U.S. Ambassador Roemer Honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
January 14, 2011
New Delhi – On the occasion of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, United States Ambassador Timothy J. Roemer paid tribute today to Dr. King by visiting with the Dalit community of Chandrawal in North Delhi. While visiting with local community members, the Ambassador spoke of the universal values promoted by both Dr. King and Dalit leader Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar. These universal values of peace, freedom, equality, and justice for all are values that the United States shares with India and the world.
The Ambassador said, "In the history of the United States, a few people have stood out in the hearts and minds of most Americans. George Washington is the ‘father of our nation.’ Abraham Lincoln ended slavery. And Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is the symbol of civil rights in America, who changed the direction of our country so that only 40 years after his courageous struggle, an African-American could be elected to the highest office of our country.
Dr. King fought against discrimination and intolerance through non-violent means. He was a champion for not only African-Americans but also for the poor, the downtrodden, and the disadvantaged.
Dr. King and Dalit leader Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar stood for peace, freedom, equality, and justice for all. These values are universal and one’s that the people of the United States share with the people of India. It is these values that underpin the U.S. – India global partnership and make it "the defining partnership of the 21st century."
Ambassador Roemer toured the Valmiki basti, met with many families living there, spoke with leaders from the National Confederation of Dalit Organizations, and participated in a "sweeping ceremony."