Stronger India-US ties will help global economy & peace: Indian-origin Congressman Thanedar

WASHINGTON: Shri Thanedar, the Indian-American Congressman, has been chosen by US Congressional leadership to escort Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to his Joint Address to Congress on June 22. Manish Chand, CEO, India Writes Network and Centre for Global India Insights, caught up with Shri Thanedar on the steps of the Capitol, the seat of the US Congress. In this conversation, Shri Thanedar shares his perspective on his expectations from PM Modi’s visit to the US and underlines that stronger India-US relations will be good for the US, India, and the world, and will also help curb aggression by China. Shri Thanedar represents the people of Michigan’s 13th Congressional District. Thanedar and his wife have also been invited to the State Dinner hosted by President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden’s in honour of Modi on June 22.

(Excerpts from the interview)

Q) Prime Minister Modi is only among the handful of world leaders to be given the singular honour of addressing the Joint Session of Congress. What is the significance of this special address by PM Modi?

A) This is not only an honour to Prime Minister Modi but this is also an honour to the people of India. India is the fifth largest economy in the world. Obviously, America is the first or the best economy in the world and these two economic superpowers need to come together and work together in friendship.

Forging strong collaboration between these two countries is very important not only for the people of America, not only for the people of India but for the people of this whole world because when these two strong nations come together, America being the oldest democracy in the world and India being the largest democracy, these two countries coming together, developing a strong friendship, strong bond, a long-term relationship will certainly go a long way in world peace and economic growth for the people of both the countries.

Q) PM Modi’s first state visit to the US is seen as the defining moment in the history of India-United States relations. What are you expecting out of this visit?

A) I think there will be some defence collaboration. We will have collaboration in the area of education. Prime Minister Modi will be meeting business leaders and CEOs of technology companies. There are a lot of workforce, engineers, scientists, and people invested in technology businesses. So, there is going to be strong business collaboration between the US and India. One can expect significant foreign investment into India. I am looking for good discussions about bilateral trade agreements, bilateral trade agreements that will respect rights of workers and environmental concerns. Broadly, this is what I expect — a lot of collaboration, a lot of agreement in terms of defence, in terms of space, technology, medicine and a whole lot of other issues that the two countries are going to work out and have plans for collaboration that will help the people of United States and help the growth of US economy as well as creating jobs in the United States.

Q) Upscaling India-US economic relations is a major focus of Prime Minister Modi’s visit. He is also meeting a lot of CEOs in New York. He will also have a business roundtable here in Washington DC. The US is already the largest trading partner. What is the way forward for economic relations?

A) I think the growth will happen in technology in terms of defence and this will help create jobs in America. It will help create America’s economy and the economic growth will benefit all of Americans, especially people at the bottom of the economic scale. It will provide the skills, workforce skills, workforce development that would be good for Michigan, good for Detroit, good for downriver communities and all over the state of Michigan.

Q) There is much speculation about this historic address by Prime Minister Modi in the Joint Session of the US Congress. What kind of message are you expecting from PM Modi’s Congress speech?

A) The message is going to be cooperation. The message is going to be world peace. The message is going to be ensuring that China’s aggression is stopped by friendship between these two countries.

China has been militarily aggressive, Russia has encroached upon a sovereign democracy like Ukraine and it is important that these two democracies stand together not only for economic benefits for the people of each country but also for world peace and making sure that countries like Russia, China and the dictatorial aggressive countries that have disrespect for democracy are stopped and are challenged. This is what I am looking for — two great countries, two great democracies coming together to make people’s lives better.

Q) There has been unprecedented buildup to the Modi visit. President Biden has made many special gestures for PM Modi. Some say geopolitically the whole visit has been orchestrated with a view to position India as a counterweight to China. What is your take on that?

A) That would be wonderful. I think India, being a democracy, with lot of young people is equipped to challenge China on military grounds, on economic grounds and cultural grounds. This growing relationship between the US and India will go a long way in stopping the aggression of China, militarily as well as economically as well as unfair trade practices by China.

Manish Chand, author and CEO, India Writes Network, presents special edition of India and the World magazine to Indian-origin US Congressman Shri Thanedar.

(Manish Chand is CEO, Centre for Global Insights India, a think tank focused on global affairs and India Writes Network. He is Editor-in-Chief, India and the World, a journal on international affairs )


Author Profile

Manish Chand
Manish Chand
Manish Chand is Founder-CEO and Editor-in-Chief of India Writes Network ( and India and World, a pioneering magazine focused on international affairs. He is CEO/Director of TGII Media Private Limited, an India-based media, publishing, research and consultancy company.