News India Times – that’s all you need to know Cover Story News India Times January 14, 2022 5 January 6, 2021 E xactly a year after armed insur- rectionists stormed and violently attacked the United States Capitol, President Joe Biden and Vice Presi- dent Kamala Harris addressed the nation from Capitol Hill on Thursday, Jan- uary 6, 2022, squarely placing the blame on former President Donald Trump. Even as Indian-American Democrats, including the lawmakers who were inside the chambers on Capitol Hill that day, saw the former President as the one inciting the riots, Republicans placed the blame for the violence on liberal policies followed by past Democratic administra- tions. Vowing to bring the perpetrators involved, in the dastardly attacks, to justice, both Biden and Harris highlighted strengthening democracy, respecting the rule of law, ensuring domestic tranquility, protecting the right to vote, conducting free and fair elections, and passing the voting rights bill, among other critical issues. “One year ago today, in this sacred place, democracy was attacked — simply attacked. The will of the people was un- der assault. The Constitution — our Con- stitution — faced the gravest of threats,” said Biden thanking the outnumbered law enforcement officers for saving and protecting the rule of law. forces for sav- ing the day. “Our democracy held. We the people endured. And we the people prevailed.” He accused Trump’s supporters of trying to rewrite history and see Elec- tion Day as a day of insurrection and the violence as an expression of the will of the people. “Can you think of a more twisted way to look at this country — to look at America? I cannot. Here’s the truth: The election of 2020 was the great- est demonstration of democracy in the history of this country. More of you voted in that election than have ever voted in all of American history. Over 150 million Americans went to the polls and voted that day in a pandemic — some at great risk to their lives. They should be applaud- ed, not attacked.” On January 6, 2021, Harris was not just Vice President-elect, but also a U.S. Sena- tor. “I was here at the Capitol that morning at a classified hearing with fellow mem- bers of the Senate Intelligence Commit- tee. Hours later, the gates of the Capitol, were breached. I had left. But my thoughts immediately turned not only to my col- leagues, but to my staff, who had been forced to seek refuge in our office, con- verting filing cabinets, into barricades,” Harris said in an emotional recounting. She recalled that whenever she meets young people, they often question her about the state of our democracy and spe- cifically about January 6th. Her response is, “January 6th reflects the dual nature of democracy — its fragility and its strength. You see, the strength of democracy is the rule of law. The strength of democracy is the principle that everyone should be treated equally, that elections should be free and fair, that corruption should be given no quarter. The strength of democ- racy is that it empowers the people,” she tells them. “And the fragility of democracy is this: that if we are not vigilant, if we do not de- fend it, democracy simply will not stand; it will falter and fail. The violent assault that took place here, the very fact of how close we came to an election overturned — that reflects the fragility of democracy.” Both Biden and Harris appreciated the determination of US Representatives, U.S. Senators, and their staff, Republicans and Democrats, for not backing down in the face of adversity and fulfilling their commitment to certify the elections on January 6, 2021, as required by the Consti- tution of the United States. To commemo- rate the first anniversary of the riots, On first anniversary of the Capitol Hill insurrection, Indian-Americans are divided on how and why it happened Photo: Twitter/JoeBiden Photo:Twitter @VP REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton President Joe Biden addressing at Capitol Hill to mark the first anniversary of Capitol Hill riots on Thursday, January 6, 2022. Vice President Kamala Harris addressing at Capitol Hill to mark the first anniversary of Capitol Hill riots on Thursday, January 6, 2022. Tear gas is released into a crowd of protesters during clashes with Capitol police at a rally to contest the certification of the 2020 U.S. presidential election results by the U.S. Congress, at the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, U.S, January 6, 2021. REUTERS/ Jim Urquhart Supporters of President Trump scale the walls of the Capitol Building, January 6, 2021. - Continued On Page 6 By T.Vishnudatta Jayaraman