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Georgia parents offended by ‘Yoga,’ get ‘Namaste’ banned from schools

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yoga-for-kidsATLANTA (Diya TV) — A group of parents at a Cobb County elementary school are upset over the school’s use of yoga and other mindfulness practices for students, claiming it endorses and promotes a non-Christian belief system.

In response, school leaders at Bullard Elementary recently held a meeting with parents to address the “many misconceptions” over the belief that yoga had “created a distraction in our school and community,” according to an email to parents from Bullard principal Patrice Moore.

“While we have been practicing de-stressing techniques in many classrooms for years, there have been some recent practices associated with mindfulness that are offensive to some,” the email states.

However large the misconceptions, the school is making direct changes.

When students participate and use yoga moves in the classroom, they will not say the word “namaste” nor put their hands by their hearts, according to the email. The term and gesture are often used as a greeting in Hindu custom. Additionally, when students are coloring during teaching breaks, they will not be allowed to color mandalas, spiritual symbols in Hinduism and Buddhism.

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The principal also wrote that teachers have “never used nor taught about crystals having healing powers during these breaks, we understand it has become a belief. Therefore we will ensure that nothing resembling this will be done in the future.”

Moore could not be reached for comment, but in her email asked parents to be part of a new committee to gauge input on a variety of topics, including mindfulness and curriculum practices. For the past decade a growing number of schools across the U.S. have begun employing yoga and other mindful practices in their curriculum, in an effort to help students deal with stress and increase the focus on academics.

In some high schools, yoga-based activities are offered on an elective basis. But at lower grade levels, students often participate in yoga breathing exercises in their physical education classes.

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20 dead, many injured in Pakistan bus crash

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20 dead, many injured in Pakistan bus crash | Diya TV News

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (Diya TV) — A bus crammed with pilgrims coming back from a Muslim religious festival crashed in southwest Pakistan, killing at least 20 people and leaving dozens of others injured. Officials say the bus was overloaded and passengers were even traveling on the roof of the bus. The death toll is expected to increase. 

Police say man accused of killing four members of a Pakistani Canadian Muslim family targeted them for their Islamic faith. 20-year-old Nathaniel Veltman is facing several murder charges for allegedly running them over in his pickup truck. Investigators say there is evidence this was premeditated and motived by hate.

Vice President Kamala Harris walked in the Capital Pride Walk and Rally in Washington, D.C., over the weekend, making history as the first sitting vice president to march in a Pride event.
The Biden-Harris administration has brought LGBTQ issues to the forefront of its agenda. One of the president’s first executive orders called for an end to discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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One in two Indian Americans have encountered racism

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Study: 1 in 2 Indian Americans report facing discrimination | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON DC (Diya TV) — According to a new study, Fifty percent of Indian Americans say they have encountered racism in the U.S. in the past year. Discrimination against darker-skinned people is the most common form of bias encountered and the main perpetrators are non-Indians. The study also shows Indian Americans are the second largest immigrant group in the US with more than 4 million living in the country.

Judge Zahid Quraishi has been confirmed by the US Senate, becoming the first Muslim American federal judge. Quraishi, who is of Pakistani descent, was serving as a magistrate judge for the U.S. District Court of New Jersey.

Former Federal prosecutor Preet Bharara’s dinner with an author who once despised Indian food is getting a lot of likes on the internet. On twitter, Tom Nichols is finally admitting his palate is expanding and he wants more Lamb Biryani. Bharara responded on social media by saying Nichols is still getting used to the butter chicken. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Senate holds up OPM nominee Ahuja’s appointment

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Senate holds up OPM nominee Ahuja's appointment | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON DC (Diya TV) — Senate Republicans are holding up Kiran Ahuja’s nomination to lead the Office of Personnel Management over concerns about her stance on critical race theory. GOP Senator. Josh Hawley and others in his party are concerned the Indian American would bring race-based training sessions to the entire federal government. Critical race theory recognizes that systemic racism is part of American society and challenges the beliefs that allow it to flourish.

Nishant Joshi is now Alameda California’s new police chief. He’s the first U.S.-born Indian American top cop in that state. Joshi says his parents wanted him to be a doctor or lawyer, but policing fascinated him. The Chief is married to a black woman and is a father to bi-racial children, which is why he says he wants to work on reforms to combat over-policing in communities of color.

El Salvador approved a bill that will eventually allow Bitcoin to be used as legal tender for many aspects of daily life, from property purchases to tax contributions. But the International monetary fund is warning about potential risks, especially volatility to the fragile economy. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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