The Indian-American community has approved the death of John Lewis, the legendary civil rights leader who, as a member of the US House of Representatives, has been instrumental in the introduction and passage of several laws related to India and Mahatma Gandhi.
John Lewis, who died on July 17 at the age of 80, represented Georgia's 5th congressional district in the US House of Representatives from 1987 until his death.
The Indian-American community has endorsed John Lewis's death and said he was a true friend of India and a firm believer in Gandhi and peace.
India's ambassador to the United States Taranjit Singh Sandhu described John Lewis as a true friend of India.
"We mourn Congressman John Lewis, an icon of the civil rights movement, an advocate of Ahimsa and non-violence and a true friend of India. He will continue to inspire future generations through his life and the values he stood for." Taranjit Singh Sandhu tweeted.
Indian Senator Kamala Harris said in a statement that John Lewis was a giant who showed infinite generosity and love for the country.
"Congressman John Lewis was an American hero – a giant whose shoulders rest on many of us. Throughout his life, he has shown endless courage, generosity, and love for our country," she said.
Last December, Democratic Congressman John Lewis reintroduced the Gandhi-King Scholarly Exchange Initiative Act, which confirmed the friendship between India and the United States and suggested establishing a bilateral partnership for cooperation to drive development and shared values .
The legislation was first introduced by John Lewis in 2009 and then every two years thereafter.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also approved the death of John Lewis on Sunday, saying that his legacy will continue to endure and inspire people.
In 2009, John Lewis led a congressional delegation to India to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s historic trip to India to understand Mahatma Gandhi's steps.
"It was a great honor to be able to walk in the footsteps of Mahatma Gandhi. Visiting his grave, the place where he was murdered, his ashram and his houses is like walking on sacred ground," said John Lewis then.
He also introduced legislation in the house to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s visit to India.
John Lewis was instrumental in the introduction and adoption of several laws related to India and Mahatma Gandhi.
One of them was the 1998 legislation that gave the Indian government permission to erect a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi in the state of District of Columbia.
Several Indian-American community leaders have approved the death of John Lewis.
Congressman John Lewis was a torchbearer of civil rights for all citizens of the United States, said famous Indian-American Ramesh Shah from Ekal Vidyalaya.
"He has always been respectful of everyone. He has never disregarded a politician," said Ramesh Shah, adding that he was a pioneering light and hope for minorities in the United States, including Indian Americans.
"America has lost a hero. I have lost a hero, a dear friend, a cohort and a colleague with good difficulties," said Congressman Steve Cohen.
"It was an honor to know and serve this Lord. He was the embodiment of Dr. King, Mahatma Gandhi and Heaven on Earth," he said.