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Warriors’ 46th straight home win comes on ‘Bollywood Night’

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OAKLAND, Calif. (Diya TV) — As the Golden State Warriors continue their trek to defend their 2015 world championship, an infusion of Indian culture was introduced during Wednesday night’s contest against the visiting Utah Jazz. It was ‘Bollywood Night’ at Oracle Arena, an annual culture introduced by Indian American and former Warriors owner, Vivek Ranadive.

Ranadive is of course now the majority owner of the Sacramento Kings, his 2013 purchase of the franchise made him the first Indian owner in league history. The Kings’ Bollywood Night took place in January.

Like Bollywood Night, winning has become a regular occurrence for the Warriors — Wednesday night’s 115-94 victory was the team’s 46th straight regular season win on their home court, a record which has already exceeded that of the ’96 Chicago Bulls 44 straight, and one which additionally extends to last season. But on a night where Steph Curry dazzled again, another tradition carried on in grand style.

Outside of Oracle Arena, before the game, the Balle Balle Bhangra Boys offered performances of traditional Punjabi dances, and delivered them in style. “Dancing here means a lot to me,” said Teg Singh, a member of the group. “It’s a great way to spread our culture, and share our heritage through dance.”

A 2016 Golden State Warriors Bollywood Night t-shirt, Photo Courtesy of Diya TV

A 2016 Golden State Warriors Bollywood Night t-shirt, Photo Courtesy of Diya TV

Though Bollywood Night movement in professional basketball was born in the Bay Area, the NBA has ramped up efforts in recent years to begin their outreach and expansion into India and China. This year, the Los Angeles Clippers, Sacramento Kings, Philadelphia 76ers and Orlando Magic all hosted Bollywood Nights during home games — during the Kings’ edition, Indian-origin Miss America Nina Davulari was in attendance. Players’ names were announced in Hindi during the pre-game ceremonies, and a scintillating introduction video to reach out to fans from Mumbai to Sacramento. The team’s dance team also donned Indian-themed attire, and even the Kings’ mascot, Slamson the lion.

In the Bay Area, no Bollywood Night would be complete without a performance from the Bhangra Empire — the group incorporated hip hop and bhangra beats together for their performance, while paying their respects to the Warriors, dressed in midnight blue and gold.

“The tradition has been so much fun,” said Franco Finn, the Golden State Warriors Hype Man. “I think it’s the most colorful kind of celebrations we have. We’ve got dancers, entertainment, the shirts that we’re wearing, it’s just so incredible and everyone is so committed.”

As America’s most progressive professional sports league, the NBA’s international expansion is on the uptick — for the first time in league history, this year’s edition of the annual all star game was held outside of the U.S. As the game continues to grow, commissioner Adam Silver said he’s keeping an open mind on the possibility of moving basketball not just across borders, but across oceans.

“The billion followers of the NBA on social media include many millions of our fans in India as well,” Silver said. “We have about a 10-person office in Mumbai, and we even have an owner, Vivek Ranadive, who was born in Mumbai. We have plans to do even more.”

The NBA has traveled overseas in the past — in 1978, an exhibition game was played in Israel, and the league has since conducted 160 games internationally. “We continue to look at expanding the number of regular season and preseason games we play overseas. We just want to be very careful on how we approach it,” Silver said. “I certainly think it’s worked very effectively to play regular season games in London, building some time off for the players once they return. I think our preseason schedule has worked out very well in Asia and Europe.”

Silver recognizes the NBA is in a unique position to share its product — it is the only North American professional sports league which carries a significant following in Asia. League executives have already begun exploring the possibilities of playing exhibition games in Asia, Silver said.

Ravi Kapur, Deepti Dawar and Jeff Knapp contributed to this report.

Arts & Culture

US India trade talks resume after G20 summit, in New Delhi

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US-India Trade Talks

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — India and the U.S. will resume bilateral trade talks in New Delhi next week. These talks continue the dialog established by Indian Prime Minister Modi and President Trump at the Osaka G20 Summit last week.

Sikh activists launched a petition asking Presidential candidate and California Senator Kamala Harris to apologize for supporting employment discrimination against a Sikh job applicant in 2011 during her tenure as California’s attorney general.

A report by Bloomberg says Boeing turned to Indian-based subcontractors who were paid as little $9 per hour for work on the U.S. planemaker’s beleaguered 737 Max aircraft.

Mahmud Jamal is now a Justice of Appeal of the Court of Appeal for Ontario, becoming the 4th ever South Asian federal appellate judge in Canada.

A group of South Asian filmmakers including Zoya Akhtar and Anurag Kashyap and actors like Anupam Kher and Archie Panjabi are among the 842 people invited to become members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Indian CEO’s meet with President Trump in London

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Indian CEOs and Trump

LONDON (Diya TV) — A number of prominent Indian CEOs from the US and the UK met with President Trump during a breakfast roundtable on his visit to London. Members of the American cabinet were also in attendance, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, as well as the president’s daughter, Ivanka.

The Punjab government announced free education for girls in government schools and colleges from Nursery school to the PhD level. They also announced free Wi-FI for 13,000 schools and all 48 government colleges.

Rayna Gokli McIntyre will be a new District Court Judge in Colorado, becoming the second South Asian member to the bench in that state.

In New Jersey, Zahid Quraishi was named a U.S. Magistrate Judge, becoming the first Asian American federal judge in that state.

And Karamjit and Karawjit Singh took danger to new heights with this coconut and melon smashing display on America’s Got Talent, all while wearing a blindfold.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Trump ends $5.6B GSP trade preference for India

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WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — President Trump is ending $5.6 billion worth of trade concessions for India under the Generalized Scheme of Preferences program effective this week, saying India failed to assure the U.S. that it would provide ‘equitable and reasonable access to the markets of India.

Bay Area Congressmembers Zoe Lofgren and Anna Eshoo reintroduced a bill to save work authorization visas for H-4 holders whose spouses are on track to get a green card. Many of those eligible are Indian American women.

Oklahoma’s State Board of Education released new social studies standards, which for the first time include Sikhism. Nearly 700,000 students in Oklahoma public schools will now learn more about the Sikh community, in this effort spearheaded by the Sikh Coalition.

The Golden State Warriors played through two more injuries to rotation players to beat the Raptors in Toronto 109-104 to even the NBA Finals at a game a piece.

Diya TV’s Ravi Kapur and Jonathan Choe are on-site and will have more courtside.

And we talk to the stars of Netflix’s newest romantic comedy ‘Always Be My Maybe,’ a feature that offers a story & characters Asian Americans will find relatable from some of the most talented names in Hollywood.

Ravi Kapur & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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