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The Indian American Swing Vote: Are they still undecided?

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Presidential debate

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — With this month’s general election only days away, Indian-American Democrats are making one final push to have their community’s voice heard, specifically by turning out the vote for nominee Hillary Clinton.

The reason? She’s proven on more than one occasion to be a steadfast and reliable ally of Indians both in the states, and abroad, they said.

Leaders of the group titled “Indian-Americans for Democrats and Friends of Hillary for President,” found they received the most ardent support in those states positioned to play the most key roles in next week’s presidential election. And despite the small stature of the Indian-American vote in those communities, the group says their vote is still poised to play an just as important role.

During a news conference Wednesday, New York hotelier Sant Chatwal pointed to the result of the general election of 2000, where Democrat Al Gore lost by less than 400 votes in Florida and said that in states like that votes of Indian Americans carry more weight as a deciding factor.

Furthering his support, Chatwal cited the multitude of trips Clinton has taken to India as proof she’s fit to serve as an ambassador to the community. Because of these trips, she has a better understanding of the country and its cultures, he said. Chatwal also spoke on the personal history he has with the Clintons, so close, in fact, that former president Bill Clinton once offered him carte blanche to select a role in his administration. Chatwal politely declined the offer, instead asking the president if he’d consider taking an official trip to India.

It was this trip, Chatwal said, that laid the foundation of the relationship the two nations have today.

His relationship with the Clintons also has a dark history — Chatwal was convicted in 2014 of election finance violations involving $180,000 he gave to three politicians, including Hillary Clinton, and witness tampering.

Bhupi Patel, a community leader, spoke of the steady influence Indians have built in the U.S. electorate, and their impact on India-US relations. He recalled Indian American Center for Political Awareness founded by the late newspaper pioneer Gopal Raju and how it encouraged Indians to get involved in politics and helped India and the U.S. develop closer ties.

Clinton’s agenda for improving healthcare, immigration reform and improving the quality of and access to education were the things that attract the Indian-American community to her the most, Patel said.

Trump, who had pledged at a rally last month that Hindus and India would have a friend in the White House if he won, came in for criticism at the news conference.

Chatwal dismissed his sentiments saying, “Talk is cheap.”

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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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