Richard Verma meets with former President Barack Obama shortly after his appointment as ambassador.

Former Ambassador to India Richard Verma Discusses Past and Present U.S.-India Ties

In the inaugural lecture at the newly founded Cornell India Law Center, former U.S. ambassador to India Richard Verma spoke about India’s increasing relevance in international affairs, the evolution of U.S.-India ties and the importance of learning from the history between the two nations. The lecture, which took place on Thursday, was the first in a series hosted by the Cornell India Law Center in the law school, which seeks to provide Cornell law students with the opportunity to study Indian law as well as obtain a more in-depth understanding and connection with India through a variety of programs, including speaker series, summer internships in New Delhi and a dual-degree program with Jindal Global Law School in Sonipat, India. According to Verma, by 2030 “India will lead the world in almost every category.” But while India’s strategic location and its position as a democracy “in a tough part of the world” make it an important ally, the country still faces many “risk factors” such as significant climate risks, governance issues across the country, and for many of its citizens, a lack of access to clean water and electricity. “When you go to India, you can feel the excitement, you can feel the energy. People know that this is an exciting time.” Verma said.

Quote Block Templates (3)

WAITE | Ignorance Over Dinner

Early in my freshman year, I was eating dinner with a group of friends when we glided into a conversation on our lives before college. I mentioned growing up on the Navajo Nation and a few friends began to inquire further. Our conversation then began to spiral and I flinched when one friend voiced his belief that “Indians love to be called ‘Indian’ because that is what the white man called them.” I recognize that the term “Indian” is not collectively considered a pejorative term by the Indigenous community. And I am not Indigenous, so it is not my intent to claim that it is derogatory. As is their prerogative, it is my understanding that identity preferences change among Indigenous individuals.