Prime Minister Narendra Modi will pay floral tributes to the Gandhi statue and visit the historic Lincoln Memorial and the recently established memorial for Martin Luther King Jr in the American capital.
On his maiden visit to the United States as the prime minister, Modi will also visit the 9/11 memorial in New York in an important symbolic gesture to tell the American that India is with them in the war against terrorism.
Sources familiar with the planning of the prime minister’s trip to the US said that a visit to the 9/11 memorial in New York, paying floral tribute to the Gandhi Statue in front of Indian embassy in Washington, going to the Lincoln Memorial and Martin Luther King Jr memorial in the American capital is a near certainty.
The Gandhi statue in front of the Indian embassy near DuPont Circle was dedicated on September 16, 2000 during a state visit of then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the presence of the then US President Bill Clinton.
The iconic bronze statue was designed by eminent Indian Gautam Pal and was gifted to the US government by India.
Dedicated to the nation way back in 1922 in honour of the 16th American President Abraham Lincoln, the Lincoln Memorial is a national monument.
US President Barack Obama is a frequent visitor to this memorial, which is located at the West End of the National Mall.
Located in the southwest of the National Mall, the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial is the latest of the historic memorials on the National Mall. It was opened to the public on August 22, 2011 by Obama, who is a great follower of Martin Luther King Jr.
Modi is scheduled to arrive in Washington on September 29 and leave the city for India a day later on September 30. During his stay in Washington, which would last a little over 24 hours, officials are giving final shape to his hectic to squeeze in time for his visit to these two memorials and the Gandhi statue.
Image: The Gandhi statue being inaugurated by then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the presence of then US President Bill Clinton. Photograph: Reuters