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United States Postal Service unveils Diwali stamp

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Indian Americans now have their very own stamp paying homage to Diwali.

Indian Americans now have their very own stamp paying homage to Diwali.

NEW YORK (Diya TV) — Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney and the United States Postal Service debuted the long-awaited stamp in honor of Diwali Wednesday.

Celebrating one of the most sacred Hindu festivals, the Diwali stamp was unveiled at the Indian Consulate in New York City. Following years of hard work and advocacy, including thousands of petition signatures, multiple meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, personal appeals to President Barack Obama, and multiple congressional resolutions, Maloney celebrated her success with members of the Indian American community.

For the official ceremony, she was joined by Pritha Mehra, USPS vice president for Mail Entry and Payment Technology; Consul General Riva Ganguly Das; India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri; Ravi Batra, chair of the National Advisory Council South Asian Affairs; Ranju Batra, chair of the Diwali Stamp Project; and M.R. Rangaswami, founder of Indiaspora.

The stamp shows a photo of a traditional ‘diya’ lit against a sparkling gold background and the words ‘Forever USA 2016’ written below.

“It has taken many years of hard work and advocacy but light has finally triumphed,” Maloney said.

“Today, Diwali has received its long-awaited commemorative stamp and rightfully joins the ranks of other major religious and cultural holidays such as Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah and Eid. I want to thank the USPS and Postmaster General Megan Brennan for brightening the holidays of millions of Americans who celebrate this Festival of Lights.

“The perseverance and dedication of many helped realize this historic day, from Ranju Batra of the Diwali Stamp Project to MR Rangaswami of Indiaspora, to thousands of grassroots supporters across the country who wrote letters and signed petitions. We wouldn’t be here today without their tireless efforts and unwavering passion,” the congresswoman said.

“This stamp represents the triumph of knowledge over ignorance, lightness over dark and good over evil. These values, these virtues, are more important and relevant than ever before and I am thrilled that after many years of fighting for this stamp it has finally become a reality.”

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India-China strike détente over border issues

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India

Ladakh, INDIA (Diya TV)  — Just days after Indian Prime Minister Modi visited the frontlines in Ladakh to encourage his troops and honor those lost in a recent battle with China, India and China jointly announced both countries will disengage, pulling back in a limited manner at separate key points. A two-hour frank conversation between both nation’s foreign ministers led to the breakthrough. While both sides claim their sovereignty had been violated, India made some major economic moves against China in recent days, banning investment, stopping Chinese participation in freeway developments and blocking 59 apps including TikTok. TikTok announced they would lose up to $6 billion because of India’s ban.

In a statement on his agenda for Muslim Americans, presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden said he was disappointed with the Indian government’s implementation of the National Register of Citizens in Assam, the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act and recent actions in Jammu and Kashmir. Biden has a long list of agendas he plans to implement if he is elected President, but there is no listing as of yet for Hindu and Sikh Americans.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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COVID-19 explodes: 50,000 cases in one day, 10,000 in Florida

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COVID19

AUSTIN, Texas (Diya TV)  — Fears of a COVID19 spike have been realized, as the caseload around the nation continues to set records daily. On Wednesday, 50,000 new cases were reported around America, 10,000 in Florida alone. Texas Governor Greg Abbott is now mandating masks in his hard-hit state and states that were starting to open up are now reworking their plans in order to combat COVID19.

As Indian and Chinese military commanders held a third round of talks on disengagement, the Indian government made another move against business and investment from China, announcing Chinese companies will not be allowed to take part in India’s highway and transportation projects, among other sectors. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Modi deleted his account on the Chinese social media platform Weibo.

President Trump though White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany made his strongest remarks to date on the India-China conflict, saying “China’s aggressive stance along the India-China border fits with a larger a pattern of Chinese aggression in other parts of the world and these action only confirm the true nature of the Chinese Communist Party.”

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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California lawsuit alleges caste-based discrimination at Cisco

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Cisco

OAKLAND, Calif. (Diya TV)  — California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing sued Silicon Valley titan Cisco Systems and two of their former employees alleging discrimination against an Indian-American Dalit employee. The man claims harassment by two men who are Indian Americans of a higher caste, former Cisco engineering managers Sundar Iyer and Ramana Kompella. Cisco denies the charges.

On the heels of India banning 59 Chinese apps from being distributed, the FCC designated Chinese telecom companies Huawei and ZTE as threats to national security, saying money allocated by the government for broadband and other 5G related products cannot be used on equipment by those vendors. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lauded India for their ban of Chinese apps.

And in a new letter to Secretary of State Pompeo, 20 Senators are urging the Trump Administration to grant emergency refugee protections to Hindu and Sikh communities that have been long persecuted in Afghanistan.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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