BIDEN HARRIS: DIWALI AT THE WHITE HOUSE

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With places like India and Australia sharing democratic policies and values with America, does that mean there is more to celebrate than just winning the US 2020 election?

With Diwali being celebrated a bit differently this year, due to global crisis circumstances, the recent US 2020 election results give rise to something more to celebrate for India. We all have reasons for being interested in the recent election, but the outcome is far-reaching and attracting attention from all over the world.

Society, organisations and leaders from the international arena are confident that Democratic President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will welcome and continue the fight to uphold, secure and stabilise shared alliances. This is what India is excited about, and people all over the world are celebrating the Biden Harris win in their own way. And with Diwali around the corner, people are planning to share their joy for new beginnings with those they love and, of course, the banquet of Diwali food – albeit a bit different.

For some people, expressing their creative side to showcase their happiness and confidence with Biden and his Administration, to improve India, is something noteworthy. On a personal level of relief and fortunate outcomes, artist Sudarsan Pattnaik, used 10 tonnes of sand and dedicated 6 hours to building a sand art sculpture of Biden and Harris, estimated at 25ft (7.62m). He wanted to celebrate the historical win, and created the sand art on Puri’s sea beach. Another creative Indian, Jagjot Singh Rubal from Amritsar, has felt a strong connection with the US Presidents. He has created a collage of the 46 Presidents, and recently added Biden to the 8ft by 8ft (2.44m x 2.44m) painting. In Rubal’s own words, ‘I want to congratulate Biden on winning the election and convey him my best wishes. I hope India-US ties improve under him’.

However, there’s more than meets the eye here. From the personal viewpoints of people celebrating the election win in their own way, there is an even deeper meaning for India and Indians. It’s easy to understand the visual celebrations of the election win for Biden and Harris, but what does it mean to them, and for India.

From a political viewpoint, India, like many democratic ties, feel strongly about securing a future where civil liberties are not a privilege, but basic human rights, and fortify their respect for life and earth with political gumption. Based in India and America, Jiten Agarwal, the CEO of Expedien, understands that community and strategic relationship dynamics is important to Biden. Now, with Biden and Harris officially due to takeover early next year, Agarwal states that, ‘he (Biden) said that the relationship will be strengthened in terms of defence, energy, cooperation on the global climate crisis, global health crisis and immigration policy’.

Indian-Australians are excited with the strong bond both Biden and Harris have with India and elevating its world presence, and with Australia, by the enduring display of strengthening democratic principles. With the Presidency transfer in January 2021, Biden and his Administration can only improve on what has been achieved so far.

Many sources state and refer to Trump, how he has forged his way to strengthen relationships with India and Australia, whether it be trade agreements or the ongoing fight of COVID- 19 global pandemic and consequent economic recession. Despite Trump recently losing his next term as US President, Biden and Harris will continue his and their successful work with the India-US and Australia-US alliances.

In particular, Biden and Harris have displayed years of commitment and strong relations, through professional knowledge, personal attachments, dedication, persistence and raising awareness in the most influential ways, has seen progress in the most challenging areas in India.

For Biden, he has always shown his pro-India support. His interest and influential force has created and stabilised many aspects of the Indian-American alliance. Between his senate and Vice President duties, which span over more than forty years, Biden has secured India, and other Asian relations, a more active role and due recognition in the global arena. Specifically, Biden played a critical role in securing the India-US civil nuclear power deal. Biden believed and still does that India, with the right and continued support, can help raise India and free India via fair trade agreements.

The President of the Indian American Public Affairs Committee, Jagdish Sewhani, has ‘expressed confidence that India-US relations will reach new heights between Biden and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’.

US-born Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, is no stranger to race and cultural diversity. Her mother is Indian and father is from Jamaica, and settled in America to live a rewarding life because they believed in ‘the American way’. However, both parents were activists, and Harris soon became aware of community and human rights and freedoms from a very young age. Stated in a wide variety of sources, Harris believes that her strong will to empower others towards educating and eliminating ethnic and race issues are her motivators. This belief and value system she credits her Indian heritage, and the influence of her mother ‘the woman most responsible for my presence here today,’ and relatives, ‘…my grandparents, aunts and uncle instilled us with pride in our South Asian roots’. In addition to her recent memoirs, Harris declares, ‘…our classical Indian names harked back to our heritage and we were raised with strong awareness of and appreciation for Indian culture’.

For Harris and her Indian heritage, she knows the importance of diversity and legacy, and will continue to bring homage to stamping out racism and inequality. However, what society is also excited about is the combination of Biden and Harris ethics and experience to bring forth and raise the bar for further significant change between India and America. This is turn, will not just instigate national change, but have an impact on the international community as well.

The Hon. Scott Morrison MP is not shy to promote his confidence in Biden and his Administration. Being long-term friends and allies of Australia, built on trust to strengthen democratic policies and values, only sees the diversity and expression of the multicultural community grow more resilient and elevate global presence. Coupled with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, expressing and delivering full cooperation in setting up pathways for protecting and promoting his people and country, will result in safer working relations and attempt to equalise their political ‘pulling power’.

With Biden and Harris soon to front US from the top, sharing their life, interests and political values, with India and Australia for continued democratic alliance, has never been more paramount than now in the midst of global health and economy upheaval. Multi-celebratory events, albeit a bit different this year, no matter if its Diwali or showcasing talents and gratitude from a personal or political viewpoint, there’s good news and it’s worth commemorating.

Happy Diwal!

By Agata Zema
(with inputs from Agencies)