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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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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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