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Sikh American Gurbir Singh Grewal could become NJ’s first South Asian Attorney General

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Gurbir Singh Grewal being sworn in as Bergen County Prosecutor in January 2017

HACKENSACK, NJ (Diya TV) — Governor-elect Phil Murphy on Tuesday announced Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir S. Grewal as his nominee to serve as state attorney general, the Democrat’s first high-level nomination as he works to fill out an administration set to take office on Jan. 16.

The pick of Grewal, an Indian-American Sikh, could prove historic. If Grewal is confirmed by the state Senate, which seems all but certain, Murphy said he would become the first South Asian attorney general in New Jersey and the first Sikh to hold the position in any state.

“The American dream is alive and well in New Jersey,” Grewal said at a news conference in Trenton where Murphy made the announcement.

Grewal, a Glen Rock resident and former federal prosecutor, has led the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office since Republican Gov. Chris Christie tapped him for the role in January 2016. He served in an acting capacity until the Senate confirmed him to a five-year term in November 2016.

Grewal, a Democrat, has earned plaudits for his office’s work in combating the opioid crisis in Bergen County and promoting better relations between police and the people they serve.

The South Asian Bar Association of North America (SABA) congratulated Gurbir S. Grewal.
“The decision to appoint a visible minority as the chief law enforcement officer for New Jersey reflects the diversity of the state and of the US, and is especially important in a time where minorities and immigrants have often felt targeted by law enforcement,” said SABA President Rishi Bagga. “We applaud Governor-elect Murphy in picking a distinguished and qualified member of the South Asian and Sikh American legal community for this pivotal role. We strongly support Mr. Grewal’s nomination as Attorney General and look forward to working with him on issues of national importance.”

Mr. Grewal has spent most of his legal career in public service, where he is currently the Bergen County prosecutor. Working for most populous county in New Jersey, Grewal serves a community of almost one million with his staff of 265.

Among other initiatives, Grewal has put in place a strategy of persuading recently arrested or hospitalized addicts to immediately talk to addiction recovery specialists. That has led to nearly three-quarters of those addicts agreeing to enter treatment at some point.

Attorney general is one of the most powerful positions in New Jersey government, serving as the state’s top cop and top lawyer. The person in that role leads the 7,200-employee Department of Law and Public Safety, which includes the State Police, civil rights enforcement, consumer affairs and civil litigation.

Grewal’s confirmation would be the second notable accomplishment for New Jersey Sikhs in recent months. Earlier this year, Ravi Bhalla was elected mayor of Hoboken and will become the first Sikh to hold that office in New Jersey.

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Global Holi celebrations underway

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) —   Around the world, Holi is being celebrated and commemorated. We’ll have a look at some of the festivities and show you the time Jackie Kennedy played holi with Prime Minister Nehru.

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services will start accepting new H1-B visa petitions for 2020 starting April 1.

After the US cut off India’s duty-free access to their marketplace under a preferred partnership, India is reengaging, offering trade concessions across IT goods, aviation and oil purchases. The U.S. would like India to hold off on raising tariffs on key imports.

Bank of America bought its biggest trouble asset in India, as foreign investors dig deeper into India’s pile of bad debt.

Mindy Kaling will be launching a semi-autobiographical comedy series on Netflix, inspired by her own childhood.

Ravi Kapur & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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Arts & Culture

Hasan Minhaj takes on Indian Politics

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) —  Disney officially closed its deal with Fox for $71.3 billion, giving Disney the keys to Twentieth Century Fox movie and TV studios, cable networks and major inroads into India through Star TV.

A new lawsuit claims Indian outsourcing firm HCL Technologies is exploiting the H-1B visa system, while discriminating against non-South Asian workers.

Dr. Pritesh Gandhi, who is now a medical school professor, announced he will run as a Democratic challenger to Republican Representative Michael McCaul in 2020 for the 10th Congressional District seat that serves Austin, Texas.

Ken Juster, America’s Ambassador to India, commissioned the recreation of bright blue Indian-style murals at Roosevelt House, his official residence in India, saying he wanted to celebrate through art and architecture the deep bonds between the two nations.

And Comedian Hasan Minhaj chose not to listen to his elders and dedicated his latest episode of “Patriot Act” on Netflix to the Indian election. We wish him well.

Ravi Kapur & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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Business

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai on diversifying TV station ownership

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WASHINGTON (Diya TV) —    FCC Chairman Ajit Pai says he’s aware the incentive auction nearly wiped out TV stations owned by women & minorities. How he’s addressing the issue, plus the on-going battle over net neutrality, robocalls & his evolution from staffer to Commissioner to Chair on an all-new The Public Interest with Ravi Kapur, Sunday at 9 am & 5pm exclusively on DiyaTV!

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