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VP of India’s Congress party Rahul Gandhi speaks at UC Berkeley

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Narendra Modi
Rahul Gandhi

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi spoke at UC Berkeley on Sept. 11. (Diya TV file photo)

BERKELEY, Calif. (Diya TV) — Indian Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi spoke to UC Berkeley students at the sold-out “India at 70: Reflections on the Path Forward” event at the University’s Chevron Auditorium on Sept. 11.

Speaking on his vision for India and where the country is headed, the 47-year-old was welcomed at the San Francisco International airport by Overseas Congress chairman Sam Pitroda and President of Indian National Overseas Congress U.S. Shudh Singh.

The event, organized by the university’s Institute for South Asia Studies and Institute of International Studies, saw Ghandi offer his reflections on contemporary India and the path forward for the world’s largest democracy. He follows in the footsteps of his great grandfather, Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first prime minister, who delivered a historic speech at Berkeley in 1949.

Gandhi started his remarks by addressing 9/11 and paying homage to those who lost their lives on that day then began addressing a wide variety of topics.

“Everybody knows that something has gone very wrong in the system. And the right-wing politicians are saying go there and pick up the fish. And people are sort of looking at the simple answers. They are looking at the simple answers but, you are not going to get results from these simple answers. And this is one of the reasons I have come here. This is a tremendous institution but this institution believes in a liberal ideology, it believes in discussions, it believes in listening to people, it believes in conversations. And, you have a tremendous history and I respect that history.”

“India is a massive country. It is also one of the world’s most complex countries. Every time you think you have understood India, she will reveal something new to you. In fact, I would venture to say anyone who thinks he understands India is a fool … The idea of nonviolence or ahimsa, as we call it in India, is what allows this huge mass of people to rise up together. Uniting India’s religion, castes and languages would simply be impossible without it. It is this idea that Mahatma Gandhi fashioned into a powerful but beautiful political weapon.”

Gandhi went on his approximately 15-minute address, quoting the likes of Cesar Chavez, tackling several issues including healthcare, technology, reducing poverty and sustained economic growth and job creation. Though focusing mostly on positive things looking forward, he did tackle things that are not going well.

“I have given you the positives. But before I end, I need to tell you what can go dangerously wrong. Our strength so far has been that we have done all this peacefully. What can destroy our momentum is the opposite energy. Hatred, anger and violence and the politics of polarization which has raised its ugly head in India today. Violence

and hatred distract people from the task at hand … The politics of hate divides and polarizes India making millions of people feel that they have no future in their own country. In today’s connected world, this is extremely dangerous. It isolates people and makes them vulnerable to radical ideas.”

Gandhi travels to Los Angeles next and is expected to speak in New York on September 20.

Gandhi, who has often been critical of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was met with a protest at the University organized by Sikhs For Justice.

You can watch the complete speech here.

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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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