Following the cancellation of ‘Iftar’ earlier this year, there had been speculations among the Indian community that the US President might even call off the Diwali dinner.
After having discontinued the decade-old long White House tradition to celebrate Ramzan in June, United States President Donald Trump is now all set to grandly celebrate Diwali at 1600, Pennsylvania Avenue. Following the cancellation of ‘Iftar’ earlier this year, there had been speculations among the Indian community that the US President might even call off the Diwali dinner. However, the White House has confirmed that the Trump administration will be hosting a dinner on the occasion for 200 Indian-Americans.
As reported by the Times of India, the Indian-Americans in US are also expecting Trump to address visa related issues during the community dinner. Furthermore, the founder of ‘Republican Hindu Coalition’, Shalabh Kumar told ToI that Trump might also consider their request to address a rally in Chicago for around 15,000 Indians staying there.
Reportedly, White House chief of staff John Kelly and Republican senator Orrin Hatch had earlier written a letter, urging the Trump administration to organize a Diwali celebration at the White House. Citing that the Indian-American community played a major role to support the Republicans during the Presidential elections in 2016, they mentioned in the letter that the concerns of the community must be addressed seriously. Confirming the Diwali celebration in Washington, RHC founder Kumar told Nav Bharat Times that the White House is taking Hatch’s suggestion seriously.
The Diwali dinner at the White House was first hosted by former US President Barack Obama in 2009 and it had been an annual affair since then.