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Chicago’s Alderman and Gubernatorial candidate Ameya Pawar tries his hand at comedy

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Ameya Pawar
Ameya Pawar

Chicago Ald. Ameya Pawar attends a fundraiser for Mayor Rahm Emanuel in 2014. Credit: Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO (Diya TV) — Ameya Pawar, an alderman for Chicago’s 47th ward and Illinois gubernatorial candidate, took to the stage of the city’s iO Theatre on Tuesday night to introduce himself to comedy fans and potential voters.

“Hi, I’m Bobby Jindal and I’m running for governor,” he said jokingly. “I didn’t know how that would go,” he added as the laughter from the crowd of around 100 calmed.

At the ripe age of 36, Pawar is well aware of the risks and chances he’ll need to take if he’s going to stand out in an Illinois Democratic gubernatorial primary that most observers expect to be dominated by billionaire J.B. Pritzker and another wealthy contender with strong name recognition, Chris Kennedy.

Pawar appeared to enjoy playing comedian for the night, he wrote the material himself. He even found time to poke some fun at some other successful Indian politicians from across the country.

“I’ll be the first normal Indian governor,” he joked, in a quip directed at both Jindal and Nikki Haley, two Indian-Americans who previously served as governors of Louisiana and South Carolina. Haley now serves as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations after being appointed to the post by President Donald Trump.

Mostly, Pawar kept it serious, focusing his attacks on Gov. Bruce Rauner and the governor’s donor, who is also the richest man in the state of Illinois, Ken Griffin. “I don’t think wealth is bad but I don’t think wealth is synonymous with success, either,” he said, calling for changes to the tax code to support the middle class and describing it as “kind of annoying to listen to all these crusty old white men making all the decisions.”

He took a few moments to reveal some striking revelations of the sort of governor he’d be — Pawar said he would work to legalize marijuana — and that he was driven to a life in politics in part by former first lady Barbara Bush’s insensitive remarks about Hurricane Katrina. Pawar, whose wife, Charna, is Jewish, joked that the work of the evening’s other performing comedians “made this Hin-Jew very proud.”

Asked what made him laugh, he gave a two word answer: “Talladega Nights.”

And speaking after the show was over, he told Chicago Inc. he’d encourage his primary rivals to give comedy a go, if they dare.

“You can’t take yourself too seriously,” he said. “Most people don’t.”

Pawar’s campaign staff say his future onstage commitments include being levitated, by a magician.

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India hits 1 billion vaccine dose milestone

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India hits 1 billion vaccine dose milestone | Diya TV News

NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — India reached a major milestone in its war against the pandemic with the total number of Covid-19 vaccine doses, crossing the billion-mark. Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited a hospital in Delhi to mark the milestone, and described it “as the triumph of Indian science, enterprise and collective spirit” of the 1.3 billion people in the country.

The White House named 19 young emerging leaders to its fellows program and three are Indian Americans. Joy Basu and Sunny Patel are from California and Aakash Shah is from New Jersey. The prestigious White House Fellowship program embeds professionals from diverse backgrounds for a year of working as a full-time, paid fellow for White House staff, cabinet secretaries and other senior government officials.

Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan was mobbed by fans as he visited his son Aryan in a Mumbai Jail. Aryan has been in custody for nearly three weeks after being arrested during an illegal drug bust.
Khan waved at fans and a video of the whole incident has gone viral on the internet.

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Biden to nominate Ravi Chaudry to Air Force post

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Biden to nominate Ravi Chaudry to Air Force post | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON DC (Diya TV) — President Joe Biden plans to nominate Indian American Ravi Chaudry as the Air Force’s next assistant secretary for installations, environment, and energy. Chaudry is a former Federal Aviation Administration official who served in the Air Force for more than 20 years. If confirmed he would take over a massive portfolio spanning Air Force and Space Force installations worldwide. 

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundation announced the appointment of its new Chairwoman, Sonu Ratra, the co-founder and President of IT consulting and talent solutions provider, Akraya as well as the founder of Women Back to Work. Ratra is the first woman and person of color to lead the SVLG Foundation.

Indian American women techies,  Susmita Dutta and Shruti Haldea,  took center stage as Apple unveiled its next line-up of products, including MacBook Pro, next-generation AirPods, and other products and services. 

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Calgary and Edmonton elect mayors of Indian descent | Diya TV News

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Calgary & Edmonton elect mayors of Indian descent | Diya TV News

NEW YORK (Diya TV) — In a historic first, the new Mayors of Calgary and Edmonton, Canada are of Indian descent. Jyoti Gondak and Amarajeet Sohi will be leading their respective cities. Gondek is also Calgary’s first ever female Mayor. In both elections, voters expressed a desire for change, and largely rejected candidates opposed to public health measures to deal with COVID-19.

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren wants Amazon to break up after a Reuters report found that the e-commerce giant ran a systematic campaign of creating knockoffs and manipulating search results to boost its own private brands in India, one of the company’s largest growth markets.

In tech news MindBody is acquiring fitness company ClassPass, which allows users to pay for a monthly subscription, allowing them to access a number of classes across a spectrum of fitness genres. The company was founded by Indian American Payal Kadakia.

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