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Four Indian-Americans Sworn In To House of Representatives

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L-R, Ami Bera, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Ro Khanna and Pramila Jayapal being sworn in to the 115th Congress.

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — In a historic moment Tuesday, four Indian-American members of the U.S. House of Representatives were officially sworn in to the 115th Congress, a moment that instantly quadrupled the community’s presence in the Chamber.

California Representatives Ami Bera and Ro Khanna, Washington state Rep. Pramila Jayapal and Illinois Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi were all sworn in, marking the first time in the country’s history more than one Indian-American has served in Congress simultaneously.

Additionally, California Sen. Kamala Harris was sworn in Tuesday as the first Indian-American member in history.

“This milestone is not only a proud moment for Indian Americans, it’s a proud moment for all Americans,” Bera said. “As a nation of immigrants, the United States has greatly benefited from one generation after another of Indians and Indian Americans living here. I’m proud that Indian Americans now have the chance to contribute to our nation’s democratic fabric, and as someone who served for four years as the only Indian American in Congress, I’m honored to be joined by such qualified colleagues. With the door wide open, we hope to inspire the next generation to serve the country that we love.”

Speaking candidly, Jayapal said it was a defining moment of the struggles and contributions of the Indian-American community since their arrival in the U.S. She is the first Indian-American woman to ever serve in Congress.

“The contributions and struggles of the Indian-American community are woven into our nation’s fabric. This is a watershed moment in our community’s history, representing all that is great about America,” Jayapal said. “As the first Indian-American woman in the House of Representatives, I’m proud to serve with such capable colleagues, and I hope that our presence in Congress inspires the next generation of leaders.”

Raja Krishnamoorthi shared the same sentiment with his remarks.

“I’m humbled and honored to join my friends in Congress in this historic moment. We know we stand on the shoulders of the Indian Americans who came before us. They established themselves in this country, gave back to their communities, and paved the way for us to follow,” he said.

Bera and Khanna share much more than a cultural bond, less than 100 miles separate their congressional districts, and now the two Democrats will be working alongside each other in the nation’s capital. Khanna hails from the only Asian American majority district in the entire country, and one of the nation’s most diverse. Khanna knows that presents a special element to the job.

“It’s an extraordinary time to serve in Congress and I am proud to represent the only Asian American majority district in the continental United States,” he said. “As a son of immigrants and grandson to a freedom fighter during India’s independence movement, the protection of civil rights — no matter a person’s gender, race, or sexual orientation — will always be side-by-side with my commitment of economic fairness for all.”

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Puneet Talwar named US Ambassador to Morocco

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WASHINGTON D.C. (Diya TV) – The US State Department announced that diplomat Puneet Talwar is its new ambassador to Morocco. President Biden proposed Talwar as the new nominee last March. The new ambassador to Morocco has a rich portfolio in diplomacy. The diplomat is currently a senior adviser to the State Department.

Six men have been arrested for the gang rape and murder of two girls. Police say one of them is a neighbor and the remaining five are Muslims from a nearby village – although it’s not believed to be a religious crime.

As Pakistan continues to deal with historic flooding a new report published in Vice says the country collected $40 million for a mega dam on the Indus river, but spent $63 million on advertising it. The crowdsourced campaign was  launched by a Supreme Court judge and endorsed by former Prime Minister Imran Khan. It’s now at the center of a massive controversy. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Indian & Hindu American groups hold DC summit

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WASHINGTON DC (Diya TV) – A group of Indian American and Hindu American organizations joined forces to celebrate India’s 75th Independence Day and advocate for the diaspora on Capitol Hill, in what is being called an inaugural summit for political engagement. The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, the Hindu American Foundation, the Coalition of Hindus of North America and Americans4Hindus, were among the more than one dozen organizations, hosting legislators from both sides of the aisle in a non-partisan effort to discuss issues of concern in the community. 
 
Indian American economist Aaron “Ronnie” Chatterji has been named White House Coordinator for the implementation of the CHIPS and Science Act’s historic $50 billion investment in the semiconductor industry at the National Economic Council. 
 
Fans of Indian comedian and actor Raju Srivastava are mourning his death. He passed away at the age of 58 after suffering a heart attack last month while running on a treadmill. He had a history of heart problems. 
 
Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.
 
 

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Sukhpal Singh arrested in Tusli Mandir hate crime case

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NEW YORK (Diya TV) – New York police arrested a man for allegedly sledgehammering a statue of Gandhi outside a Queens Hindu Shri Tusli Mandir. Twenty seven year old Sukhpal Singh is charged with criminal mischief and a hate crime for allegedly destroying the statue and defacing it with spray paint outside Tulsi Mandir in Richmond Hill last month. 

India and France agreed to set up an Indo-Pacific partnership to roll out development projects, expand strategic cooperation, and work closer to deal with pressing global challenges such as a food crisis triggered by the Ukraine invasion. 

More than a million customers in Puerto Rico are waiting for electricity to come back on after Hurricane Fiona hammers the region. The Dominican Republic is under a hurricane warning as well. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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