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Indian Americans political aspirants & elected officials gather at first-ever Impact Summit

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Kamala Harris

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — More than 200 Indian Americans, who aspire to have their voices heard in American political discourse, gathered in the nation’s capitol for the first-ever Indian American Impact Summit. Featuring Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Cory Booker (D-NJ), among other elected officials and philanthropists, the summit was arranged to encourage more Indian-Americans to run for office.

“This historic summit is proof that the Indian American community has truly arrived on the political scene. Together, we can shape a future in which talented and patriotic Indian Americans are fully represented at every level of government, from City Hall to the White House,” said Impact co-founder Raj Goyle.

House Representatives Ro Khanna (D-CA 17th district), Ami Bera (D-CA 7th district), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA 7th district) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL 8th district) all attended and gave speeches to inspire the next generation of Indian American candidates. Diya TV was a proud media partner for the event.

Gautam Raghavan, Executive Director of the Indian American Impact Project, said, “There’s a lot of enthusiasm and energy (because) for the first time a lot of Indian American prospective candidates are thinking to themselves, ‘This is something I can do.'”

Cody Booker

Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) speaks out to the Indian American community at the Indian American Impact Summit 2018.

Booker, although not Indian American, gave an opening speech emphasizing why Indian Americans should go into politics. “In every area, Indian-Americans have been punching above their weight, except for one and that has been in elected officials. And it’s time that Indian-Americans came forward and provide the leadership,” Booker told the crowd. “From tech to the arts to business, Indian-American dominance is helping America, but the one area that we have to lead in is civic space for policy where ideas are being shaped.”

He added, “we so urgently need Indian American leadership — not just because of the dynamism it has brought to other sectors of American society — but also because this is a time when the very idea of America is under assault. We have a time now where Indian American pride, where Indian American strength, where Indian American ideas are critically needed.”

Harris, the first Indian-American to serve in the U.S. Senate, said Indian Americans will have a great effect on the U.S. because of the inspiration they can derive from their ancestry. “I was trying to remember what some of the slogans were when my grandfather was fighting for India’s independence… I remembered ‘truth alone triumphs,” she said. “It is imperative that to be a leader right now means that we speak (the) truth.”

Harris went on to say, “I believe we are a great country. And part of what makes us who we are is that this country was founded on certain ideas, ideals that were present when we wrote the Constitution of the US: which is that we are all equals and should be treated that way. This is a moment in time that is requiring us to fight for those ideals.”

Fostering this network for Indian Americans to build their platform from is why Impact co-founder Deepak Raj got involved. “The energy, enthusiasm, and talent of our elected officials and candidates is truly inspiring. Impact is proud to stand with them (elected officials and candidates) — and we look forward to expanding their ranks at every level of elected office.”

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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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