Indian-American journalist Brahm Kanchibotla has died of Covid-19 that is ravaging New York, the epicentre of the pandemic in the US.
The journalist died on Monday morning after nine days in a hospital, his son Sudama Kanchibotla said. Brahm Kanchibotla, 66, was a correspondent for United News of India.
During his 28-year career in the US, he had worked for 11 years as a content editor for Merger Markets, a financial publication, and also did a stint with News India-Times weekly newspaper.
He had emigrated to the US in 1992 after having worked for several publications in India.
Sudama said the family was not sure of the last rites for him because of the restrictions in New York. “We have not set a date and it will have to be a very small gathering because only 10 people are allowed at funerals,” he said.
Brahm Kanchibotla showed COVID-19 symptoms on March 23. When his condition worsened, he was admitted to a hospital on Long Island on March 28 and given an oxygen mask, Sudama said.
On March 31, he was put on ventilator and on Monday he had a cardiac arrest.
Besides Sudama, Brahm is survived by wife Anjana and daughter Siujana.
As of Monday night, 4,758 people have died of COVID-19 in New York City.
The US has recorded a total of 368,196 confirmed cases, while the death toll stood at 10,986. IANS
The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also condoled the death of senior Indian-American journalist in a tweet.
Deeply anguished by the passing away of Indian-American journalist Mr. Brahm Kanchibotla. He will be remembered for his fine work and efforts to bring India and USA closer. Condolences to his family and friends. Om Shanti. https://t.co/LXF8TOl4PZ
Four New York Area-based Indian Americans Die of COVID-19 – The Kerala American community offered tributes to Shawn Abraham, 21, who lived with his family in New York City until his death on April 5. The Federation of Kerala Associations in North America confirmed the deaths of three other Indian Americans who died of COVID-19 related illnesses in or near New York: Aleyamma Kuriakose, 65; Thankachan Enchenattu, 51; and Abraham Samuel, 45. The Consulate General of India in New York said that it is in touch with the families of the deceased, as reported by PTI.
21-year-old Indian-origin female student’s body was recently recovered from a lake on the campus of Notre Dame, a premier university in the US state of Indiana.
St. Joseph County Coroner Michael J. McGann made a positive identification at the scene, the university said. There were no apparent signs of trauma.
“We’re deeply saddened by the passing of Annrose,” said Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president of the University of Notre Dame. “We will keep her and her family and friends in our prayers.” At Notre Dame, she was a solo flutist for the university’s Folk Choir, which describes her as “irreplaceable.”
“Our hearts are broken with the news of the loss of Annrose Jerry. The Folk Choir lost an important and irreplaceable member of our family,” the group said in a Facebook post. “Annrose was a sweet, intelligent, strong, passionate, kind-hearted friend and she will be so dearly missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and loved ones.
Jerry’s obituary describes her as an accomplished musician, having been the pianist for the Blaine High School jazz band and flutist in the school band, in addition to playing the flute for the Minnesota State Band.
A few days ago, an Indian American politician Suhas Subramanyam, tweeted
I am honored to have been sworn in as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates on the Bhagavad Gita. Thank you to my wife, family, friends, and all my supporters for sharing this special day with us at the Virginia State Capitol. The work has just begun. pic.twitter.com/EJZYiCvGr5
I thought it was important to embrace it. I also want others running for office here or in other areas to not feel that they have to downplay or hide it. My constituency has Hindus and people are exposed to the faith, but it is also a diverse, smart and open-minded community. It is very inclusive, especially in recent years. While campaigning, too, I went to temples and did namaskar, but I also went to churches and mosques. Hinduism is accepting of all faiths as we believe it is one god with many names.
Subramanyam is married to Miranda Peña Subramanyam, who works for a government contractor and volunteers in her free time at the Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter. They were married in Sterling, Virginia, where they currently reside.
About Bhagavad Gita
The Bhagavad Gita (Sanskrit: भगवद् गीता, ) often referred to as the Gita, is a 700-verse Sanskrit scripture that is part of the Hindu epic Mahabharata. Popular media in India including bollywood films have long depicted court scenes where witnesses take an oath using Bhagavad Gita (link).
Subramanyam’s swearing in with a Bhagavad Gita follows a trend. With the increasing diversity in the West, many politicians of Indian descent are taking to the Gita during their swearing in:
At Sri Srinivasan’s formal swearing-in ceremony in September, administered by retired Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Srinivasan took the oath on the Hindu holy book Bhagavad Gita and became the first federal appellate judge of South Asian descent.
And the hawks are watching for those who aren’t following this new norm: UK MP under fire for not taking oath on Gita – A British Punjabi Hindu MP has come under fire for not taking an oath of allegiance to the Crown on the Bhagavat Gita.
NASA recently announced that Indian-American Raja Chari passed out from the 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class. NASA profile of Colonel Chari’s profile includes:
The Iowa native graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1999 with bachelor’s degrees in Astronautical Engineering and Engineering Science. He continued on to earn a master’s degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and graduated from the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School.
In June 2017, Chari was selected for NASA Astronaut Group 22, and reported for duty in August to begin two years of training as an astronaut.
Chari was born on June 24, 1977 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Sreenivas V Chari and Peggy Egbert. He was inspired to pursue higher education by his father Srinivas V. Chari, who migrated from Hyderabad to US at a young age to complete a degree in engineering. Chari was quoted in a recent interview:
“My father came to the country with the goal of getting an education and realizing the importance of that and that directly translated to how I was brought up,” adding, “There was a focus throughout my childhood on education and that being the thing, you really needed to do well to succeed”.
It was not a matter of checking boxes of qualifications but of being experts in one’s field, being “really passionate about” it, he added.
Chari is married to Holly Schaffter Chari, also a Cedar Falls native, and the couple has three children. His mother, Peggy Chari, lives in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Other Indian American astronauts
The two Indian-American astronauts before him are both women, Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams.
Space scientist Chawla, who was born in Karnal, Haryana, and immigrated to the US, was killed on her second space mission when Space Shuttle Columbia broke up in 2003. She had participated in another mission on the same shuttle in 1987.
Williams, a navy officer, has served as the commander of a International Space Shuttle expedition in 2012. She had been on three other missions, in one of them as flight engineer.
The recent Australian bushfires have devastated communities across the region, leaving people without homes and basic necessities.
Raj Gupta’s home went up in flames during recent NSW South Coast bushfires and his town of Malua Bay remains severely damaged, without power and mobile service. However, Gupta continues to run the small pharmacy there, dispensing medicines and essentials to those who need it.
As per some estimates, 70–80 percent of Motels across North America are owned or managed by Patels of Gujarati origin. When I lived in Colorado and North Carolina, I knew a few IT professionals of Gujarati origin who would continually muse and research ideas on getting into the business of running motels, franchises or gas station. Many eventually made the switch, thanks to the support from the strong network of community.
An interesting article in the New York Times from a decade ago chronicles the journey of Patels (re A Patel Motel Cartel?) “about 70 percent of all Indian motel owners — or a third of all motel owners in America — are called Patel, a surname that indicates they are members of a Gujarati Hindu subcaste.”
So, how do the Patels do this?
“Buying a motel, even one that’s in the red, usually requires a substantial down payment, one beyond the reach of most new immigrants. That, however, is one key to how this particular niche was captured. The down payment was seldom a problem for a prospective Indian purchaser, who was often able to turn to a network of relatives and friends to help him out. The story of Lata and P.J., for example, is not exactly the hardscrabble tale associated with some immigrant groups.”
Check out other articles in the media that chronicle the Patels in America
Indian-origin entrepreneur Tushar Atre who was abducted from his home in California’s Santa Cruz earlier this week has been found dead inside his BMW car, Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s office said
Atre, Santa Cruz tech executive was forced from his home in the middle of the night and then killed this week, leaving authorities with few clues but plenty of questions in the slaying.
The body of Tushar Atre, 50, was found Tuesday morning about seven hours after the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office was alerted that he had been taken from his home “during a crime.”
Law enforcement officials are still trying to piece together the events that led to Atre’s death, which they believe originated with a robbery attempt.
Atre was also in the cannabis business. The city of Santa Cruz confirmed he was “the owner of Interstitial Systems, which is a licensed cannabis manufacturer that operates out of a location on Fern street,” reported Kion456. Heavy has confirmed through state records that Atre was a licensed Cannabis distributor.
Atre was the owner of AtreNet, a web design company founded in 1996 that caters to Silicon Valley corporate businesses. According to AtreNet’s website, the company’s clients include technology, marketing and software companies such as Hewlett-Packard, BuzzLogic, Seagate and Tealeaf Technology.
On July 23, 2019, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) regulations to update the Immigrant Investor Program were published in the Federal Register. The new EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Modernization rules (New Rules) amend the historic Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations governing the employment-based, fifth preference (EB-5) immigrant investor classification and associated regional centers to reflect statutory changes and modernize the EB-5 program. The New Rules are creating quite a buzz in the EB-5 community with good reason. Of particular note, the New Rules modify the EB-5 program by:
Increasing the required minimum investment amounts;
Providing the long-awaited priority date retention to EB-5 investors in certain cases;
Amending targeted employment area (TEA) designation criteria;
Centralizing TEA determination;
Clarifying USCIS procedures for the removal of conditions on permanent residence fulfilment;
Providing for periodic minimum investment increases henceforth; and
Implementing a myriad other amendments.
The New Rules are effective 120 days from publication, which is November 21, 2019. The effective date of the New Rules presupposes that Congress will extend the EB-5 Program’s current sunset date of September 30, 2019. USCIS clarified that it will adjudicate investors, who file a Form I-526 petition before November 21, 2019, under the current EB-5 program rules. Now the race is on to initiate and complete investments by the effective date. (Source natlawreview.com)
What is the impact of EB5 rule change on Indians?
The Indian media picked up this story and began analysis of the impact on Indians. However, a fact are worth noting: Although the number of EB5 visas quadrupled from 100 to 500 (link), this is a reminisce number when one considers hundreds of thousands of Indians waiting for employment based (EB) and family (F) sponsored visas
The reason for so few EB5 visas issued to Indians is not hard to fathom. The number of Indians who have half or a million dollars to spare is minuscule. Those who have a million dollars (6 or 7 crore rupees) to ‘invest’ are probably the crème de la crème of Indian business, government and society. They are not likely to think of ‘investing’ a million dollars for an American Green Card when they can just as easily get long-term visa to other countries around the world.
The Indian and global media are running heartbreaking stories of the 7-year old girl of Punjabi origin who died while crossing into the US near a remote and deserted US-Mexico border area. According to the Beast
The US Border Patrol agents found the remains of what is believed to be a 7-year-old girl from India in the Arizona desert on Wednesday morning, according to a Customs and Border Protection statement. The girl was said to be traveling with a group of migrants who were dropped off by smugglers and told to cross into the U.S. in a “dangerous and austere location.”
Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents found two adult women from India believed to have been a part of that group, and they said they made the journey with three others – a woman and two children – but were separated from them. Hours later, the Pima County Sheriff’s Department and Border Patrol agents found the girl’s remains 17 miles west of Lukeville and discovered the footprints of the woman and the other child leading back to Mexico.
Temperatures in the rugged wilderness where agents found her remains on Wednesday hovered around 107.6 degrees (about 42 Celsius).
While CBP agents are reportedly searching the area for more potential group members, none have been located on either side of the southern border. The agency also said the high temperature in the area on Wednesday was about 108 degrees.
“Our sympathies are with this little girl and her family,” Tucson Chief Patrol Agent Roy Villareal wrote in the statement. “This is a senseless death driven by cartels who are profiting from putting lives at risk.”
While my heart goes out to the little girl who lost her life under unfortunate circumstances, I am left scratching my head about the parents decision:
What would make a mother with two little girls walk across inhospitable and dangerous desert thousands of miles from their homeland, with two little girls?
Is the American dream really worth risking one’s life?
It costs thousands of dollars to buy air tickets, get some visas, and to fly half-way across the globe and to hire ‘human smugglers.’ Couldn’t that amount – hundreds of thousands of rupees – be spent in living a decent life and educating the kids?
The US State Department will now require new visitors, visa applicants and prospective immigrants to the United States to hand over their social media account names as well as email addresses and phone numbers used over the past five years.
The Department also is revising the collection to add several additional questions for nonimmigrant visa applicants. One question lists multiple social media platforms and requires the applicant to provide any identifiers used by applicants for those platforms during the five years preceding the date of application. The platforms listed may be updated by the Department by adding or removing platforms.
According a State Department statement,
“We already request certain contact information, travel history, family member information, and previous addresses from all visa applicants, We are constantly working to find mechanisms to improve our screening processes to protect U.S. citizens, while supporting legitimate travel to the United States.”
In March 2017, President Trump asked the secretary of state, the attorney general, the secretary of homeland security and the director of national intelligence to put in effect “a uniform baseline for screening and vetting standards and procedures,” according to a memo published in the Federal Register. Requiring information about the social media accounts of visa applicants was part of that.
Unless you are exempt due to diplomatic or official reasons, you will need to supply five years’ worth of social media and email account history, as well as past international travel information.
The forms will list the most popular social networking platforms — likely including Facebook and Twitter, among others — and will also invite applicants to list any other platforms and accounts not included on the paperwork.