That’s why the TTU student organization recently presented President Bob Bell with a painting depicting symbols of those ideas, created by member Shatrughna Thimmappa.
The focus of the colorful painting is a representation of TTU’s Derryberry Hall clock tower, flanked by both the American and Indian flags and the national birds of each country, the bald eagle and the peacock.
“The bald eagle is a U.S. national emblem that represents freedom, but it also [represents] our feelings for this nation,” Thimmappa said. “Despite landing here as aliens, we enjoy the same eagle-like, majestic freedom.”
Freedom is felt and protected in this country more dearly than anywhere else, he continued.
Likewise, the peacock – the national bird of India, a nation that was created from 526 different kingdoms and is among the world’s fastest progressing countries – is of equal grandeur in its symbolism of diversity.
“When you think about it, freedom and diversity really are symbiotic. Freedom feeds diversity, and diversity embellishes freedom. One needs the other,” he said.
“With what this great nation has provided us, we will realize our dreams – and we will fulfill our responsibilities to both India and the U.S.,” Thimmappa concluded.