New Ambassador Navtej Sarna feted in Washington



Ambassador Sarna poses for a photo with members of the Indian American community in Fairfax, VA, on Sunday.

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — The Indian-American community rejoiced in the welcoming of incoming Indian Ambassador to the United States Navtej Sarna, while at the same time wishing farewell to Deputy Chief of Mission Taranjit Singh Sandhu.

More than 350 people packed the grand ballroom of the Waterford at Fair Oaks on a Sunday evening for the community reception, which was led by activist Dr. Yogendra Gupta.

Sarna praised the Indian-American community’s achievements during an address of the crowd. Particularly, he paid respect to Indian American’s representing just one percent of the population, while at the same time 9 percent of the country’s physicians, 30 percent of Silicon Valley’s start-ups and 50 percent of America’s hospitality industry.

“This is a huge compliment to all of you that you have turned mathematics on its head,” he said. It was Sarna’s first trip to D.C. in 15 years, but he saw “a lot of familiar faces in the audience.”

“There is the same warmth and enthusiasm,” he added.

Fortifying India-US ties “was an uphill task,” during his last tenure in the U.S., he said. “We were in the doghouse after the nuclear tests which India had conducted keeping in view it’s security interests and the situation in the world.”

“The India-US relationship is viewed as one of the most important,” Sarna said. “And for that I salute all of you for the huge contribution that each one of you has made individually and collectively as associations to influence U.S. policy.”

Together with Dr. Gupta, organizers and advisors included well-known advocates of the community such as Angela Anand, Ashok Batra, Promila Gupta, Satish Korpe, Dr. Sambhu Banik, Dr. Har Swarup Singh, Sunil Singh, Kripa Singh, Kumar Singh, Gopinath Durgaiyanaidu and Anadi Naik.  The Muvva Kuchipudi Dance School kicked off the event by singing the national anthems of India and the U.S., followed by the Ganesh Vandana, an invocation in Indian classical dance.

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