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Congressional candidates polled on Indian-American affairs

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WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — More than 100 congressional candidates across the U.S. were administered a survey on a multitude of issues the Indian-American community cares about, including the H-1B visa program, Sikh Americans serving in the military, terrorism and counter-terrorism, and caste-based discrimination.

R.S. Jolly Consulting, the Washington D.C. advocacy and communications firm that conducted the “2016 Candidate Questionnaire on Indian-American Issues,” received 61 responses in total from members of all parties, according to Rajdeep Singh Jolly — the founder of the firm. Jolly published the responses unedited on Nov. 1.

“These survey results show that political candidates have diverse approaches to resolving issues of interest to the Indian-American community and that voters have important choices to make in this election,” Jolly said during an interview with NBC News“As Indian-Americans increase their civic engagement, I hope we continue to engage with candidates before and after elections to ensure that they are responsive and accountable to our community.”

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The Indian-American vote could serve very justly in some of the country’s most competitive races, according to Jolly, such as California’s 17th District in Silicon Valley, where incumbent Democrat Rep. Mike Honda faces challenger Democrat Ro Khanna. In that district, 52 percent of the population is Asian American, including a large population of Indian Americans.

Jolly said his study focused on districts where incumbents are members of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans and also characterized the survey as a public service to create awareness among elected officials about Indian-American issues as well as to strengthen the civic engagement of the Indian-American community.

“My long-term goals are to deploy this questionnaire at the federal level every two years and expand into state and local elections,” Jolly said. “Asian Americans, including Indian Americans, have one of the lowest voter participation rates in the country, and if I can inspire more of them to vote, that will be the real victory.”

“One of the questions specifically relates to caste discrimination,” Jolly continued. “This is an extremely sensitive topic for many Indians, but it is something that needs to be brought out of the shadows and addressed.”

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Missing Hindu woman found mutilated in Pakistan

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) – The mutilated body of a Hindu woman was found in a field in southeastern Pakistan. Police say 40 year old Daya Bheel was murdered in the latest suspected attack against minorities in the Muslim-majority country. Authorities say they have arrested some suspects but have not determined a motive.

The Khosla family has donated nearly 2 million dollars to the Nudge Institute to help fight poverty. The philanthropists have donated millions of dollars for many other causes.

And disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-fried pleaded not guilty to eight different counts of wire fraud, securities fraud, and conspiracy before a U.S. federal court in the Southern District of New York. U.S. prosecutors allege that under Bankman-Fried’s direction, FTX, once considered one of the largest and most-trusted cryptocurrency exchanges, transferred billions in customer assets to his trading firm, Alameda Research. If convicted of these charges, Bankman-Fried faces up to 115 years in prison.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Christmas crash kills Indian American toddler

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Tragic news out of Nevada. Authorities say an Indian American toddler has died in a devastating Christmas day car crash and his mother is in critical condition fighting for her life. Authorities say the accident happened on a busy Las Vegas boulevard and they were returning home from a trip in California.

Anil Beephan is now the first Indian American Republican ever to be elected to the New York State Assembly in Albany. So far only Indian American Democrats have been elected to the state legislature. Beephan will also become the first minority to represent Dutchess County and at 29 years old, he’s the youngest GOP rep in the state legislature. He’s currently in the tech industry and has also worked as a volunteer firefighter.

Vice President Kamala Harris has named Indian American Rajeev Badyal to a key national advisory group, responsible for strategy and recommendations to improve and maintain space policy. Badyal already works for Amazon, helping launch satellites into orbit. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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EXCLUSIVE: Warriors host first-ever Bhangra Night

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) – The Golden State Warriors first-ever Bhangra Night made its debut during the Warriors-Jazz game at the Chase Center in San Francisco. The Warriors say it’s a chance for the team to connect with the Bay Area’s rapidly growing South Asian community and fan base. Only Diya TV was on hand to capture the festivities. This change from the annual Bollywood night was supposed to take place in 2020 but was postponed because of the pandemic.

A federal jury in San Francisco has convicted Sivannarayana Barama of insider trading. Authorities say he used the quarterly financial performance of Palo Alto Networks before that information was released to the public and then traded in that company’s stock while that information was still confidential. Barama worked in IT for several Silicon Valley companies.

U.S. Border Patrol caught more than 4000 Indians illegally crossing the Mexico border in October and November. That’s more than double compared to the same time frame last year. An Indian man recently died climbing a border wall in Texas. The Biden administration is struggling to contain a surge of illegal immigration at the southern border.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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