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Hindu American Olympic medalist credits religion for his discipline on tennis court

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Venus Williams and Rajeev Ram won silver for the U.S. in mixed doubles at the Rio Games.

Venus Williams and Rajeev Ram won silver for the U.S. in mixed doubles at the Rio Games.

RIO DE JANEIRO (Diya TV) — Rajeev Ram is a new role model for Hindu American children all over the country, and possibly even the world — the 32-year-old and teammate Venus Williams recently showcased a silver medal experience at the Rio Games.

Ram is one of the first Hindu Americans to ever medal at an Olympic Games, and as such, he recognizes the special role he plays as a role model for other young athletes who share his religion.

“I identify, certainly, with anyone of South Asian background in the U.S.,” he said. “It’s a small group. It’s an even smaller group of people of that background who are athletic.”

He says it was his parents, who were deeply entrenched in the happenings of their local Hindu community, who embedded in him the religious values that translated on the tennis court.

“Part of the Hindu religion teaches, more so than anything else, your control of your mind — your self-control, basically,” Ram said. “Obviously, your body’s going to do what your mind tells it to do. If you can have that inner control, a sense of peace, your body’s going to follow.”

Growing up, Ram’s parents cared little about whether he won or lost, instead making certain he kept his cool and didn’t lose his temper. He sooned learned keeping his wits about him wasn’t just a virtue but also a way to improve his score.

It’s also an idea prevalent in the Hindu tradition: Control of the mind leads to control over the body in yoga, too.

Now on the world’s largest stage, he had the entirety of the Hindu American community cheering him on in Rio.

“Hindu Americans are used to having successful scholars, entrepreneurs, and physicians, and have excelled in many professional realms with the exception of sports,” University of Florida religion professor Vasudha Narayanan said. “This is the last frontier, some believe, a sure way of being woven into the American fabric.”

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Indian Americans jump into congressional races

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Indian Americans jump into congressional races | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — The latest numbers show more Indian Americans than ever are running for Congress. In the last six years, nearly 80 candidates made it on the ballot, soaring far beyond numbers seen in past elections. Leading the wave are successful candidates from California, like Kamala Harris, who rose from a Senate seat to become vice president. Helping those numbers, Indians Americans are also one of the fastest growing ethnic groups in the country.  

Nisha Ramachandran is the new Executive Director of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, the first Indian American to serve in this role.  Ramachandran most recently managed her own consulting business focused on AAPI advocacy. She’ll be working closely with Congresswoman Judy Chu who chairs the group to further Asian American causes and initiatives. 

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the people of Telangana after the Kakatiya Rudreshwara Ramappa Temple was inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The PM also urged citizens to visit the temple which was built during the rule of the Kakatiya dynasty.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Blinken begins India visit, Afghanistan top issue

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Blinken begins India visit, Afghanistan top issue | Diya TV News

NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — US secretary of state Antony Blinken begins his two-day India visit on Tuesday hoping to engage the nation on issues such as the Covid-19 response, human rights, and democracy. The American troop pullout in Afghanistan will also be a key issue. India is concerned about the implications of the withdrawal and the need for sustained pressure on Pakistan over issues like terror financing.

And India’s first medal at the Tokyo Olympics goes to Mirabai Chanu. She won silver in Women’s weight lifting. Chanu’s Olympic preparations were hindered by injuries and restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic but she still beat the odds and is being praised back home.

Tesla may open a factory in India. But CEO Elon Musk says only if the cars receive a good response in that marketplace. The company has already been hiring talent in the country. But Musk also hinted at some downsides to opening overseas, citing India’s import duty tax is the highest in the world for a large country.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Shrina Kurani announces CA congressional campaign

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Shrina Kurani announces CA congressional campaign | Diya TV News

SACRAMENTO (Diya TV) — Indian American Democrat Shrina Kurani is running for Congress in California’s 42nd district and is preparing to take on 15-year Republican incumbent Ken Calvert. Kurani is a mechanical engineer and entrepreneur and says she’s running to create more sustainable jobs in her community and to take on the status quo in Washington DC.

More than 30 interfaith organizations in the U.S. are urging the State Department to sanction India and designate it as a country of “particular concern”. Their resolution claims that the Indian government is promoting policies that lead to the persecution of religious minorities, especially Muslims.
Despite growing concern over rising Covid-19 cases in Japan, the 2021 Tokyo Olympic opening ceremony got underway. India is sending its largest ever contingent to the Olympics with120 athletes competing across 85 events.  The country hopes to win medals for shooting, wrestling, boxing, archery and badminton.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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