Desi News

Yadav Nathwani becomes first Indian-American appointed to Illinois State Senate to fill short-term vacancy

From left, Appellate Court Judge Pete C Cavanagh, newly appointed Illinois State Senator Yadav Nathwani, and Illinois State Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady. Nathwani was sworn in to fill the remainder of the term of the incumbent Republican Chris Nybo, who lost his bid for re-election and resigned after Nov. 6 elections. (Photo: Yadav Nathwani) The  vice chairman of Milton Township, Illinois and the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of a professional paving and concrete company, Yadav “Nick” Nathwani was appointed and sworn-in recently, as the new State Senator for the 24th District for the remaining days of the 100th General Assembly. The Republican was appointed in November as incumbent Republican State Senator Chris Nybo resigned after losing his re-election bid. Nathwani is the first Indian American appointed to serve in the Illinois State Senate. However, a Democrat, Ram Villivalam is the first Indian-American elected Nov. 6, to the upper…

Desi News

Art of Where removes Lord Ganesh capris, apologizes to Hindus

“Cosmic Ganesh Yoga” yoga-capris from Art of Where Art of Where, based in Montreal, Canada, has apologized and withdrawn their yoga-capris which carry the image of the Hindu deity Lord Ganesh after it was deemed “highly inappropriate” by Hindus. “The product featuring Ganesh that you brought to our attention was removed from our artist stores…We hope that you can accept our apology,” Beverly of Art of Where wrote in an email to Hindu statesman and President of Universal Society of Hinduism Rajan Zed. Zed thanked Art of Where for understanding the concerns of the Hindu community which thought placing Lord Ganesh on such a product was insensitive and suggested that companies should send their senior executives for training in religious and cultural sensitivity so that they had an understanding of the feelings of customers and communities when introducing new products or launching advertising campaigns. Zed had said that Lord Ganesh was…

Desi News

Indian-Americans in tri-state blaze a trail in 2018

Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey, with New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal. (Photo: Twitter) Indian-Americans in the tri-state area can take pride in a number of firsts in 2018. Beginning with the first Indian-Americans taking over as Attorney General and State Senator in New Jersey and ending the year with the first person from the community to be elected to the New York State Senate. Through his first year as Attorney General of New Jersey, Gurbir Grewal made his presence felt on issues of hate crime, national immigration policy, and a host of state-level initiatives. The following tweet from Grewal on Nov. 29, aptly describes his effort at carving an independent path for his state, issuing new rules to prevent profiling to catch undocumented immigrants, through his “Immigrant Trust Directive.”. “For too long, the federal government has tried to drive a wedge between NJ law enforcement & our state’s…

Desi News

Sikh Americans to be featured for 5th time in annual Rose Parade in California

Decoration on the Sikh American float for their 5th Rose Parade. The Sikh American community of Southern California will be featured for the fifth time in a row at the annual Rose Parade on Jan. 1, 2019. This year, the theme for the Rose Parade is the “Melody of Life” – celebrating the universal language of music and so the Sikh American float will highlight kirtan and feature 119,000 flowers that bring together several elements emphasizing the religious significance music holds in the Sikh community and faith. Five local Sikh musicians will join other Sikh community leaders on the float as they play kirtan throughout the parade. “Growing up in California, it’s incredible to now consistently see a Sikh float in the Tournament of Roses Parade. The universal language of music resonates with everybody and we can’t wait to further introduce Americans to the Sikh community through our musical traditions,”…

Desi News

Lalit Aery elected President of IALI

IALI members and guests at the annual General Body Meeting, in Long Island, New York, on December 22, 2018. Lalit Aery was elected the new President of the India Association of Long Island (IALI), at its Annual General Body Meeting for 2018, on Saturday, December 22, at The Cotillion, in Long Island, New York. There were more than 250 IALI members, along with several past presidents, who joined and enjoyed mingling and greeting each other. Secretary Shashi Malik welcomed all the guests. Past President Satnam S. Parhar introduced President Gunjan Rastogi with his customary generous remarks. In her presidential address, Rastogi thanked the members for their participation and continued support throughout the year. She highlighted the accomplishments of 2018 celebrating all IALI events with great attendance by the members, making 2018 a memorable year – the year in which IALI celebrated its 40th anniversary with great pomp and show. India…

Desi News

Indian-American teenager wins Cornell University hackathon

The device designed by 17-year-old Mahum Siddiqi and her team uses neurological activity occurring in one’s brain to help doctors more efficiently determine someone’s pain levels. NEW YORK – An Indian-American teenager has won the inaugural “Digital Transformation Hackathon” at Cornell University for designing a device to detect the actual pain level of a patient during a diagnosis. The device designed by 17-year-old Mahum Siddiqi and her team uses neurological activity occurring in one’s brain to help doctors more efficiently determine someone’s pain levels. “It’s incredibly upsetting and problematic how hypothetical the concept of pain diagnostics is. Doctors have no way of knowing how little or how much pain someone is truly experiencing when they go in to be diagnosed,” Siddiqi said in a statement on Friday. A Class 12 student at Vestal High School in New York, Siddiqi was the only non-graduate student competing at the hackathon held earlier…

Desi News

Global Healthcare Summit 2018 concludes with commitment to give back to India

India’s President Ram Nath Kovind, front at center, and other Indian politicians, with leaders of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI). (Photos: AAPI) The 12th edition of the annual Global Healthcare Summit in Mumbai concluded Dec. 30, with physicians of Indian origin rededicating  themselves to work and collaborate towards bringing in high quality, innovative, preventable, cost-effective ways to deliver healthcare to millions of people in India. The three-day event, inaugurated by the the President of India Ram Nath Kovind, on Dec. 28, at the Taj Palace Hotel in Mumbai, was for the first time, jointly organized by American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) and the Global Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (GAPIO), from December  28-30, at Hotel Trident, Nariman Point, Mumbai. Some 500 delegates from around the world attended, according to a press release from AAPI. The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin…

Desi News

Man arrested for killing Indian-American police officer in California

The Merced Police Department posted this photo with the following message on Facebook Dec. 26: Officer Ronil Singh of the Newman Police Department (CA) was shot and killed during a traffic stop early this morning. The suspect is currently being sought by authorities. Officer Singh had served since 2011. Please help us honor him so he is not forgotten. New York, Dec 29 (IANS) A man has been arrested for allegedly killing an Indian-American police officer during a traffic stop in California’s Newman county, officials said. The suspect was identified as Gustavo Perez Arriaga, 33, who came to the U.S. illegally and was believed to have been fleeing to Mexico, Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson told CNN on Friday. Arriaga was arrested from a home in Kern County, about 200 miles south of where the shooting occurred on Christmas night. Officer Ronil Singh, 33, pulled over the suspect just before…

Desi News

6 Indian Americans among 2019 Marshall Scholarship recipients

Six Indian Americans have received the 2019 Marshall Scholarship from the British Government. Among the scholars were Mallika Balakrishnan of Agnes Scott College, Akshayaa Chittibabu of the University of Connecticut, Deepti Kannan of Stanford University, Vaibhav Mohanty of Harvard University, Aneesh Pappu of Stanford University, and Shomik Verma of Duke University, according to a press release. The six will head to the U.K. to continue their education and will study at the University of St. Andrews, the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford, the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge, respectively, in the fall. The 2019 class is also the most diverse class in history with over 40 percent from minority backgrounds and with 29 women. In fact, this is the largest class in the scholarship program’s 65-year history and a total of 48 undergraduate students from across the United States were selected….

Desi News

Sleeping Midwest Rising: 2018 has been a banner year for Indian-Americans seeking public office in the heartland of America

Sam Singh, Michigan Democratic Leader (Courtesy: Twitter) One of the biggest highlights of 2018 for the Indian-American community living in the Midwest (and neighboring states) has been the number of candidates elected up and down the ballot. Add to that the increasing level of activism on issues, and it could be a perfect predictor of more risk takers taking up the challenge of government and public service in the near future. “It’s like the ‘sleeping Midwest rising’,” former Obama administration official Ann Kalayil, chair and president of the South Asian American Policy & Research Institute based in Chicago, told Desi Talk. “When I got elected in 1995, there weren’t many elected Indian-Americans in office other than maybe one or two on school boards,” recalls Michigan State Representative Sam Singh, a Democrat. “Over the years, there’s been more ‘intentional recruitment’ of Indian Americans,” he noted. Before being elected to the Michigan…