarkable request coincides with PM Modi’s scheduled state visit in June 2023, a trip marked by President Joe Biden’s highest expression of regard – a State Dinner.
The initiative is spearheaded by bipartisan US Representatives Ro Khanna, a Democrat, and James Waltz, a Republican. On Tuesday, they formally proposed to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to extend this prestigious invitation to PM Modi, represents the world’s largest democracy and a crucial ally in the geostrategic balance of the 21st century, particularly vis-a-vis China.
Through their joint letter, Khanna and Waltz passionately assert that PM Modi’s Congressional address would serve to further cement the profoundly rooted ties between the two nations. However, Speaker McCarthy’s response to this suggestion remains unknown at this juncture.
Should this proposition receive a green light, and PM Modi acquiesces, he would secure the unique distinction of being the first Indian Prime Minister to address a joint session of the US Congress twice – the initial address being in June 2016.
PM Modi’s impending state visit and dinner hosted by President Biden were publicly announced earlier this month. This esteemed gesture of a state dinner, an honor once bestowed upon former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by President Barack Obama, symbolizes the extraordinary relationship India and the US have fostered over the past decade.
The appeal by Khanna and Waltz, co-chairs of the India Caucus in the House of Representatives, highlights this special bond. They state, “The foundation of our partnership lies in our shared commitment to democracy and the upholding of a rules-based international system.”
They further underscored the intertwined interests of both nations in fostering global stability, economic prosperity through commerce and investment, and establishing a resilient international order preserving sovereignty and promoting democratic values.
The increasing significance of India in global geopolitics is undeniably manifesting in such extraordinary gestures, signaling a new chapter of Indo-US camaraderie in this evolving global milieu.