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California textbooks controversy: Tulsi Gabbard writes to Board of Education just before Thursday’s hearing

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U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) speaks after being awarded a Frontier Award during a ceremony at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) speaks after being awarded a Frontier Award during a ceremony at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Tulsi Gabbard, the first and only Hindu elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, has issued a plea to the California State Board of Education, saying the board must give Hinduism its due respect in student’s textbooks and not describe it inaccurately as “religions of ancient India.”

The board of education are in its final stages of revising and updating California’s K-12 History-Social Science Framework for public schools. For an in-depth analysis on the California Textbook Controversy & a follow up on various groups of scholars that have been involved.

In a letter Gabbard sent the board ahead of their final July 14 meeting, she urged the board to preserve the fabric of Hindu history and identity by restoring all references to “Hinduism” that were removed or replaced inaccurate phrases. Hinduism should be paid the same respect Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Buddhism are — each religion has its own distinct and separate space for discussion in the state’s educational framework, she said.

“Replacing Hinduism with the term ‘religions of Ancient India, including but not limited to early Hinduism’ is not only inaccurate, but it will cause confusion for students and teachers alike,” Gabbard writes in her letter.

She also stressed the positive roles played by women in Ancient Indian and Hindu society, something she hopes the board will consider in their decision making process.

“While it is important to discuss the existence of patriarchies in ancient civilizations, it is also critical to discuss the positive contributions and unique roles played by women in those societies,” she wrote.

“In the context of Ancient India, Hindu women were able to perform their own religious rites and also authored the Vedas, Hinduism’s sacred texts,” she added. “The framework should thus acknowledge these historical facts when describing the roles of women in ancient Indian society.”

She also asks the board to accurately represent the caste-system in the framework by not depicting it as a defining feature or a foundational religious belief of Hinduism.

“While caste-based discrimination is a reality that must be dealt with, it goes against the essence of Hindu teachings and scriptures, which posit that divinity is inherent in all beings,” she said.

Here Gabbard is seen speaking about her experience on being the first ever Hindu member of Congress.

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FTX’s Nishad Singh got $543 million loan

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More fallout from the FTX cryptocurrency platform collapse. Court documents show its affiliate Alameda Research loaned executives like Sam Bankman Fried $1 billion and more than $500 million to Indian American Nishad Singh, FTX’s top engineer. FTX’s interim CEO says never in his career has he seen such complete failure of corporate controls and a complete absence of trustworthy financial information. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after it was unable to come up with customer funds.

Elizabeth Holmes was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison after her conviction in January for defrauding investors while running the failed blood testing start up Theranos.In her trial, Holmes alleged she was in the midst of a decade-long abusive relationship with her then-boyfriend and Theranos COO Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani. The Indian American was also found guilty for his role in this fraud and will be sentenced later.

Starting next month, India will assume the G20 presidency for a year and chair more than 200 meetings, leading the way for global economic growth. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his country’s leadership here will be inclusive, ambitious, and decisive.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Arvind Venkat & Tarik Khan win Pennsylvania State seats

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WASHINGTON D.C. (Diya TV) – Looking back at the midterm elections, Arvind Venkat and Tarik Khan made history as the first South Asian Americans elected to the Pennsylvania State Legislature. Advocacy group Indian American Impact played a major role on the ground, saying it trained and mobilized 200 volunteers to go door-to-door, to engage voters and provide info they needed to elect new leadership.

After 35 years, the Nancy Pelosi era is officially coming to an end. The speaker from San Francisco announced she’s bowing out of leadership, but will retain her House seat. The midterms cost Pelosi’s Democratic party the House and effectively ended her speakership.

Two former Indian American executives at Meta Platforms will launch a new non fungible token start up for creators. Kirthiga Reddy and Saurabh Doshi have raised more than $8 million for their new company called Virtualness. But they are facing headwinds as the FTX cryptocurrency exchange collapse is putting pressure on the entire industry.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Meet FTX insider Nishad Singh

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) – The controversy around failed cryptocurrency exchange FTX continues to captivate the world. Part of the scrutiny is now on the people involved, including Indian American Nishad Singh. According to new reports, this techie was part of FTX’s inner circle, which lived together and ran the cryptocurrency empire from the Bahamas. The software engineer was also reportedly aware that FTX secretly transferred customer funds worth billions of dollars to its sister firm Alameda Research. Currently, no one is facing any criminal charges. Diya TV featured Singh more than a decade ago for running ultra marathons as a 17 year old getting ready for college. 

Former President Donald Trump has officially announced he is running for president in 2024, marking his third bid for the White House. Trump had been hinting at this announcement for months, as the embattled former president faces multiple criminal and civil litigations and as his party is grappling with a worse than expected showing in the midterm elections. 

At the G20 Summit in Bali, world leaders including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Joe Biden are coming together to condemn the rising threat of nuclear weapons as Russia’s war against Ukraine continues to raise tension and anxiety around the world.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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