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California Leaders Suggest Changes in Textbooks Over Portrayal of Hindus

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California-based Hindu Education Foundation suggested corrections to proposed school textbooks after Indian Americans raised issues over alleged negative portrayal of Hinduism and India.

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — California-based Hindu Education Foundation suggested corrections to proposed school textbooks after Indian Americans raised issues over alleged negative portrayal of Hinduism and India.

According to the organization, the Indian American community has been “battling to remove several inaccuracies and myths about Hinduism from textbooks.”

The California Department of Education has made several updates to the framework based on input by scholars, students and the community members, mentioning Hindu concepts like Yoga and Dharma, Sages Vyasa and Valmiki and Indian achievements in science and technology.

After the Hindu American, LGBT and African-American communities raised concerns about the “biased and inequitable portrayal” of their communities in textbooks at a public hearing held by the California Department of Education’s Instructional Quality Commission, the department voted to reject content from two publishers.

“While the disparaging images were rejected and a few positive changes were made, many of the textbook narratives still contain extensive inaccuracies and stereotypes,” Shantharam Nekkar of the Hindu American Foundation said. He says that several items that are mandated in the California History-Social Science textbook framework (state guidelines) for India and Hinduism are “being ignored by some publishers.”

Parents, students and community leaders joined in week-long protests across California, demanding accurate and equitable representation for India and Hinduism in textbooks. A petition signed by over 8,000 people demanding the withdrawal of biased and inaccurate content was also submitted to the department.

“Some improvements have been made, but significant additional changes are required to present India and Hinduism in an accurate and equitable manner,” said Krishna Maheshwari of Hindupedia.

The IQC will send its recommendations to the State Board of Education for its approval in November. The textbooks recommended by the board are expected to be adopted by school districts in 2018.

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Impact commits $10M to supporting Indian American candidates

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WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Indian American IMPACT, a political organization working to put Indian Americans in public office, announced a new $10 million commitment to support Indian American candidates nationwide. They also announced public interest lawyer Neil Makhija will be IMPACT’s new Executive Director. The number of Indian Americans in Congress has grown five-fold in just the past eight years.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr faced questioning by the House Judiciary Committee about the use of force against Black Lives Matter protesters in recent weeks and the Trump administration’s handling of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We’ll show the clash between Congressmember Rep. Pramila Jayapal and Barr that’s making headlines.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged YouPlus, a Silicon Valley startup, and its CEO Shaukat Shamim with defrauding investors by making false and misleading statements about the company’s finances. The complaint states Shamim told investors YouPlus earned millions of dollars in annual revenue and had more than 100 customers, including Fortune 500 companies. But the scheme dissolved when Shamim is said to have told certain investors YouPlus had earned less than $500,000 and obtained only four paying customers since the company’s 2013 inception.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Feds arrest entrepreneur Mukund Mohan for PPP fraud

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SEATTLE (Diya TV) — U.S. attorneys arrested serial Indian American entrepreneur Mukund Mohan on charges of allegedly defrauding the Paycheck Protection Program with fake and altered documents and embezzling more than $5.5 million in COVID-19 relief funds through six shell companies. Mukund Mohan was a former Microsoft and Amazon executive and is currently the CTO of BuildDirect.

Shahid Buttar, who is running for Congress in San Francisco against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is being accused of sexual harassment by comedienne Elizabeth Croydon. Buttar said Croydon’s charges are false.

Apple manufacturer Foxconn has started building iPhone 11 units in a facility near Chennai in India. It’s the first time Apple has made one of its top-tier phones in India. India is the second-biggest smartphone market in the world, second only to China.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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India & China slowly move towards disengagement

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NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — India and China held virtual talks and agreed on a complete disengagement of troops along the line of control. But there remains sticking points in multiple areas along the border. India insists bilateral relations will not improve until “full peace and tranquility” are restored.

Police in Schenectady, New York are facing major scrutiny after footage was released of one of their officers applying a neck hold to 31 year old Yugeshwar Gaindarpersaud. He was treated and released, but he continues to face two charges of running away and resisting arrest. He’s accused of slashing his neighbors tire, causing $200 of damage. His attorneys are fighting to get prosecutors to drop the charges.

The UK Parliamentary Group, which visited Pakistan Administered Kashmir, and heavily criticized the Indian government for their recent constitutional change applying to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, acknowledged they received nearly $18,000 from the Pakistan Government to make the trip.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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