White House State Dinner, Guest List, Bollywood &the Indian Elite
South Asian, Indians or Desi's as we sometimes call ourselves feature prominently on the White House Guest List for the first official State Dinner to be hosted by the Obamas
The Dinner is for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Since this is the first State Dinner to be hosted by the Obama's it is getting a lot of attention.
It is interesting to note that Bollywood royalty Abhishek Bachan and Aishwarya Rai are NOT on the guest list as previously reported by Politico. The full White House State dinner guest list has just been released.
Kal Penn (the actor the Harold and Kumar films) will likely be there now that he is a staffer in the Obama Administration, though he know goes by the name Kalpen Suresh Modi.
A.R. Rahman will be performing likely his hit Jai Ho which was featured in the Oscar winning Slumdog Millionaire.
Vishakha N. Desai, president of the Asia Society
M. Night Shyamalan, Hollywood director
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal
Raju Narisetti, managing editor of the Washington Post
Mr. Ratan Tata, Chair of Tata Group
Indra Nooyi, CEO of Pepsi
CNN's Sanjay Gupta, Obama's original pick for Surgeon General
Billionaire Mukesh Ambani
Washington Post's Rajiv Chandrasekaran
Amatrya Sen, Nobel Prize Winning Economist
Fareed Zakaria, Newsweek/CNN journalist and broadcaster
Of course this is not the first time that the White House has held State Dinners for Indian Heads of State. It started with Truman.
October 1949: Truman's dinner with Nehru, India's first prime minister, was notable because it wasn't at the White House. The mansion was being repaired and Truman and first lady Bess Truman had decamped to Blair House, the government guest house across the street.
Five courses were served at Blair to a smaller-than-usual dinner party, including soup julienne; fillet of sole with tyrolienne sauce; roast turkey with oyster dressing, gravy and cranberry sauce; ginger ale and peach salad, shredded lettuce, French dressing and toasted Triscuits.
Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, Clinton, Bush Sr and Bush Jr all have held some type of White House Dinners for Indian Prime Ministers