How people’s writing power may have influenced the U.S.-India Friendship during times of crisis?

India has been and continues to be an important ally for the United States and undoubtedly a hedge against rising China politically and economically.

India has been and continues to be an important ally for the United States and undoubtedly a hedge against rising China politically and economically.
India has been and continues to be an important ally for the United States and undoubtedly a hedge against rising China politically and economically.

The power of writing makes an Impact!

Often we don’t value the power of our own pen and how ordinary people like you and me can affect change in national policy matters. The case in point is the U.S. and India working together to combat the public health crisis in India due to the devastating surge of the second wave of COVID-19, Which sounded unimaginable for a few days, the back door diplomacy between the MEA (Ministry of External Affairs) of India and the State Department in the U.S. paid off when the respective national security advisors talked with each other[1]. The rest is history now because U.S. aid is already on the ground in New Delhi.

In the process, I strongly felt and acted with a strong conviction that the U.S. must help India. After all, I had supported the Democrats in 2020 despite pressures from friends many of whom were annoyed with my decision. There were strong undercurrents to support Trump because of his good chemistry with India’s Modi and I too admire and appreciate it. But on balance, I was not happy with Trump’s policies and practices here in the U.S. and with his overall foreign policy, I am pleased that my own efforts in writing to the Senators and Tweets may have made the difference in getting the U.S. aid on the ground in India. I also wrote on various social media platforms the following message –
“Please consider writing to your Senators and House members for offering vaccine raw material to India.” Here is what I wrote but you may rewrite it any way you want. Every email matters. We should do our share of diplomacy and putting pressure on the U.S. Government as best as we can. Thank you.

It reminds me of Bhagwad Gita teaching us about the power of Karma Yoga, “Do your duty without expecting returns.” I firmly believe that all good Karmas yield greater outcomes in the long term.

“You will understand that a friend in need is a friend indeed. India has been and continues to be an important ally for the United States and undoubtedly a hedge against rising China politically and economically. It is no secret that India is passing through the most difficult phase of the Corona pandemic with a potential shortage of vaccines if the raw material for the vaccine is not made available by the U.S. immediately. In this time of crisis, the United States must offer assistance immediately and not let the thousands of innocent die which will be a travesty of immense proportions and crime against humanity.

“I write to you with a great sense of urgency on humanitarian grounds that you exert due pressure on the State Department to allow the export of vaccine raw material for continued production and supply of vaccines to ailing people of India. We know well how difficult it has been for us last year and India is getting hit unexpectedly as the second wave of pandemic putting millions at risk. Your immediate intervention will be sincerely appreciated. Thank you.”

I share it not to sing my own song but to strongly emphasize that we all have our own personal and political power and must not underestimate our pen’s influence. In my case, I am also proud to act on community behalf to start a fundraising campaign for COVID-19 India[2]. The proceeds from this fundraising through Vidya Gyan, a nonprofit committed to education and health, will be directed to the PM CARES fund[3]. We believe that the PM CARES has the best know-how about the needs and what to buy for which location in India. Once again, we as individuals can and must make whatever difference we can make. It reminds me of Bhagwad Gita teaching us about the power of Karma Yoga, “Do your duty without expecting returns.” I firmly believe that all good Karmas yield greater outcomes in the long term.

Since many started their own little diplomacy, India’s Prime Minister and the U.S. President have conferred and the relations between the largest and the oldest democracies are on track, a win-win for people ln India at this critical public health challenge. As a U.S. citizen of Indian descent and speaking on behalf of many like that, I could not be prouder that the sum of many individual efforts is testimonials for the reversal in the U.S. policy. I am equally pleased that one of Vidya Gyan’s initiatives called Pencil to Power (empowering children in schools with pencils and notebooks to emphasize writing as a critical skill) is also being manifested in our individual efforts discussed above.

In conclusion, the relations between the U.S. and India are strong and not shaky which many of my Republican minded folks have been forecasting. Let both nations continue the path of development, diplomacy, and democracy as natural allies which is critical for geopolitical global balance.

Note:
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.

References:

[1] U.S. Pledges Medical Aid To India, Where COVID-19 Is Overwhelming HospitalsApr 25, 2021, NPR

[2] Vidya Gyan’s “COVID-19 INDIA” fundraiser – Facebook

[3] Vidya Gyan – Vidya Gyan.org

Born in village Kotah (Saharanpur), Vijendra Agarwal, left India in 1973 after Ph.D. (Physics) from IIT Roorkee but always remained connected with his roots. A researcher in Italy, Japan, and France, he came to US in 1978. He served as faculty and academic
administrator (Assistant Vice President, Associate Vice Chancellor, and Dean of the College of Science and Engineering) in several universities, and an Executive Fellow in the White House S&T Policy during Clinton administration. Following his voluntary retirement in 2014, he and his wife co-founded a US based NGO, Vidya Gyan, to serve rural India toward education, health, and empowerment of girls and overall development. An Indian at heart, his passion for writing has no boundaries. This includes policy, politics and people, and social/cultural activities promoting community engagement. Currently he is the Brand Ambassador for Times of India and frequently blogs on Linkedin on various topics.
Vijendra Agarwal

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