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Ravi Bhalla becomes the first turbaned Sikh American Mayor of Hoboken New Jersey

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Ravi Bhalla elected the new Mayor of Hoboken, N.J.

HOBOKEN, NJ (Diya TV) — Two term Hoboken City council member Ravi Bhalla became the first turbaned Sikh to be elected mayor of the city of Hoboken, New Jersey. Tuesday night, Bhalla was all smiles, thrusting his arm in the air to celebrate his victory becoming one of the first Sikh mayors of a U.S. city. Sikh-American lawyer with a record of fighting discrimination, Bhalla says, “I’m everything that Trump hates. A brown man wearing a turban, and a proud American with the know-how to stop his assaults on our country’s values.”

A victory that didn’t come easy. Bhalla ran against five other candidates in Hoboken, a city of 50,000. The Saturday before election, Bhalla tweeted that the fliers about terrorism were “troubling, but we won’t let hate win.” CBS News reported that the fliers did not name the group that paid for them, a violation of state election law.

The community celebrated in part disbelief and part joy.

Simran Jeet Singh, a friend and support of Bhalla and a fellow turbaned Sikh tweeted in disbelief

“Given how much we’ve endured in this country, and frankly the fact that we have been here for more than a century now in the U.S. and have felt largely ignored and neglected as a minority community, this is for us a signal shift, where we feel like we’re getting on the map. This is a major development for us,” Simran Jeet Singh, a religion fellow at the Sikh Coalition, said. “And it comes in a context where, like many minority groups, we’re facing xenophobia.”

Gurwin Ahuja, executive director of the National Sikh Campaign, said Bhalla is one of the first Sikh people to become mayor of a U.S. city. Satyendra Huja served as mayor of the city of Charlottesville, and some small towns have had Sikh mayors.

Ahuja said that whoever made the fliers implying that “turban” meant “terrorist” interpreted the turban completely wrong. “Sikhs are instructed to be actively involved in their communities…. In fact, the reason why Sikhs wear a turban is because it represents our value of equality and to stand up against injustice wherever we see it,” he said. “The turban represents our commitment to those values of equality — gender equality, racial equality and religious tolerance — and our duty to stand up for those rights. In India, back in the day, when people would see a Sikh, they knew that was someone they could go to for safety.”

Bhalla, finished first among six candidates in the winner take all race, with 4,781 votes with around 34% of votes. DeFusco totaled 4,116 votes, or approximately 29 percent, according to Hudson County Clerk election results, which do no include mail-in and provisional ballots.

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Democrat Doug Jones beats Republican Roy Moore for Alabama Senate seat

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — In one of the most intensely fought elections in 2017, Democrat Doug Jones, a former prosecutor has defeated the scandal-clad Republican Roy Moore. Moore who had the endorsement of President Trump, despite allegations of inappropriate sexual behaviour, was defeated on Tuesday in Alabama, a deeply conservative state that last elected a Democratic senator 25 years ago. The upset delivered a surprising victory for the Democrats shaving the Republican Senate majority down to a single seat.

Roy Moore, the Republican candidate who was abandoned by a majority of his own party leaders, lost to Democrat Doug Jones in a battle that wasn’t a battle until the allegations of sexual misconduct began surfacing, including by a woman who was under-age at the time she was allegedly assaulted. Former Presidential candidate Mitt Romney tweeted:


Moore was running to fill a seat left vacant by Jeff Sessions who is Trump’s attorney general and lost to Jones, a former US attorney who had prosecuted two members of the Ku Klux Klan for a 1963 bombing of a church in which four African Americans girls had been killed.
Just hours before the polls opened President Trump tweeted:

But despite the presidential endorsement, Moore was defeated by Jones becoming the first Democrat Alabama has sent to the US senate since 1992. His upset victory owes much to Moore’s flawed candidacy, but was pulled off by the Democratic party machine that poured money and resources sensing a chance, howsoever small at the time, of victory. Including a helping hand from Alabama-native and former NBA star Charles Barkley, who campaigned for Doug Jones. He told CNN “Roy Moore was an embarrassment. I am just so proud of my state. We’ve got some amazing people here and they rose up today”

President Trump congratulated Jones on his victory, over twitter:

After initially holding back his endorsement, Trump had come to fully embrace Moore, arguing that if the allegations were proven, the Republican candidate should step aside. But he needed every vote in the Senate to push through legislative agenda, which has had a patchy run thus far.

Trump broke with most members of his party, including the senior Republican senator from Alabama Richard Shelby who had announced they would not vote for Moore. Jeff Flake, a Republican senator from Arizona, public announced he had donated to Doug Jones’ campaign. Roy Moore hasn’t conceded to Jones and has asked for a recount stating, “It’s not over. I demand a recount. We need to wait for God.”

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Sikh American Gurbir Singh Grewal could become NJ’s first South Asian Attorney General

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Gurbir Singh Grewal being sworn in as Bergen County Prosecutor in January 2017

HACKENSACK, NJ (Diya TV) — Governor-elect Phil Murphy on Tuesday announced Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir S. Grewal as his nominee to serve as state attorney general, the Democrat’s first high-level nomination as he works to fill out an administration set to take office on Jan. 16.

The pick of Grewal, an Indian-American Sikh, could prove historic. If Grewal is confirmed by the state Senate, which seems all but certain, Murphy said he would become the first South Asian attorney general in New Jersey and the first Sikh to hold the position in any state.

“The American dream is alive and well in New Jersey,” Grewal said at a news conference in Trenton where Murphy made the announcement.

Grewal, a Glen Rock resident and former federal prosecutor, has led the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office since Republican Gov. Chris Christie tapped him for the role in January 2016. He served in an acting capacity until the Senate confirmed him to a five-year term in November 2016.

Grewal, a Democrat, has earned plaudits for his office’s work in combating the opioid crisis in Bergen County and promoting better relations between police and the people they serve.

The South Asian Bar Association of North America (SABA) congratulated Gurbir S. Grewal.
“The decision to appoint a visible minority as the chief law enforcement officer for New Jersey reflects the diversity of the state and of the US, and is especially important in a time where minorities and immigrants have often felt targeted by law enforcement,” said SABA President Rishi Bagga. “We applaud Governor-elect Murphy in picking a distinguished and qualified member of the South Asian and Sikh American legal community for this pivotal role. We strongly support Mr. Grewal’s nomination as Attorney General and look forward to working with him on issues of national importance.”

Mr. Grewal has spent most of his legal career in public service, where he is currently the Bergen County prosecutor. Working for most populous county in New Jersey, Grewal serves a community of almost one million with his staff of 265.

Among other initiatives, Grewal has put in place a strategy of persuading recently arrested or hospitalized addicts to immediately talk to addiction recovery specialists. That has led to nearly three-quarters of those addicts agreeing to enter treatment at some point.

Attorney general is one of the most powerful positions in New Jersey government, serving as the state’s top cop and top lawyer. The person in that role leads the 7,200-employee Department of Law and Public Safety, which includes the State Police, civil rights enforcement, consumer affairs and civil litigation.

Grewal’s confirmation would be the second notable accomplishment for New Jersey Sikhs in recent months. Earlier this year, Ravi Bhalla was elected mayor of Hoboken and will become the first Sikh to hold that office in New Jersey.

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Miss India Manushi Chillar brings home the Miss World crown after 17 years

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NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — Manushi Chhillar, a medicine student from Haryana, India won the crown for Miss World 2017, topping her competition to take home the coveted title.

20-year-old Chhillar, stunned by her own victory,tweeted:


It’s been 17 years since the country has won the title, according to the Miss India twitter account, and the sixth time an Indian woman has been crowned the winner. The last winner was none other than Bollywood actress turned American Network TV Star, Priyanka Chopra who tweeted:


Manushi couldn’t believe her win (Image: AFP)

Contestants from all over the world took part in the 67th Miss World beauty pageant, which was held in China.
Miss Mexico, Andrea Meza came in 2nd & Miss England, Stephanie Hill came in 3rd.

Miss India Manushi Chhilar (C) smiles as she wins the 67th Miss World contest final next to second place, Miss Mexico Alma Andrea Meza Carmona (L), and 3rd place, Miss England Stephanie Jayne Hill (Image: AFP)

Miss India Manushi Chhilar (C) smiles as she wins the 67th Miss World contest final next to second place, Miss Mexico Alma Andrea Meza Carmona (L), and 3rd place, Miss England Stephanie Jayne Hill (Image: AFP)

Congratulatory tweets soon followed:

Manushi beat her competition from 108 women representing their countries. Former Miss World Stephanie Del Valle, from Puerto Rico crowned, Manushi as per tradition.

ormer Miss World 2016 Stephanie Del Valle crowns Miss India Manushi Chillar as the new Miss World (Image: AFP)

ormer Miss World 2016 Stephanie Del Valle crowns Miss India Manushi Chillar as the new Miss World (Image: AFP)


The 20-year-old, whose parents are both doctors, said in an interview that mothers around the world deserve the highest salary of every profession. She added, “My mother has been my biggest inspiration, so I have to say, a mother’s job. It is not always about cash, but love and respect as well. A mother deserves that the most.”

Before her win, she said: “”The only thing I believe is certain in life is uncertainty, and this is what is amazing about the pageant.”

Manushi takes the coveted blue crown (Image: AFP)

Manushi takes the coveted blue crown (Image: AFP)

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