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Indian American candidates gain momentum after conventions

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — Indian American congressional candidate Pramila Jaypal has officially advanced towards November’s general election, making 2016 the most unprecedented of years for South Asian budding politicians.

There are now five Indian American candidates whose names will appear on November ballots: Jaypal, Ami Bera and Ro Khanna in California and Raja Krishnamoorthi in Illinois.

The fifth is California Attorney General Kamala Harris, who is running for Senate. She is poised to make history as the first Indian American to ever be elected to the upper chamber. This year represents the highest number of Indian American candidates to have cleared their primaries for Congress, the previous record-high was two candidates in 2014.

“Fantastic, incredible and exponential,” Shekar Narasimhan, a Democratic strategist of Indian descent, wrote in an email. “And, they are all Democrats.”

According to a poll published this year, 80 percent of Indian Americans lean Democratic, however, the only two Indian American elected governors have both been Republican — Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal and South Carolina’s Nikki Haley.

For a community that has grown to three million in the U.S., Indian Americans have come a long way politically — in 1957, Dalip Singh Saund became the first to be elected to the House of Representatives.

Jaypal, a Washington state senator, arrived in the U.S. to study at the ripe age of 16. She began her dive into the world of politics by becoming a leading advocate for civil and human rights focused on women and immigrants. Her campaign received a major boost after Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders asked his supporters to pledge to her efforts.

Krishnamoorthi, a former Obama campaign staffer, set the ball rolling for the community, winning his primary in Illinois in March. Harris, Bera and Khanna cleared theirs in June.

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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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