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From turbans to Army gear, a photo exhibition shows the stories of Sikhs in America

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Maj. Kamaljeet Singh Kalsi, the first American Sikh to be granted a religious accommodation to serve in the U.S. military while still wearing his beard and turban.

NEW YORK (Diya TV) — Sunday marked the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, for many of the Sikh community, the past decade can be defined as a series of many trials and tribulations.

Just four days after the attacks, a 49-year-old Sikh man who was mistaken for an Arab was fatally shot outside the gas station he worked at in Arizona.

In the years following the attacks, the Sikh Coalition, a nonprofit advocacy group, has recorded hundreds more cases of violence and discrimination against Sikhs in the United States. Now, the coalition is organizing a photo exhibition showcasing nearly 40 portraits of American Sikhs from all walks of life.

The exhibition, titled the Sikh Project, will be held in New York City from Sept. 16 to 25, and will be free to the public. The exhibit can be seen at New York’s 500 block of Broadway.

The goal, said Sapreet Kaur, executive director of the Sikh Coalition, is to “highlight the beauty of the Sikh faith” and to “spark conversations across the country on what it means to look like an American and to humanize communities who are too often regarded as ‘other.’ ”

The photographs are shot by British photographers Amit Amin and Naroop Jhooti, who are both Sikhs.

The two, who have been working together for more than a dozen years, first came up with the idea in 2013 when they were shooting portraits of Sikhs. They had noticed a growing number of men not of the Sikh faith sporting long beards as “a kind of fashion statement,” Jhooti, 35, said. They wondered, why not do a project on Sikh men and how their beards have been part of their identity for hundreds of years?

The project soon gained traction, an exhibition was held across London. That was when the New York-based Sikh Coalition contacted them to see whether they might undertake a similar project in the United States.

The duo started planning the U.S. project last year, tapping into the large American Sikh community to find subjects to photograph. In all, they photographed 38 Sikhs, each with a unique story to tell.

There’s Sat Hari Singh, a train operator for New York’s subway who, on 9/11, reversed the train he was driving, saving hundreds of lives.

There’s also Maj. Kamaljeet Singh Kalsi, the first American Sikh to be granted a religious accommodation to serve in the U.S. military while wearing his beard and turban.

And another Sikh subject they photographed was Amrita Kaur Khurana, the first and only turbaned Sikh female employee at the New York Times, according to the Sikh Coalition.

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BREAKING: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

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BREAKING: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87 | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died at 87. She was the oldest sitting member of the court. Justice Ginsburg was only the second woman named to the Supreme Court. A cultural and feminist icon, Ginsburg was appointed to the Court by President Bill Clinton, and her passing will set off a showdown in the coming weeks before the November election. In a message left this week as her health waned, Ginsburg said “my most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.” But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shortly after Ginsburg’s death was announced said the Senate will conduct a vote to replace her and President Trump is expected to put forth a nominee to fill the seat in the coming days.

An Indian American doctor filed a federal lawsuit against the Aurora, Colorado police department after one of their police officers pointed a gun at him on his own property while he was trying to park his car. The incident was captured on video. The officer, Justin Henderson, has been suspended for 40 hours without pay and will be required to attend de-escalation training. 45 year old Dr. Paramjit Parmar, who is known in Aurora for his aid to refugees, believes race affected how he was treated and said Henderson’s punishment is “terribly inadequate.”

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Recall efforts against Kshama Sawant moves forward

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Recall efforts against Kshama Sawant moves forward | Diya TV News

SEATTLE (Diya TV) — The recall effort against Seattle City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant can move forward after a ruling by a King County judge. Superior Court Judge Jim Rogers said four of the six accusations against Sawant are legitimate. They include misuse of city resources, misuse of her position by letting protesters into City Hall, relinquishing her duties of office to an outside political organization and leading a protest to Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan’s house despite her address being protected due to threats from her time as a U.S. Attorney. 

Now, the group of residents leading the recall must get about 11,000 valid signatures before the recall gets on the ballot. Sawant in response said this battle is just the latest attempt by corporate interests and Mayor Durkan to derail her efforts to reform the city and announced she will lead a grassroots campaign to fight the charges.

Meanwhile, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan is facing heat as well from U.S. Attorney General William Barr, who suggested prosecutors consider filing charges against her over the mass protests this summer that led some protesters to establish a police-free zone in downtown Seattle. In a tweet, former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara offered his help to Durkan pro-bono.

Indian Prime Minister Modi turned 70 years old and received birthday wishes from around the globe, including from President Trump, who called Modi “a great leader and loyal friend.”

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Indiaspora & AAPI data survey Indian American voters

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Indiaspora & AAPI data survey Indian American voters| Diya TV News

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — At a virtual event featuring the former CEO of the Democratic National Committee, Seema Nanda, Democratic Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi and Republican Ohio State Representative Niraj Antani, non-profit Indiaspora teamed up with AAPI Data to reveal the growing political power of the Indian American diaspora. The joint report says 66% of Indian Americans currently favor Vice President Biden, and 28% favor President Trump. The study shows an enormous rise in political engagement from the community. There are 1.8 million Indian Americans in the U.S. who are eligible voters and both sides of the aisle recognize the need to further engage Indian Americans, who AAPI Data notes is now the largest part of the Asian American community, surpassing Chinese Americans.

Eric Trump, President Trump’s son, took part in an Indian Voices for Trump event in suburban Atlanta. It was an indoor rally with appropriate social distancing measures in place. Trump was on hand to win support from the community in a vital state that will be tightly contested this fall. Georgia, like North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Florida, Michigan and Texas are considered in play and have growing Indian American populations.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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