The Indian-American community will hold pride of place at the ceremony next Monday when US President George W Bush makes the Indo-US nuclear cooperation bill a law. About half the 70 or so guests who have been invited are from the Indian-American community, say congressional sources.
Bush will sign the bill at 10.45 in the morning in the East Room of the White House. The bill is officially being dubbed “HR 5682, the United States and Indian Nuclear Cooperation Promotion Act of 2006”. The bill carries the “House of Representatives” label because the lower House passed the legislation before the Senate did.
The bulk of the invited guests will be the leaders of the Indian-American community who lobbied for the nuclear deal, including Swadesh Chatterjee of the US-India Friendship Council and Ramesh Kapur of the Indian-American Security Leadership Council. There will also be representatives of the US business community including the aerospace, defence, finance and energy industries.
A sprinkling of US diplomats and academics with close links to India — like Teresita Schaffer, Karl Inderfurth and Selig Harrison — is also expected.