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Indian Supreme Court Bans use of Religion & Caste on Campaign Trail

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Religion and caste affiliations are key in Indian elections.

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — India’s Supreme Court on Monday ruled that politicians will be disallowed from using religion or caste to gain more votes, which it called a “secular activity.”

“Religion has no role in electoral process, which is a secular activity,” the court said in its ruling.

The court said using religion or caste to gain an electoral advantage equated to corruption under India’s electoral laws. The landmark ruling was rendered just weeks ahead of the crucial election in Uttar Pradesh, where the two subjects generally dominate the polls. Assembly elections are also taking place in the states of Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur.

Monday’s ruling from the court said the relationship between man and God was an individual choice, and that the state was forbidden from interfering in such an activity. The ruling was passed by the court’s seven-judge panel, led by Chief Justice TS Thakur. Four of the justices were in support of the ruling, three opposed.

The three dissenting judges said “discussion on caste, creed and religion is constitutionally protected within and outside elections and this cannot be restricted,” and that the issue should be left to parliament to decide.

Caste and religion are often central topics of Indian elections, most of the country’s parties select candidates based on their religion or caste. The campaigns of these candidates often involves appealing to voters on these matters.

The court was hearing a question first raised in 1990 in a court in the western state of Maharashtra, which asked whether this was legitimate in elections.

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4 Indian Americans die, 2 missing in Hurricane Ida floods

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4 Indian Americans die, 2 missing in Hurricane Ida floods | Diya TV News

TRENTON (Diya TV) — At least four Indian Americans are dead and two missing as the massive floods ravaged New York and New Jersey following Hurricane Ida. Authorities say the victims were swept away by flood waters or drowned. Crews are using boats and drones, hoping to find more survivors.

https://youtu.be/0D7s6N2mNFo

In a historic moment, three women took oath as judges on India’s Supreme Court

Justices Hima Kohli, BV Nagarathna and Bela M Trivedi, were among the nine new appointees to the highest court of the land. Including these new appointments, the  Supreme Court has had 11 women judges in its history so far.

What a run for India at this year’s Paralympics. The athletes brought home 19 medals, including five gold. The medal count also included eight silver and six bronze.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Modi to visit US in late September to meet Biden

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Modi to visit US in late September to meet Biden | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON DC (Diya TV) — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will make his first U.S. visit since President Joe Biden took office. Modi is expected to travel to Washington DC and New York in the last week of September, according to top government officials. Modi and Biden have already met virtually on at least three occasions. Most recently at the G-7 summit this past June.

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal of Washington is getting personal in her fight against the new Texas abortion law, which would ban terminating a pregnancy as early as 6 weeks.  The Indian American politician took to twitter to say getting an abortion years ago was not an easy choice, but it was her own choice. Jayapal says preserving this right is important for every woman across the US.

Mia Bonta is declaring victory in her California state Assembly race. She faced off against Indian American Democrat Janani Ramachandran in the District 18 special election.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Census: Indian American population tops 4 million

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Census: Indian American population tops 4 million | Diya TV News

SPRINGFIELD, IL (Diya TV) — Illinois Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi is touting the achievements of Indian Americans and their influence after the latest census data showing tremendous growth in the community. There are now more than four million Indian Americans and they’re considered one of the fastest growing ethnic groups.  Krishnamurthi says this is just the beginning and expects the community to contribute even more to the fabric of America.  

Pakistan National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf is trying to walk back his controversial statements he allegedly made to a  British newspaper. The Sunday Times says he warned that the West risks a second 9/11 situation if it doesn’t “immediately recognize” the Taliban. The newspaper is standing by its reporting and says the entire interview was recorded.

A white man accused of running over a Sikh man outside a Colorado liquor store with his car is being charged with a hate crime.  Witnesses say Eric Breemen nearly killed Lakhwant Singh after a dispute. The Sikh Coalition advocacy group mobilized the community and helped push for the hate crime charges. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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