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Indian American voters forum host a welcome reception for Counsel General in New York, Ambassador Riva Ganguly Das

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Seated left to right: Dr. Sudha Parikh, NY Supreme Court Justice Ruth Balkins, Ambassador Riva Ganguly Das, Justice Denise Sher and Mary Cozzens. Standing L to R: Dr. Yashpal Arya, Dr. Vaijinath Chakote, Justice Bruce Cozzens, Dr. Dattatreyudu Nori, Deputy Consul General of India in New York Dr. Manoj Kumar Mohapatra, Justice Steven Bucaria, former County Executive Tom Suozzi, District Court Judge Anthony Paradiso, Varinder Bhalla, Dr. Sunil Mehra, Dr. Ajay Lodha, Dr. Sudhir Parikh and Animesh Goenka.

Seated left to right: Dr. Sudha Parikh, NY Supreme Court Justice Ruth Balkins, Ambassador Riva Ganguly Das, Justice Denise Sher and Mary Cozzens. Standing L to R: Dr. Yashpal Arya, Dr. Vaijinath Chakote, Justice Bruce Cozzens, Dr. Dattatreyudu Nori, Deputy Consul General of India in New York Dr. Manoj Kumar Mohapatra, Justice Steven Bucaria, former County Executive Tom Suozzi, District Court Judge Anthony Paradiso, Varinder Bhalla, Dr. Sunil Mehra, Dr. Ajay Lodha, Dr. Sudhir Parikh and Animesh Goenka.

NEW YORK (Diya TV) — Judges from the New York State Supreme Court and Long Island public officials, in coordination with the Indian American Voters Forum convened to host a welcoming reception this week for Consul General of India, Ambassador Riva Ganguly Das.

Supreme Court Justices Steven Bucaria, Bruce Cozzens, Ruth Balkins, Denise Sher and district court judge Anthony Paradiso attended the event. They were joined by New York assemblyman Thomas McKevitt and former Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi. In total, nearly 85 prominent members of the community were in attendance, including Dr. Sudhir Parikh and Dr. Dattatreyudu Nori.

Das met in private with the assembled judges and organizing members of the Indian forum to discuss the possibilities of inviting a delegation of American judges to visit India.

“I am very welcoming of the idea of an exchange program of the judiciary and I hope that soon one day it will come true,” said Justice Bucaria.

Indian Forum chairman Varinder Bhalla informed the Consul General of the group’s recent initiative of recruiting members of Congress into the Congressional Caucus on India. Recently, Congresswoman Kathleen Rice joined the caucus. The aforementioned Parikh was a key player in the formation of the caucus in 1993, and spoke about its role in “furthering the relationship between our two democracies, our nations’ shared interests from global security to trade and international prosperity.”

Suozzi is currently in the heat of a congressional race, and stressed his longstanding relationship with the Indian-American community in New York, pledging his support of the caucus and saying he would certainly become a member.

“I will certainly join the India Caucus if I am elected in November,” he said, adding, “and work to strengthen the bond between the world’s largest democracy and the world’s oldest democracy.”

The event also found time to pay tribute to the late Dr. Banad Viswanath, who was a relentless community advocate in the area. The Consul General and assemblyman McKevitt presented his son, Dev Viswanath, with a citation on behalf of the New York State Assembly. Viswanath founded Vision of Asia, the first Indian-American TV show, in 1976. It expanded in 1986 to ITV Gold, the first 24/7 cable TV station in the U.S., delivering countless hours of news and culture from India to American television screens.

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Big night for South Asians, Riz Ahmed and Aziz Ansari take home Emmy’s

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Riz Ahmed

British-Pakistani actor Riz Ahmed claimed a 2017 Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series for portraying Nasir “Naz” Khan in The Night Of – a Pakistani college student who becomes caught up in a homicide investigation.

LOS ANGELES (Diya TV) — British-Pakistani actor Riz Ahmed claimed a 2017 Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series.

Portraying Nasir “Naz” Khan in The Night Of, Ahmed plays a Pakistani college student who becomes caught up in a homicide investigation. His character also spends time in prison.

“I want to say it is always strange reaping the rewards of a story based on real-world suffering,” Ahmed said when accepting the honor. “But if this show has shown a light on some of the prejudice in our societies, xenophobia, some of the injustice in our justice system, then maybe that is something.”

Ahmed also thanked the South Asian Youth Action for “helping me prepare for this and The Innocence Project.”

“I don’t know if any one person’s win of an award or one person snagging one role or one person doing very well changes something that’s a systemic issue of inclusion,” Ahmed later said in a press statement. “I think that’s something that happens slowly over time.”

Prior to Ahmed winning his Emmy, only one other person of Asian descent had won an Emmy. Archie Panjabi won Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2010 for her portrayal of Kalinda Sharma on CBS’s The Good Wife.

The 34-year-old actor, also known as Riz MC has starred in an array of films. He was first known for his roles in independent films The Road to Guantanamo (2006), Shifty (2008), Four Lions (2010), Trishna (2011) and Ill Manors (2012). His breakthrough role was in Nightcrawler in 2014 alongside Jake Gyllenhaal. His recent film credits include Una, Jason Bourne and the first Star Wars Anthology film, Rogue One.

Known for politically-motivated rap lyrics, he also has fostered success as a musician. He has been active in charitable work, raising funds for Syrian refugee children. His film accolades and advocacy and charity work earned him a spot on the annual Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world in 2017.

Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe won the Emmy for ‘Outstanding writing for Comedy Series’ for the episode ‘Thanksgiving’ in the second season of Netflix’s ‘Master of None’. As the duo walked up to the stage to accept the Emmy, the crowd started to clap and slowly rose to a full blown standing ovation. Waithe gave the acceptance speech, thanking Aziz for “making me co-write” and thanked her “LGBTQIA family” adding “I see each and every one of you”

Ansari and Waithe beat Alec Berg of ‘Silicon Valley‘, Donald Glover & Stephen Glover of ‘Atlanta’ and Billy Kimball and David Mandell of ‘Veep’

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Grammy nominated Indian American singer Raja Kumari signs with Sony Music

NEW YORK (Diya TV) — Grammy nominated singer and songwriter Raja Kumari has inked a recording and exclusive representation management agreement with entertainment giant with Sony Music.

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Raja Kumari inks recording and exclusive representation agreement with Sony Music

NEW YORK (Diya TV) — Grammy nominated singer and songwriter Raja Kumari has inked a recording and exclusive representation management agreement with entertainment giant with Sony Music.

Known for being a talented lyricist, rapper and recording artist, her music combines classical Indian roots with hip hop and rap, creating a unique style of music. The 31-year-old has composed music for Iggy Azalea, Gwen Stefani and Fifth Harmony. She has also worked with Timbaland, AR Rahman, Tricky Stewart and Fall Out Boy.

“It is really exciting and inspiring to be in India right now. I have always wanted my music to be the bridge between the East and West. I want to push the south Asian profile forward worldwide and I think working with an amazing team of Sony Music will help me achieve this,” Kumari said in a statement from Sony Music. “I believe this is just the beginning of my journey in the motherland and I know that together we will create some amazing music for the people worldwide. I’m here to make history!”
!”

“Her global music sensibilities and song-writing will resonate equally with the Indian as well as the international audience,” said Rohan Jha, Pop Lead at Sony Music India. “We feel we have an exceptional artist on board, and we are sure she will enthrall music fans across the globe.”

Her first song, penned for Iggy Azalea, “Change your Life,” was nominated for a Grammy Award. She also wrote six songs for Gwen Stefani’s “This Is What the Truth Feels Like,” album, which debuted number one on the Billboard Top 200 chart in 2016.

Her debut single ‘Mute’ is fostering rave reviews. Sony is set to release her next single soon, under their renowned label.

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Three Indian-American Writers named among 2017 Henry Award Winners

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Three Indian-American authors have been selected to the 2017 class of Henry Award winners.

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — Indian-American authors Shruti Swami, Amit Majumdar and Jai Chakrabarti were named among the 2017 class of the Henry Awards, distributed annually to commemorate short stories of the highest merit.

First presented in 1918 and funded by the Society of Arts and Sciences, the PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories is an annual collection of the year’s twenty best stories published in U.S. and Canadian magazines.

Swami, who garnered the honor for the second time in as many years, was selected for her works on Night GardenThe San-Francisco resident was Vassar College’s 50th W.K Rose Fellow in 2012, and has been awarded residencies at the Millay Colony for the Arts, Blue Mountain Center, Hedgebrook, and Willapa Bay AiR. She is a Kundiman Fiction Fellow and a 2017-2018 Steinbeck Fellow at San Jose University.

Amit Majumdar, who is a nuclear biologist by trade, is also Ohio’s first poet laureate. He was selected for his short-story, Secret Lives of the Detainees, published by Kenyon Review. Majumdar grew up in Cleveland and currently works as a diagnostic radiologist specializing in nuclear medicine practicing full-time in Columbus, where he lives with his family.

Majumdar’s poems have appeared in The Antioch Review, Image, Poetry, Poetry Northwest, National Poetry Review, The New England Review, Smartish Pace, and The New Yorker.

Chakrabarti won the award for his work, A Small Sacrifice for an Enormous Happiness, published by A Public Space. He is a 2015 “A Public Space Emerging Writer’s Fellow” and a graduate of the Brooklyn College MFA program. His previous works have appeared or is forthcoming in Barrow Street, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Coffin Factory, Union Station, and A Public Space. Chakrabarti lives in Brooklyn with his family.

Tahmima Anam, a celebrated writer from Bangladesh who also won the 2008 Commonwealth Writers’ prize, was also named to the list of 2017 winners.

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