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Tamil Nadu Traders will begin Pepsi/Coke Boycott in March

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BENGALURU (Diya TV) — A powerful group of Tamil Nadu traders announced they’ll begin a boycott of Pepsi and Coke products on March 1, instead asking shop owners to stock and promote homegrown brands like Kali Mark, Bovonto and Torino.

The boycott, oddly enough, was spurred by the mass mobilization of the nation’s youth against the Indian Supreme Court’s ruling that outlawed the Jallikattu festival, the traditional bull-taming sport.

“After the Jallikattu movement, we found many youths are not in favor of the two cola brands,” A.M. Vikrama Raja, president, Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangangalin Peramaippu, told IANS. However, he failed to explain how the correlation between the two was made.

“We will start a campaign among our members and the public against the foreign brands. From March 1, we will sell only domestic cold drink brands,” Raja said.

The TNVSP is a conglomerate of around 6,000 traders’ associations with a total membership of around 15 lakh across the state. Raja said Bovonto was now available across the state while Torino could still only be found in the southern-most parts of Tamil Nadu. Chennai shopkeepers said they are aware of the traders’ boycott decision.

“We have to abide by our association’s decision. We have stopped reordering Pepsi and Coke stocks. But we will have to liquidate existing stocks,” R.K. Angamuthu, owner of Sree Angalaparameswari Stores in Mylapore in south Chennai, told IANS.

The announcement of the boycott alerted the Indian Beverages Association.

The body’s secretary general, Arvind Verma, said the association was “deeply disappointed” to hear the announcement the traders were taking. “The proposed call is not just against the interest of the farmers, traders and retailers, it also undermines the role the industry can play in economic growth and development,” he said.

Verma said that both Coca-Cola India and PepsiCo India, who employ Indian-American chief executive Indra Nooyi, have made enormous contributions to the Indian economy. The two companies provide 350,000 jobs, and work to improve the lives and environments for the country’s 500,000 agriculture workers, as well as India’s four million retailers.

“IBA is open to engage with any organization that has a diverse point of view,” Verma said.

“In the interim, we urge individuals and organizations not to be misled by rumors and spread of misinformation. We hope good sense will prevail and normalcy will be restored soon in this matter.”

Regardless, hotels in Coimbatore have reportedly already begun boycotting Pepsi and Coke products.

Consumer companies such as Coca Cola rely heavily on lower price points for country’s such as India, where the average daily household incomes are just under $2.50. In 2014, Coke began exploring a pilot program named “splash bar,” a kiosk where the vendor dispenses small, 80-150ml cups of Sprite, Thumbs Up, or Fanta, starting at Rs 5. The program began in rural Gujarat with 31 bars, and eventually evolved to 30,000 splash bars, selling over 1.5 million cups daily, a company spokesperson said.

It’s an experiment the company had once undertaken in the past — in the early 2000s, Coke launched a 200ml bottle named Chhota Coke priced at Rs5. The program was suspended in 2006 due to the price point of transportation and packaging costs. A 200ml bottle now costs Rs12, or $0.18.

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Harvard to host 17th annual India Conference this February

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (Diya TV) — For the 17th year in a row, the graduate students at Harvard University will host an India Conference. It will take place during the weekend of February 15-16, 2020. Two days of exciting discussions through panels, mixers and networking will fill the halls of the Harvard Business School and Kennedy School of Government.

The theme for this year’s conference is Foresight 20/20 – a look at what to expect from India in 2020 and beyond. As one of the largest student led conferences in the USA, the Harvard India conference attracts the biggest headliners from every field – from politics, business, entertainment & the arts. And this year is no different.

India Conference
India Conference at Harvard

With more than 100 speakers and 1000 attendees, the conference promises to have something for everyone. This year’s biggest draw from the entertainment genre is veteran Bollywood actor and self proclaimed ambassador to India, Anupam Kher. Kher has a long standing list of accolades within the film industry. In addition to his acting roles, he has been a producer, director and teacher at his own acting school. Most recently he played the role of Dr. Vijay Kapur on NBC’s primetime drama ‘New Amsterdam‘.

Some other notable speakers this year include founder of the India Today Group, Aroon Purie, Indian Olympic athelete Dutee Chand, comedian and actor, Vir Das, partner at Softbanks’ Vision Fund Lydia Jett & politician and India’s ruling party (BJP)’s sherpa to the G20, Suresh Prabhu.

The harsh winter in Harvard doesn’t seem slow down or dull these brilliant minds in any way. The India Conference at Harvard continues to retain its standing as the conference of choice for deliberating issues ranging from technology, media, politics and eduction to creating solutions for India’s path towards global leadership. The event features brainstorming sessions and sincere discussions on the very real and large scale problems that are uniquely Indian.

Diya TV is a media sponsor to the event and will be on-site covering conference. To receive a 20% discount use code RDAY20 here and to know more about the conference or speakers, head to the IndiaConference.com

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Indian Ambassador, Shringla speaks to U.S. Congress about Kashmir

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AMB. Shringla speaks to congress about Kashmir | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Harsh Shringla met with members of Congress at a private roundtable briefing, hosted by Southern California Congressman Brad Sherman. Sherman, who has been a supporter of India, took to Twitter recently to share his concerns about Kashmir and said serious questions about Kashmir were asked at the briefing.

President Trump is being urged to fix the H1-B visa process and do away with country-specific limits, with the latest effort for reform being spearheaded by 60 U.S. business school deans and CEO’s.

In an earthquake, seconds matter. So on the anniversary of the deadly 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake that rocked Northern California, state officials announced the launch of America’s first statewide earthquake early warning system.

Tabla Maestro Zakir Hussain will be coming to Boston next month to perform at the Berklee India Exchange, where he will also be conferred with an honorary doctorate by the esteemed music school. A Zakir Hussain Scholarship at Berklee is also being established.

And we have incredible video of three kids from India rescuing their dog from a snake that’s equal parts courageous and nuts.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Federal Court rules Trump must turn over tax returns | Diya TV News

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Trump Tax Returns

NEW YORK (Diya TV) — A federal judge ruled President Trump must turn over eight years of his personal and corporate tax returns to Manhattan prosecutors, striking down the President’s argument that a sitting president cannot be criminally investigated. The ruling was quickly appealed and this case could end up in the Supreme Court to answer the constitutional question of whether presidents can be charged with a crime.

Meanwhile, the President celebrated a victory by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, as a federal appellate court upheld most of the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality. It also ruled the FCC cannot preempt state net neutrality laws, meaning the rules of the road in states like California remain in place.

The U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee announced their Asia-Pacific and Non-Proliferation Subcommittee will be holding a hearing asking State Department officials and human rights activists to chime in on Human Rights in Kashmir, the Tamils of Sri Lanka, Muslims in Assam and the human rights situation in Pakistan, which includes the Sindh Province.

Lockheed Martin announced they will build F-16 wings exclusively in India, helping in integrating Indian industry into the $165 billion fighter aircraft market.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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