- Steny Hoyer spoke about Nehru's vision of India as a secular democracy
- Jawaharlal Nehru has been frequently targeted by members of the BJP
- BJP chief and Home Minister Amit Shah has blamed Nehru for PoK formation
As Houston gave a stirring welcome to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday, rolling out the red carpet to a stadium packed with 50,000 members of the Indian community, a senior US lawmaker introduced him to the stage with a speech that included a word of praise for Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru.
"[India], like America, [is] proud of its ancient traditions to secure a future according to Gandhi's teaching and Nehru's vision of India as a secular democracy where respect for pluralism and human rights safeguard every individual," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said at the "Howdy, Modi!" event.
The senior member of the Democratic party also quoted Mahatma Gandhi to define democracy as "something that gives the weak, the same chance as the strong."
India's first Prime Minister and an icon of the opposition Congress party, Jawaharlal Nehru has been frequently targeted by members of the PM Modi's party. Hours before PM Modi's event in Houston, Jawaharlal Nehru was blamed by BJP chief and Union Home Minister Amit Shah for the formation of Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK).
It was Nehru's "untimely ceasefire" declared in 1947 that led to the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under the constitution and eventually terrorism in the Valley, Mr Shah said at an event in Mumbai.
In Houston, Mr Hoyer said, "As we welcome Prime Minister Modi to Texas, we are inspired by the modern India he leads while mindful of the challenges it faces. Undeterred as it reaches into the new frontier of space, and equally determined to lift millions out of poverty back on Earth. Making strides in access education, clean water, healthcare and while helping to develop advanced energy technologies for a greener and healthy India."
"I am proud that the US-India relationship has remained bipartisan with both Democrats and Republicans working to bring the two nations closer in pursuit of that goal and our common principles. In recent decades President Clinton had the vision to forge a new path for US-India relations. President Bush strengthened the ties between our two nations and President Obama solidified them. And President Trump continues that today," he added.
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