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Indiaspora convenes in Philadelphia ahead of Democratic National Convention, general election

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PHILADELPHIA (Diya TV) — Indiaspora, a group founded in 2012 by M.R. Rangaswami, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, investor is working to shape the future of U.S.-India relations, as well as improve the lives of the citizens of both nations.

Governor Ed Rendell with MR Rangaswami at Indiaspora 2016

Governor Ed Rendell with MR Rangaswami at Indiaspora 2016

Over the weekend, Indiaspora gathered a curated group of individuals from the fields of business, technology, medicine, music, media and the arts and held its third annual forum to discuss and dialogue. The summit featured panel discussions on various issues ranging from the contributions of the Indian American community within the US, insights from industry leaders as well personal journeys of the likes of former Miss America Nina Davuluri.

The brainchild of M.R Rangaswami, Indiaspora’s board member’s include Shekar Narasimhan, managing partner at Beekman Advisors who provides strategic advisory services to companies and investors involved in real estate, mortgage finance, affordable housing and related sectors, according to the Indiaspora website. Additionally, he is the chairman Papillon Capital and a co-founder of the Emergent Institute in Bangalore.

Rajan Navani rounds out the board of Indiaspora. He currently serves as the managing director of the Jetline Group of Companies and is currently the national chairman of the Confederation of Indian Industry’s (CII) Mission on India@75.

Several roundtable discussions took place, aside from the keynote addresses that were delivered during the event. A gala reception held Saturday at the historic Union League of Philadelphia was keynoted by Governor Ed Rendell, the chair of the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this July. Nina Davuluri, the winner of 2014’s Miss America contest, also attended the event and shared her personal journey of success.

The nationally covered highly contentious debate over proposed California textbook changes referencing India and Hinduism were also discussed during the three-day event.

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Jolly Joseph held for serial killings of her family in South India

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Jolly Joseph

Koodathai, India (Diya TV)  — A 47 year old mother of two in Kerala is being held on suspicion of using cyanide to murder at least six of her own family members, including her husband and in-laws. Jolly Joseph is behind bars as police continue their investigation into the serial killings. Police and neighbors allege after the deaths of her immediate family, years later, Jolly killed the wife and child of a man she went on to marry.

India’s Commerce minister Piyush Goyal will meet US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer once again this week as the U.S. and India continue bilateral trade negotiations. These talks come days after India exited a China-backed trade agreement that covered much of Asia, citing domestic concerns.

Just a couple of months after the ‘Howdy Modi’ event that brought India and the U.S. together in a manner we’ve never seen before, President Trump told reporters he does plan to visit India soon, after Prime Minister Modi extended an invitation to him in Houston.

Kshama Sawant was reelected to Seattle’s City Council, despite Amazon spending $500,000 to back her opponent. Sawant, a self-proclaimed socialist, ran on an agenda to deal with Seattle’s growing gentrification, homelessness and a lack of affordable housing

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Calm prevails after Indian Supreme Court rules on Ayodhya

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AYODHYA, India (Diya TV)  — In a politically and culturally sensitive dispute going back decades, the Indian Supreme Court awarded nearly three acres of sacred land in Ayodhya to Hindus, while mandating an alternative five-acre plot for a mosque. The court also deemed the demolition of the Babri Masjid on that site in 1991 a crime. The unanimous decision by five justices paves the way for the construction of a new Hindu temple on the parcel of land believed to be Lord Ram’s birthplace, ending the oldest land title dispute in India.Calls for peace were listened to over the weekend. Now, next steps involve determining how and where precisely the temple and mosque will be built.

In a major step forward between India and Pakistan, the Kartarpur corridor on the border of the two nations opened up for Sikhs to make pilgrimage on Guru Nanak Dev’s 550th birth anniversary. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked his Pakistan counterpart Imran Khan for understanding India’s sentiment on this issue. 500 pilgrims made the initial voyage, including former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Indian Supreme Court ends Ayodhya dispute: Hindus receive land, Muslims get alternative site

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AYODHYA, India (Diya TV)  — In a decision over a subject that has been politically and culturally sensitive for several decades, the Indian Supreme Court awarded the entire 2.77 acres of disputed land in Ayodhya to Hindus, while deeming the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1991 a crime.

The unanimous decision by five justices, led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, paves the way for the construction a new Hindu temple at the site, believed to be Lord Ram’s birthplace. The decision ends the oldest land title dispute in India.

A board of trustees will be established in the next three months to determine construction plans for the temple. While the court ruled in favor of the Hindu petition, they ordered five acres of land to be set aside at an alternative site in Ayodhya for a mosque to be built.

Ahead of the verdict political leaders appealed for peace and calm. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the verdict in this sensitive case will “not be a matter of victory or loss,” appealing to his nation to “strengthen India’s great tradition of peace, unity and amity.”

The court was also clear the desecration of the Babri Masjid was still a criminal matter and a court case on that issue is still pending.

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