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Hindu American Foundation Concerned Over Keith Ellison’s Bid for DNC Chair

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WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — The nation’s largest Hindu advocacy organization, the Hindu American Foundation, merged alongside prominent human and civil rights organizations in expressing concerns over the bid by Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN) to head the Democratic National Committee.

The foundation shared its thoughts in a press release Monday, saying it was disturbed by Rep. Ellison’s decade long legislative activism against India, portraying inter-religious conflicts exclusively as one-sided, with the Hindu majority population depicted only as victimizers and religious minorities as victims.

From the release:

Rep. Ellison’s record of co-sponsoring resolutions, congressional letters and statements countered the interests of many Hindu Americans and the broader Indian American community, and also gave a platform to certain activists previously accused of Hinduphobia.

“We are actively in touch with Congressman Ellison and his office to understand whether he stands by initiatives he has led admonishing India, and whether his leadership of the DNC would be a vehicle for further such action,” said Suhag Shukla, HAF’s Executive Director. “We want to ascertain that a DNC platform under Congressman Ellison’s leadership would prioritize a strategic partnership with India, the world’s largest and most religiously pluralistic democracy and spiritual homeland for Hindus, and reflect the aspirations of so many Hindu Americans.”

The HAF’s Washington office, according to the release, has received scores of calls from the Hindu American community disturbed by Ellison’s bid for the DNC chair.

In 2012 and 2013, Ellison joined Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA) in introducing two failed pieces of legislation, H.Res 569 and H.Res. 417.

According to the release:

Both H.Res. 417 and H.Res. 569 selectively highlighted riots that disproportionately impacted Muslims in India more than a decade previously, but noticeably failed to acknowledge or condemn the ethnic cleansing of Hindus in Jammu & Kashmir, cross-border Islamist terrorist attacks on India, or the status of Hindu refugee populations in India that fled persecution in neighboring Muslim-majority countries. Both ignored the fact that 80 percent of attacks that occurred in India since 2012 had been carried out by the Indian Mujahideen, an Islamist terrorist group banned by the US and India. H.Res 417 was also criticized by observers for its poorly thought-through attempt to interfere with pending national elections in India, and for calling on India to create unconstitutional extrajudicial tribunals solely comprised of representatives of minority communities to prosecute members of the majority Hindu community.

“Congressman Ellison has a troubling track record of selective human rights activism in the context of South Asia,” said Samir Kalra, the Hindu American Foundation’s Senior Director and Human Rights Fellow. “Though Mr. Ellison demonstrates a determined focus on India, he is glaringly silent as to the plight of Hindu and other minorities in Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan, and Bangladesh who face institutionalized hurdles, as well as social terror and violence on a daily basis.”

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India launches ambitious vaccine inoculation drive

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India Launches Ambitious Vaccine Inoculation Drive | Diya TV News

NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — India is out to prove it’s a COVID-19 vaccination superpower, as they look to not only protect 1.3 billion of its own people, but people from more than 150 countries around the world. Indian Prime Minister Modi said there is reason for his citizens to be confident in the world’s most ambitious inoculation drive with a strong delivery network, a mobile app and an enormous vaccine supply.

The state of California is suing tech giant Cisco Systems alleging discrimination against an Indian American man in the workplace. The engineer claims he was treated unfairly by two former colleagues because of his caste. But the Hindu American Foundation says the state’s argument that caste is a strict part of the Hindu religion is false and is a harmful portrayal of the faith. They argue it is not the government’s role to define any religions beliefs.

Air India is expanding its reach in the U.S. as it prepares to launch even more non-stop flights in the New Year. The airline will start non-stop services between Bengaluru and San Francisco, as well as between Hyderabad and Chicago.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Indo-pacific framework documents declassified

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Indo-pacific Framework Documents Declassified | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — In its final days, the Trump administration is declassifying some highly sensitive documents, including the “U.S. Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific” (SFIP), written by the National Security Council. India is shown as a rising power in the document, vital to the security of the Indo-Pacific region and important to U.S. interests.

Former US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley is starting a new political action committee called Stand for America PAC.  But so far, there’s no mention of President Trump on her donation site or web page. Haley’s spokesperson says don’t read too much into that. But Haley is widely considered a contender for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination and could face Trump if he chooses to run again.

President-Elect Joe Biden has yet to take office, but he’s already getting down to business, unveiling a massive $1.9 trillion dollar economic relief package. If passed by Congress, it would include $1 trillion for households, with direct payments of $1400 to all Americans, and the rest going to small businesses and the fight against COVID-19.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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India reveals 8-point plan to fight terrorism

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India Reveals 8 Point Plan To Fight Terrorism | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — India’s Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar says terrorism remains the greatest threat to global peace and India’s best interests. So he’s unveiling an eight point action plan that includes using more U.N. sanctions and mobilizing what he calls the political will to fight this menace. The minister’s defensive posture is in response to the increase in security concerns related to China and Pakistan.

Two more Indian Americans are now part of a growing list of South Asians being added to President elect Joe Biden’s administration. Neha Gupta and Reema Shah are now part of the White House Counsel’s Office. Gupta will serve as associate counsel, while Shah will be deputy associate counsel. Both attorney’s already have experience and impressive resumes serving in other Democratic administrations.  

Federal authorities say an Indian American man targeted the elderly in a massive telemarketing scam. Hirenkumar Chaudhuri admitted that he used a phony Indian passport, false name, and fake address to open several bank accounts to receive money from victims of the telemarketing scheme. This is the latest in a crackdown on scams using call centers in India, defrauding senior citizens and others. People of Indian descent as well as others are involved in the scams that continue to operate and are ruining India’s reputation and have the potential of affecting the nation’s multi-billion-dollar back office industry.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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