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Gurinder Singh Khalsa launches SikhsPAC to Promote Sikh Identity in School Curriculum

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The SikhsPAC has been launched to promote Sikh cultural awareness in the classroom.

The SikhsPAC has been launched to promote Sikh cultural awareness in the classroom.

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — An Indiana businessman has launched SikhsPac, a new action committee he hopes will result in politicians promoting Sikh identity in school curriculum.

The pac was launched by Indian-American real estate broker and investor Gurinder Singh Khalsa on Aug. 31, at the Columbia Club in Indianapolis, Indiana. Both of Indiana’s gubernatorial candidates – Republican Eric Holcomb, currently the state’s lieutenant governor, and Democrat John Gregg, former State House Speaker – attended the launch party. Additionally, both candidates running for state attorney general were present, along with Glenda Ritz, Indiana State Superintendent of Schools.

“Since 9/11, Sikhs have been the targets of violence. And the violence is growing because people don’t understand who Sikhs are,” said Khalsa. He added that Sikh culture is not represented in school curriculums or is often misrepresented as an offshoot of Hinduism.

Khalsa wants Sikh identity and culture known to school kids via the classroom and the texts they study. He is aiming to forward that goal by capturing the ear of politicians.

“Lots of identity organizations have sprung up in the aftermath of 9/11, but they are not sustainable, as they are non-profit organizations which cannot support candidates or parties. We cannot ignore the role of politics in creating sustainable change,” he said.

Since its launch just six weeks ago, the political action committee has already collected pledges of $500,000, Khalsa said. Those monies will be distributed equally among the gubernatorial candidates, he said. It aims to be non-partisan and will fund any candidate who embraces the SikhsPAC mission, according to Khalsa – and to other candidates running for statewide office in Indiana.

Khalsa, who is from Haryana and grew up in Chandigarh, said the SikhsPAC model will be replicated in several states over the coming months, including California, Washington, Ohio, New York, New Jersey and Virginia.

Ultimately, Khalsa hopes the PAC will raise $5 million before the next presidential election in 2020, with the hopes it will gain enough traction to influence candidates at the national level.

“This is the beauty of America. If something needs to be changed, people can make it happen,” said Khalsa.

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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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