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India’s Supreme Court will review law criminalising gay sex

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(Diya TV) — Three senior judges of India’s Supreme Court announced Tuesday it would conduct further review over whether or not to uphold a colonial-era law which prohibits, and criminalizes, homosexual sex—in 2013, a then smaller panel of judges overruled a 2009 verdict by the Delhi High Court, which had decriminalized homosexual acts in the country. The judges said that the issue was a “matter of constitutional importance”.

According to Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), a 155-year-old colonial-era law, a same-sex relationship is an “unnatural offense”. It imposes a 10-year prison sentence for homosexual sex, a fact the attorney for gay rights activists pointed towards and opined unconstitutional.

Gay rights activists hold placards during a protest in New Delhi February 11, 2014. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee/Files

Gay rights activists hold placards during a protest in New Delhi February 11, 2014. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee/Files

“It is definitely a move forward,” said lawyer Anand Grover as activists gathered outside the court cheered.

The aforementioned period of decriminalization, which was instated by the Delhi High Court’s 2009 ruling, only stayed in effect for four years until it was stricken down by the higher court. During that four year period, the time was used to help bring homosexuality into the open—National surveys show however, that about three-quarters of Indians disapprove of homosexuality, and are deeply traditional about other issues of sexuality such as sex outside of marriage.

India is one of 75 countries worldwide that continues to outlaw homosexuality, according to the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association. Although the law is loosely enforced, activists say it is has become propagandized, used to incite fear, intimidation, and blackmail against homosexuals. There exist no official reports, or figure, of the number of cases; most go unreported as victims are too scared to talk to police.

Shashi Tharoor, the opposition Congress lawmaker who introduced the bill, started a petition to change the law on the popular U.S. website, Change.org, has garnered more than 40,000 signatures to date. “It is time to bring the Indian Penal Code into the 21st Century,” he said, adding, “it’s time to take the government out of the bedroom.”

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Sanders defends Gabbard over Clinton accusation

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NEW YORK (Diya TV)  — Sparks flew when Hillary Clinton implied Russians were ‘grooming’ Tulsi Gabbard for a third-party run. Gabbard blasted Clinton and got a fresh jolt of support for her campaign. Staunch supporters for Clinton like Neera Tanden continue to criticize Gabbard for her meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, among other reasons. Presidential candidates are also chiming in, with Andrew Yang, Marianne Williamson and Bernie Sanders all standing up for Gabbard. Sanders, who Gabbard supported in 2016 over Clinton, said in a tweet “people can disagree on issues, but it is outrageous for anyone to suggest that Tulsi is a foreign asset.

Indian American attorney Rik Mehta announced he intends to challenge Sen. Cory Booker in New Jersey’s Democratic primary, criticizing Booker for spending more time running for President than looking after New Jersey.

The U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum held its annual meeting in New Delhi, featuring prominent business leaders, American ambassador to India Ken Juster and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who spoke about India’s efforts to aid startups and bolster innovation.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Breaking: Clinton, Gabbard spar in 2016 rehash

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Breaking: Clinton, Gabbard spar in 2016 rehash | Diya TV News

NEW YORK (Diya TV)  — In 2016, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was the Democratic nominee, staving off a fierce challenge from Sen. Bernie Sanders. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard decided to resign from her post as Democratic National Committee Vice-Chair to support Sanders over Clinton. Now, both ladies have taken the gloves off, after Clinton on a podcast indirectly referenced Gabbard by saying the Russians were “grooming her to be the third-party candidate.” Gabbard responded on Twitter, calling Clinton the “queen of warmongers [and] embodiment of corruption.”

The granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi, Ela Gandhi, spoke at an event organized by Cal State Fresno about how her grandfather’s work, was not only was significant in its time, but how those principles still hold relevance in a new century.

The University of Houston announced an endowment to support the study of the Tamil language and culture. Non-profit Houston Tamil Studies Chair made a $2 million commitment to the university to kickstart the study of Tamil heritage. The Tamil language is considered the oldest in the world, spoken by more than 70 million people worldwide, with 250,000 Tamilians in the United States.

President Trump announced Energy Secretary Rick Perry is stepping down from his role to pursue other interests. His deputy Dan Brouillette was nominated as his replacement.

And for all of our incredible viewers in Chicagoland, rescan your TV sets this weekend to watching Diya TV and the rest of the channels in the market. We recommend a high quality VHF/UHF antenna so you can keep getting Diya TV on WRJK Channel 22.1 for free!

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Indian Ambassador, Shringla speaks to U.S. Congress about Kashmir

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AMB. Shringla speaks to congress about Kashmir | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Harsh Shringla met with members of Congress at a private roundtable briefing, hosted by Southern California Congressman Brad Sherman. Sherman, who has been a supporter of India, took to Twitter recently to share his concerns about Kashmir and said serious questions about Kashmir were asked at the briefing.

President Trump is being urged to fix the H1-B visa process and do away with country-specific limits, with the latest effort for reform being spearheaded by 60 U.S. business school deans and CEO’s.

In an earthquake, seconds matter. So on the anniversary of the deadly 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake that rocked Northern California, state officials announced the launch of America’s first statewide earthquake early warning system.

Tabla Maestro Zakir Hussain will be coming to Boston next month to perform at the Berklee India Exchange, where he will also be conferred with an honorary doctorate by the esteemed music school. A Zakir Hussain Scholarship at Berklee is also being established.

And we have incredible video of three kids from India rescuing their dog from a snake that’s equal parts courageous and nuts.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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