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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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Trump impeachment inquiry hearings begin

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Trump Impeachment inquiry

WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — On the first day of the public Trump impeachment inquiry hearings over the President’s dealings in Ukraine, Bill Taylor, the acting US ambassador to Ukraine, testified one of his aides heard from EU ambassador Gordon Sondland that the President was focused on triggering investigations into Joe Biden and his son. The aide, David Holmes, reportedly also overheard a conversation between Trump and Sondland, where they discussed ‘the investigations.’ Holmes will appear for a closed-door deposition with impeachment investigators Friday. Republican allies of Trump painted the testimony of Taylor and George Kent as hearsay.

More than 100 Indian CEOs, political leaders and even Bollywood stars like Deepika Padukone will head Davos in January for the 50th anniversary of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting to discuss making ‘cohesive and sustainable world.’ President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin are also expected to be there.

The Food and Drug Administration granted Shreis Scalene Sciences (Shreis), an American company, a ‘Breakthrough Device Designation’ for the CYTOTRON, a cancer treatment, developed in India, by scientist Dr. Rajah Vijay Kumar in Bengaluru.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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India, Pakistan trade quips at UNESCO

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UNESCO

PARIS (Diya TV)  — At UNESCO’s general conference in Paris, both Pakistan and India traded quips over Kashmir. Pakistan’s Minister of Education and newly elected President of UNESCO’s Education Commission Shafqat Mehmood efforted to convince UNESCO leadership to confront India over their recent constitutional change affecting Jammu and Kashmir, claiming 1.5 million Kashmiri students who have not been able to attend schools since August 5th. In response, India’s UNESCO delegate Ananya Agarwal countered that “Pakistan is the world’s largest producer and exporter” of terrorism, calling Pakistan’s charges “fabricated falsehoods.”

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Notable executives from the worlds of private investing, industry and nonprofits came together to talk about impact investing at Akshaya Patra’s TAP Forum in the Bay Area. The goal is to take the diasporas success to build a foundation for the next generation.

The Indian women’s hockey team will get the chance to go for the gold in Tokyo, qualifying for the 2020 Olympics after beating team USA in a qualifying match.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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House holds hearing on human right violations in Jammu & Kashmir

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Jammu

WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — The Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, a bipartisan caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives, examined the human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir. Seattle Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal was among those on hand hearing testimony from experts offering widely different narratives. The commission plans to take these perspectives into account before offering recommendations for action by Congress.

In a line of questioning during the impeachment inquiry lauded by many political analysts, Democratic Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi focused on the timeline of the Ukraine affair, confirming through witness testimony that once Congress began investigating quid pro quo by the Trump administration, security funds were released to Ukraine two days later.

American tech firms are increasingly sponsoring green cards, or permanent US residency, for their employees from India and elsewhere in an effort to hold on to their skilled talent at a time when work visa extensions have become unpredictable.

India will fund at least 250 defense startups over the next five years as it seeks new technologies for their armed forces. The plan is obtain at least 50 ‘tangible innovations’ by the startups for military use.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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