By Suresh Bodiwala
CHICAGO: The Indian community in Chicago, led by Indian consul general Ausaf Sayeed, welcomed the new Indian ambassador to the US, Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, at a reception at the Union League Club of Chicago on Thursday.
A large number of community and business leaders and Illinois officials were present at the reception for the new Indian ambassador who has previously served as the Indian envoy in China, Singapore and the Czech Republic.
Welcoming Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, the Indian consul general in Chicago, Dr Ausaf Sayeed, listed his achievements in the foreign service in promoting India’s relations with other countries.
A specialist in nuclear diplomacy, Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar played a key role in negotiating the US-India nuclear agreement of 2008.
In his speech, Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar spoke about new challenges and opportunities for building friendship and bilateral relations between the two countries in the wake of the Khobragade episode.
The Indian ambassador said though “current sentiment seems less than positive,” the two countries “can neither afford dilution of attention nor weakening of faith” in their relationship.
The fundamentals are good, it is the sentiment that needs improving, he added, also touching upon India’s warning to the US of negative consequences for its future economy if lawmakers tighten visa rules on high-tech firms as part of an immigration overhaul.
He emphasized the importance of close mutually beneficial relationship between India and the US mainly because as the two are the world’s old and leading democracies.
Speaking on behalf of Governor Pat Quinn, Ms. Theresa Mah, who is Senior Policy Advisor & Director of Asian American Outreach, welcomed the Indian ambassador to Illinois.
Among the dignitaries present in the audience were Swati Dandekar, State Representative in Iowa; Tony Preckwinkle, President, Cook County Board of Commissioner; Ameya Pawar, Alderman, 47th Ward; Divya Sarang, Public Prosecutor, Chicago City Hall; Daniel Goff, Dy. Dir. Trade & Investment, State of Illinois; Andrew Spinelli, Dy, Dir., Mayor’s Office; Amardeep Kaleka, Candidate, Congressman; Manju Goel, Candidate, Congressman; Dorothy Brown, Cook County ; Douglas Druick, President, Art Institute; Dr. Bharat Barai, Oncologist and Leading Community Leader; Naren Patel. CEO Medstar Laboratories; Sanosh Kumar Executive Director MAFS; Team of Indian Association of Indiapolis; Hemant Shah, President, Jain Society; Rajinder Singh Mago; Harijinder Singh Kheira; Balvinder Singh; Basanti Banerjee; Niranjan Shah; Dr. Asit Sen and others.
Son of the late civil servant and strategic affairs analyst K. Subrahmanyam, Dr Jaishankar is a graduate of St Stephen’s College in Delhi and and PhD in International Relations from Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University.