The first Hindu American woman candidate for the United States presidential elections, Tulsi Gabbard, has extended a warm welcome to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his visit to the U.S. and also apologized for not being able to be part of the ‘Howdy Modi’ event on September 22 in Houston.
Gabbard, 38, clarified that she won’t be able to attend the mega diaspora event due to prior scheduled presidential campaigns. However, she is hoping to meet PM Modi on his visit to talk about the importance of maintaining the strong partnership of the world's oldest and largest democracies.
Read: Tulsi Gabbard Says She Will Meet Narendra Modi, but Not at Howdy
In a video message, Gabbard said:
Namaste! I would like to extend a warm welcome to Prime Minister Modi on his latest visit to the U.S. and I am sorry that I will not be able to join there in person due to previously scheduled presidential campaign events. I am really glad to see so many Indian Americans from all across our country as well as colleagues from Congress coming together there.
Calling India as the United States’ one of the most important partners in the Asia-Pacific region, she said both the nations must continue to work closely together if we are to address the pressing issues that impact us and the world, issues like combating climate change, preventing nuclear war and nuclear proliferation and improving the economic well being of our people.
Invoking the age-old principle of ‘Vasudhaiv Kutumbkam’, meaning ‘the world is one family’ Gabbard said:
So as we build a strong and lasting partnership between our two nations focusing on areas of growth, wealth and opportunity and equality, science, health, environment, security, and counter-terrorism...we can bring about the idea of “Vasudhaiv Kutumbkam” recognizing that everyone on our planet..we are all one family. There is no place for hate, bigotry, ignorance, and prejudice.
The mega event, believed to be one of the largest events to welcome a foreign head of government ever in the history of the U.S., will see many influential lawmakers in attendance and also President Donald Trump, White House confirmed.
According to Texas India Forum, which is hosting the event, over 50,000 people have been registered for ‘Howdy Modi!’ and still many are on the waiting list.
Gabbard, the fourth-term lawmaker is a former Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans. She converted to Hindu religion early in her life.
Gabbard is highly popular among the Indian American community. During 2016 Democratic primary, she supported Senator Bernie Sanders against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
By Sowmya Sangam