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South Asian legal minds gather to celebrate 15th annual SABA conference in New York City

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NEW YORK (Diya TV) — The conference and perhaps the largest gathering of South Asian legal minds in America aka the 15th annual SABA (South Asian Bar Association) of North America kicked off in the heart of the New York city. The immediate past president, Rishi Bagga noted the importance of hosting this conference in the Big Apple. “We now live in a time when legal protections for immigrants are under attack; when nativist sentiments and rhetoric have sought to divide those who were born here from those who were not; at a time when our community’s lawyers must ‘Carry the Torch’ for the South Asian immigrant community and other immigrant communities,” he said. “And a time when SABA must continue to work to ensure greater diversity and inclusion with the legal profession at large.”

 Outgoing President of SABA Rishi Bagga, Rep. Grace Meng and the incoming President of Sundeep Sandhu at the opening night reception

Outgoing President of SABA Rishi Bagga, Rep. Grace Meng and the incoming President of Sundeep Sandhu at the opening night reception

With all the recent events of immigrant families being separated, this year’s conference didn’t skip a beat jumping right into all the issues that matter to this organization. This year’s panels featured personal insights from some of the brightest minds in the South Asian American legal community including judges, law firm leaders, in-house counsel, and lawyers making waves inside and outside the profession. This year we were fortunate to welcome a large number of South Asian judges including the Hon. Cathy Bissoon, Hon. Sanket Bulsara, Hon. Raj Chatterjee, Hon. Raja Rajeswari and Hon. Sri Srinivasan.

The programming focused on ways South Asian attorneys could break the current boundaries within the legal profession. For example, VP and US General Counsel for McDonald’s Corporation, Mahrukh Hussain joined a panel of women general counsels to discuss the paths they chose and challenges they faced in their careers. In addition, a plenary panel focused on the pros, cons and consequences of choosing a life in the public eye featured Ravi Bhalla, Mayor of Hoboken; Sudha Setty, Dean, Western New England School of Law; Amit Agarwal, Solicitor General, State of Florida; Sayu Bhojwani, President, New American Leaders Project; and Nisha Agarwal, Commissioner of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.

Preet Bharara, former U.S. Attorney Southern District of New York

The Conference closed with a gala featuring keynote speaker Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) who reminded SABA members that one continually has the choice “to accept things as they are or take responsibility for changing them.” Preet Bharara, the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and longtime SABA member was also a featured speaker and echoed the comments of Sen. Booker, encouraging SABA members to continue “joining together in solidarity … by taking the effort to speak, march, vote or do other things necessary to fight for what they believe in.”

The SABA Foundation, the charitable arm of SABA, also held its Annual Benefit during the Conference. The SABA Foundation identifies and supports organizations that provide critical services to the most vulnerable members of the South Asian Community and awarded grants to Manavi, South Asian American Policy & Research Institute (SAAPRI), Kiran, Inc., Narika and the Innovation Law Lab. SABA Foundation also honored comedian and activist, Hari Kondabolu, with its first ‘Hero Award’ for his work raising awareness and improving the lives of South Asians in North America.

As always this conference also marked the change in leadership, with a swearing in ceremony for a new President and Executive Committee. SABA’s new President, Sundeep Sandhu, emphasized the role the organization will continue to play in improving the general welfare of the South Asian community in North America. “Issues with respect to diversity and inclusion, civil rights and access to justice have never been more prevalent than they are today and SABA members have been unwavering in their dedication to addressing these issues,” Sandhu stated. “We see this not only with the leadership of our 26 chapters but through the individual actions of our 8,000 strong membership, like our members who attended the nationwide protests held against the current administration’s policy on separating migrant families – a policy that SABA has firmly stood against.”

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Man stabbed during brawl at Sikh temple near Seattle

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Man stabbed during brawl at Sikh temple near Seattle | Diya TV News

RENTON, Wa. (Diya TV) — At least six people were injured and one of them was briefly hospitalized with stab wounds during a brawl at the Gurudwara Singh Sabha in Renton, Washington. Renton Police say at least 20 people at the temple were fighting when police arrived. Police added a similar incident happened last week at a Sikh temple in Kent, Washington. Sources tell Diya TV the skirmish was between people that were pro-India and folks that did not view India in a favorable light. No arrests were made.

The Quad military alliance is complete after Australia agreed to be part of the Malabar Exercise to be held in Bay of Bengal next month, joining the United States, India and Japan as part of the naval exercise.

As seen on Diya TV, the South Asian Bar Association held a Presidential Town Hall featuring Asheesh Agarwal, a member of Indian Voices for Trump advisory board and Neera Tanden, the CEO of the Center for American Progress, moderated by journalist and professor Sree Sreenivasan.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Exclusive: Hindu Americans debate Biden vs. Trump

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Exclusive: Hindu Americans debate Biden vs. Trump | Diya TV News

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV)  — Diya TV played host to an incredible debate on issues affecting American Hindus as it relates to the 2020 Presidential Election. Three Biden and three Trump supporters discussed domestic influences and tendencies, foreign policy issues and party stances, Democrat vs. Republican in an event presented by the Hindu American Foundation, Hindu American Political Action Committee, HinduPACT and Hindu Vote.

Watch the full event here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ULUchW4ubs

Also on Diya TV was the 2020 Fremont Candidates Forum, sponsored by the Coalition for Civic Engagement (CCE), a non-partisan organization. It includes a diverse group of organizations including Civic Leadership USA (CLUSA), Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs (APAPA), NAA United, Punjab Foundation, Hindu American Foundation (HAF), Hindu American PAC (HAPAC), Asian American Unity Coalition (AAUC), Indo-American Community Federation (IACF) and Federation for Indian and Indian Diaspora Studies (FIIDS).

From the economy and the homeless epidemic to COVID-19 and traffic congestion, this forum gave candidates a chance to express their views on how they plan to address some of the most critical issues facing Bay Area’s fourth largest city.

The event featured speakers vying for these positions:

Fremont City Council – District 1

Teresa Keng

Fremont City Council – District 5

Dolev Gandler

Raj Salwan

Fremont City Council – District 6

Yogi Chugh

Teresa Cox

Charles Liu 

Fremont Mayor:

Lily Mei

Naz Mahika Khan

Justin Sha

Vik Bajwa Singh

All City Council & Mayoral candidates were invited, but some were unavailable or did not respond to the invitation.

Sen. Kamala Harris was openly mocked at a Trump campaign rally by her colleague, Georgia Senator David Perdue, who made fun of her name before a partisan crowd in Macon, Georgia. “Ka-MAL-a, Ka-MAL-a or Kamala, Kamala, Ka-mala, -mala, -mala, I don’t know, whatever,” said Perdue. Perdue’s team afterward brushed it off, saying that he
“simply mispronounced” the name of Harris, with whom he has worked for four years. 

In response to Perdue, many people used the hashtag #MyNameIs to share stories about how they have handled similar situations.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Biden & Trump hold separate town halls on debate night

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Biden & Trump hold separate town halls on debate night | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — It was supposed to be debate night, a second battle between former Vice President Biden and President Trump. But after the President’s COViD-19 diagnosis, an in person battle wasn’t in the cards. The President did not want to do a virtual debate, so both men held separate town halls at the exact same time to try and win over voters with less than three weeks before the election and millions of people already casting their ballots early.

Many of the biggest Desi names in entertainment got together for a virtual ‘South Asian Block Party’ to support the Biden-Harris campaign. In just a couple hours, $250,000 was raised, with a number of the prominent figures sharing their personal stories on why they are supporting the Biden ticket.

Pakistan’s government has banned TikTok, citing complaints alleging the popular video app carried immoral and indecent content.

Simran Sethi, ABC TV’s Executive Vice President of Development and Content Strategy, is putting in place a new set of inclusion standards to ensure the television network accurately reflects society.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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