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Dr. Ambedkar’s 125th Birth Anniversary celebrated across the U.S.



Consul General of India in San Francisco, Ambassador Ashok Venkatesan lights the ceremonial 'Diya'

Ambedkar_float0416-e1460667084452UNITED NATIONS (Diya TV) — The architect of the Indian Constitution and the biggest advocate for equality and social justice in modern India, B.R. Ambedkar, was born April 14th 1891. Fondly known as ‘Babasaheb‘ Dr. Ambedkar’s 125th birthday was celebrated across the U.S.

In New York by the United Nations, where members examined the relevance of his legacy to their global development goals. The U.N. also heard a plea to make April 14, the birthday of the champion against discrimination, henceforth known as “International Equality Day.”

“I believe Baba Saheb’s lifelong struggle for equality was not only for the people of India but for people around the globe,” Punjab Assembly Speaker Charnjit Singh Atwal said at the Ambedkar Jayanti celebrations on Wednesday. In a “true tribute and honor,” he called for the designation of the day.

Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand, agreed that Ambedkar’s ideals were unique and relevant to the U.N.’s ambitious program of sustainable development goals.

“Ambedkar understood that inequalities pose fundamental challenges to well-being, and the U.N. had adopted the elimination of inequality as its goal,” she said.

Clark currently serves as the head of the U.N. Development Program, and is also a candidate for the organization’s Secretary General in their upcoming elections.


India’s permanent representative to the U.N., Syed Akbaruddin, said: “Last year, when the U.N. adopted the universal and transformative Agenda 2030 with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets, we, as Indians, noticed traces of Ambedkar’s vision in the ‘Sustainable Development Goals’.”

More than 550 people — diplomats, international officials, academics, civil society activists and Indian residents from across the U.S. — packed into the conference room for Ambedkar’s birthday celebration. Additionally, the celebrations featured two Dalits, who said they owed their positions to Ambedkar.

While the celebrations took place, Pakistan’s U.N. mission to organize a briefing on regional cooperation in Asia was happening just down the hall.

Consul General of India in San Francisco, Ambassador Ashok Venkatesan lights the ceremonial 'Diya'

Consul General of India in San Francisco, Ambassador Ashok Venkatesan lights the ceremonial ‘Diya’

In San Francisco, the Consulate General of India in association with the Indo-American community in Bay Area, celebrated ‘Babasaheb’s birth anniversary at the India Community center in Milpitas. Hundreds from all over Northern California attended the event along with several public official & dignitaries. Also in attendance were many academics and social activists. The event was inaugurated by Consul General Ambassador Shri Venkatesan Ashok by lighting the ceremonial ‘Diya’. He also paid floral tributes to Dr. Ambedkar’s photograph. In his address, the Consul General spoke about the many contributions of Dr. Ambedkar in bringing about social change in India through constitutional means. He spoke about the invaluable role in the making of the Indian Constitution and his tireless commitment towards the poor, disadvantaged & the ‘untouchable’.

“I measure the progress of a community by the degree of progress which women have achieved” – Dr. B.R. Ambedkar

Quoting the late ‘Babasaheb’,  Ambassador Venkatesan also reflected upon another time in the history of India, when many people came from the subcontinent to the West coast of the U.S. as part of the ‘Gadar‘ movement. Calling the Gadar memorial a “standing torch” of this freedom movement, he made the announcement that the Government of India has taken a decision to rebuild the entire Gadar Memorial as a Museum.

The evening was concluded with a dinner reception as various dance troupes took to the stage showcasing the rich diversity of Indian classical dance.

Arts & Culture

Donald Trump takes subtle jab at FCC Chairman Ajit Pai during Diwali ceremony



WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — President Donald Trump took time to appreciate and honor fellow South Asian members in his administration during a Diwali celebration, but he did also manage to throw a jab at Ajit Pai.

Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, was criticized by Trump earlier this year during the Sinclair-Tribune merger which halted the conservative local news giants.

The decision made by Pai, a conservative, infuriated Trump:

Fast forward to the Diwali celebration at the White House, the president managed to bring it up again. After raving about how “grateful” he was to have numerous Americans of Indian and Southeast Asian heritage in critical roles and who’ve done an “incredible job,” the remark was unfitting.

After singling out Pai, he reflected on some of that “incredible” and said the following:

“”I just didn’t like one decision he made, but that’s alright,” he joked, then he subtracted some of that “alright,” adding: “not even a little bit, but he’s independent.”

Pai, who is of Indian American descent, was designated by Trump in January 2017 — becoming the first Indian American to hold the office.

The Harvard and Chicago Law School graduate previously served as commissioner of the FCC after being appointed by former president Barack Obama.

Though Trump didn’t elaborate much after pointing him out, it has been noted that Pai carries a heavy load in how media is presented.

Pai’s decision to reverse Sinclair’s merger was based on his stance of the people’s interest and keeping media diverse throughout the country.

Along with first amendment best practices, Pai is focusing on issues relating to broadband, public safety and fiscal responsibility.

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Arts & Culture

Bollywood sweethearts Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh tie the knot in Italy



Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh getting married by Lake Cuomo in Italy. Seen here in there 'Konkani' Wedding Ceremony. Photo:
Bollywood superstars Deepika Padukone & Ranveer Singh tie the knot in Lake Como, Italy

LAKE CUOMO, Italy — Bollywood sweetheart couple, Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh have officially tied the knot at a private villa against the scenic Lake Como backdrop, in Italy. The two-day ceremony included a ‘Konkani‘ style ceremony as well as ‘Sindhi‘ ceremony to bring these two Bollywood stars into matrimony.

The couple released two pictures on twitter, with a simple heart emoji

The newlyweds began their love story on screen, sharing intimate moments in films like ‘Ramleela’,’Bajirao Mastani‘ and Padmavat.

According to the Huffington Post, film director Sanjay Leela Bhansali said ‘cut’ during their kiss toward the end, but they continued their sizzling moment as over 50 crew members mesmerizingly watched. It was the start of a blossoming relationship, forging together a Bollywood power couple with chemistry on and off set.

The much awaited wedding ceremony left no stone unturned to celebrate this star couple in grand style with an intensely private and synchronized affair set against at Italy’s scenic Lake Como backdrop, at Villa del Balbianello.

Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh getting married by Lake Cuomo in Italy. Seen here in there 'Sindhi' Wedding Ceremony. Photo:

Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh getting married by Lake Cuomo in Italy. Seen here in there ‘Sindhi’ Wedding Ceremony. Photo:

An Indian Bollywood wedding without a celeb designer? I think not. The duo opted to go with veteran designer Sabyasachi Mukherji. ‘Sabya‘ as fans often call him, drew inspiration from the wedding ceremony theme and designed decadent outfits in shades of red, pink and all things ‘shaadi‘ for both the ‘Konkani‘ & ‘Sindhi‘ ceremonies. Deepika wore a veil with the words,”Sada Saubhyagyavati Bhava” embroidered along the hem draped over her head. This mantra translates to “be forever fortunate” is often a blessing given to newly weds, wishing them a ‘happily ever after’ life ahead.

Ofcourse no Bollywood wedding is complete without all the ‘Badhaai‘ or well wishes from fellow co-stars, most of who took to twitter to shower the newly minted couple.

A Bollywood wedding, without some ‘filmy’ elements is nearly impossible. According to Filmfare, Singh made his grand entry on Govinda’s hit song ‘Meri Pant Bhi Sexy’, continuing with ‘Chunari Chunari’ and ‘One Two Ka Four‘ as he reached the wedding venue with his family and relatives.

With heavy security for this intensely private ceremony, the couple remained sensitive to the plight of hundreds of fans & paparazzi gathered to capture a glimpse of their special event. They sent gift packs of sweets to the media, thanking them for their wishes.

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Arts & Culture

Trump celebrates Diwali with diya lighting ceremony in the White House



White House Diwali Diya Lighting ceremony.

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — President Donald Trump took part in a Diwali celebration Tuesday at the White House where he held a ceremonial lighting of the ‘diya‘. The diya lighting ceremony, Trump used the time to discuss the ties between the U.S. and India which he stated were perhaps closer than ever before. He began by saying how thrilled and special it was to be part of the celebration. Shortly after, Trump gave high praise for the contributions Indian Americans have displayed in the country and in his administration. He began the ceremony by first addressing the victims of fires in California.

He continued to introduce several Indian Americans members of his team and then welcomed Indian Ambassador to the U.S., Navtej Sarna.

With an attendee list of roughly 20 notable Indian Americans within his administration, Trump added onto the growing number during the event as he nominated Neomi Rao to replace Brett Kavanaugh on the D.C. Circuit.

“We were going to announce that tomorrow and I said, ‘Here we are Neomi — we’re never gonna do better than this’ — I thought it was an appropriate place.”

Rao, born to Indian parents, is a graduate of Yale and University of Chicago Law School. She recently spent time as an associate law professor at George Mason and an administrator in the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. She responded by saying: “Thank you very much, Mr. President, for the confidence you’ve shown in me. I greatly appreciate it.”

“Our nation is blessed to be home to millions of hardworking citizens of Indian and southeast Asian heritage, who enrich our country in countless ways. Together we are one proud American family. I’m grateful to have numerous Americans of Indian and southeast Asian heritage who fulfill critical roles across my administration, and they’ve done an incredible job.”

However, President Trump failed to mention the largest group of Indian Americans, the ‘Hindus’, which the twitter sphere was quick to point out.

This is the second year in a row President Trump has hosted a Diwali Celebration in the Oval Office. Here’s Diya TV’s coverage from the year before.

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