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Exclusive: One on One with Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi at Impact Summit 2018

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Diya TV's Ravi Kapur interviews Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi at the Indian American Impact Summit 2018.

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Earlier this month, more than 200 Indian American candidates, elected officials, among others gathered in Washington for the inaugural Impact Summit, an effort to build a long-term political network for the diaspora. All five Indian American members of Congress spoke at this event that was sponsored in part by Diya TV. Below is a transcript of an interview conducted on site by Ravi Kapur with Democratic Illinois Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi for our public affairs program “The Public Interest,” edited for clarity.

Q: 2018 is a midterm election year. What is it like being on the ground here in Washington right now?

A: It’s a little bit of a circus. Our president does things a little differently than past presidents. And in my humble opinion, I think that what’s happened is there a lot of people who are very concerned and in some cases, alarmed, about what’s going on with regard to various issues, economic issues. There could be rights issues and so forth. And I don’t think that’s a good thing. I don’t think we function well in a democracy when we’re at each other’s throats. And we’re not really in a deliberative process. I hope that changes.

Q: We had a primary process in my home state of California and yours in Illinois. The turnouts have been pretty poor. Folks weren’t inspired to vote in the primaries. Do you expect a real significant turnout who people are clearly really turned off about what’s going on here?

A: I think that some people are energized. For instance, Democratic women are energized to come out because of what they’ve seen with regard to this administrations treatment of issues of importance to women, reproductive rights, equal pay and so forth. I think that it’s possible that people on the other side might also be energized to defend their president. I think we, as Democrats — I happen to be a Democrat — I think we can’t take anything for granted. I mean, people talk about a blue wave, but to me, until November 6 rolls around, we can’t sit still. We can’t be complacent whatsoever. We have to run all the way through the finish line and through the tape, so to speak.

Q: We’re here at the Indian Impact Summit and there’s a cluster of folks that want to be in your position one day, who want to run for office at the state level and at the federal level. What are you saying to this next flock of people who want to get through the fray?

A: I basically say, ‘Look, there is this old adage. If you don’t have a seat at the table, you’re on the menu.’ And we as Indian Americans or South Asian Americans cannot afford to be on the menu. The stakes could not be higher. So now is the time to get involved. First, you’ve got to make sure everyone votes. Secondly, volunteer for a political cause that’s bigger than yourself. And then third, if you have demonstrated a record of public service and public service is part of your future — and you’re ready — then you should consider running for office. It’s a big, big step, but more and more people have to do it at all levels of government, whether it’s State House or State Senate. Maybe some of your viewers might even run for the U.S. Congress, but please not in my Congressional district. But anywhere else I’d be delighted to guide people. But the point is that people have to get involved.”

Q: Final question for you – what else is on the agenda here for 2018? What are you trying to get done?

A: For me personally, I have to get certain pieces of legislation through the Congress. My particular passion is in the area of workforce development. It’s meeting the skills gap and basically providing people with career technical education. There are 6.7 million unfilled jobs in the economy because employers can’t locate the skills or experience necessary to fill them. Meanwhile, two-thirds of Americans do not have a four-year college degree and those numbers aren’t changing anytime soon. So the challenge is to equip these people with the skills to take these jobs. And if we can do that, then we will jumpstart our economy to new heights we haven’t seen before. And that is my legislation in this House that’s working on this particular challenge. It’s passed the House. It’s in the Senate, hoping to get it through. HR 2353 for people who are keeping score at home — The Thompson-Krishnamoorthi bill. It’s a modernized Perkins career technical education. It’s the longest titled bill in Congress!

Q: And bipartisan?

A: Yes, bipartisan. The Thompson is Republican Glenn Thompson and of course, there’s me.

Q: Do you think you’ll get over the hump?

A: I think we’re getting closer, definitely.

Watch all of the interviews from the Impact Summit on The Public Interest with Ravi Kapur, Sunday at 9 am & 5 pm local time, exclusively on Diya TV.

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House of Representatives holds South Asia human rights hearing

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House holds South Asia human rights hearing | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — The House Foreign Affairs Committee held a full day hearing on human rights in South Asia, featuring speakers from the U.S. State Department and members of the community with different vantage points. As you can well imagine, narratives over Jammu & Kashmir differed greatly, especially over India’s recent constitutional change to integrate the region more closely. The hearing also touched upon Pakistan’s treatment of minorities in Balochistan and Sindh and the crisis faced by Rohingya Muslims in Bangladesh and Myanmar. Congressmembers Pramila Jayapal and Ami Bera made remarks at the hearing held before a capacity crowd on Capitol Hill. We’ll have full reaction to this contentious debate and we will broadcast the hearing in full this weekend on Diya TV.

Justin Trudeau will continue to lead Canada, but his Liberal Party lost their majority in Parliament, opening the door for Jagmeet Singh, leader of the New Democrats, to potentially play kingmaker if Trudeau wants to pass any major legislation.

And in a huge development for Prime Minister Modi’s ‘Make in India’ efforts, the first Apple iPhone’s are rolling off the assembly lines in India.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Sanders defends Gabbard over Clinton accusation

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Gabbard

NEW YORK (Diya TV)  — Sparks flew when Hillary Clinton implied Russians were ‘grooming’ Tulsi Gabbard for a third-party run. Gabbard blasted Clinton and got a fresh jolt of support for her campaign. Staunch supporters for Clinton like Neera Tanden continue to criticize Gabbard for her meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, among other reasons. Presidential candidates are also chiming in, with Andrew Yang, Marianne Williamson and Bernie Sanders all standing up for Gabbard. Sanders, who Gabbard supported in 2016 over Clinton, said in a tweet “people can disagree on issues, but it is outrageous for anyone to suggest that Tulsi is a foreign asset.

Indian American attorney Rik Mehta announced he intends to challenge Sen. Cory Booker in New Jersey’s Democratic primary, criticizing Booker for spending more time running for President than looking after New Jersey.

The U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum held its annual meeting in New Delhi, featuring prominent business leaders, American ambassador to India Ken Juster and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who spoke about India’s efforts to aid startups and bolster innovation.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Breaking: Clinton, Gabbard spar in 2016 rehash

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Breaking: Clinton, Gabbard spar in 2016 rehash | Diya TV News

NEW YORK (Diya TV)  — In 2016, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was the Democratic nominee, staving off a fierce challenge from Sen. Bernie Sanders. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard decided to resign from her post as Democratic National Committee Vice-Chair to support Sanders over Clinton. Now, both ladies have taken the gloves off, after Clinton on a podcast indirectly referenced Gabbard by saying the Russians were “grooming her to be the third-party candidate.” Gabbard responded on Twitter, calling Clinton the “queen of warmongers [and] embodiment of corruption.”

The granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi, Ela Gandhi, spoke at an event organized by Cal State Fresno about how her grandfather’s work, was not only was significant in its time, but how those principles still hold relevance in a new century.

The University of Houston announced an endowment to support the study of the Tamil language and culture. Non-profit Houston Tamil Studies Chair made a $2 million commitment to the university to kickstart the study of Tamil heritage. The Tamil language is considered the oldest in the world, spoken by more than 70 million people worldwide, with 250,000 Tamilians in the United States.

President Trump announced Energy Secretary Rick Perry is stepping down from his role to pursue other interests. His deputy Dan Brouillette was nominated as his replacement.

And for all of our incredible viewers in Chicagoland, rescan your TV sets this weekend to watching Diya TV and the rest of the channels in the market. We recommend a high quality VHF/UHF antenna so you can keep getting Diya TV on WRJK Channel 22.1 for free!

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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