Congressman Sherman praises PM Narendra Modi for transforming India’s image and boosting development and economy

PTI, Apr 10, 2024, 10:44 AM IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has become the face of India, a senior American Congressman has said as he applauded the Indian leader for the developmental work and the economic progress the country has seen since 2014.

Brad Sherman, considered to be one of the best friends of India in the US Congress, said that India and the US have seen a strengthening of the bilateral relationship during the tenure of Prime Minister Modi.

However, he said that India’s defence relationship with Russia is a challenge in the Indo-US relationship ”He (Modi) has become the face of India, and we’ve seen very significant economic progress. Of course, every country has its challenges, every leader has its challenges. I don’t ascribe the success of a country just to one leader. I mean, you’ve got 1.3 (sic) plus billion people and they’re all working together to try to make India a more successful country,” Sherman told PTI in an interview on Tuesday.

Sherman, 69, is the senior Democrat in the House Foreign Affairs Committee and has been working on the India-US relationship for the last 28 years.

”There’s been a tremendous strengthening of the US-India relationship. I know this because I am the former chair of the US India Caucus here in the United States House, which is the largest. We made it the largest of all of the bipartisan caucuses. We have seen so much, particularly in the defence area with the largest joint operations and exercises with the sharing of military intelligence and a focus on trying to keep the Indo-Pacific free and peaceful,” he said.

“The trade between the United States and India has skyrocketed. Of course, Indo-Americans are the best educated and have the highest income of all the ethnic groups here in the United States,” Sherman said.

The Congressman said he would like to see the trade relationship expand between the two countries.

“I’ve talked to a number of businesspeople about how India is an outstanding investment opportunity and a better place to do business than countries that aren’t democratic and do not have an established rule of law. Particularly those who manufacture in China should reflect on the fact that that is not a democracy and that is not a country whose tradition of the rule of law can be counted on,” he said.

“It’s just critical in a business’s success to have access to a court system that’s fair and honest. And India offers that some other countries don’t,” he said.

At the same time, the Congressman said that India continues to have a defence relationship with Russia and this was a challenge in the US-India relationship.

“We’re not on great terms with Russia right now. We all look forward to a successful resolution of the war in Ukraine, and I think that would certainly help the world a lot. I think that in India, when I talk to investors, there’s still some red tape to deal with and I look forward to that improving,” he said.

Sherman, who represents California’s 32nd Congressional District, said he would like to have an Indian consulate in Los Angeles.

“Most importantly for me, I need to see an Indian consulate in Los Angeles. San Francisco is wonderful, but it’s hundreds and hundreds of miles away from the true center of American entrepreneurship, Los Angeles,” Sharman said.

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