The Me Too movement (#MeToo ) in India has grown out of the international social-media campaign against sexual harassment of women in workplace. In the past few weeks, a slew of actors, ministers, government officials and other influential super-stars have been at the receiving end of accusations of sexual harassment.
The Indian #MeToo movement has brought the topic of sex into the foreground. And it is perhaps a sign of our times that modern India has accepted an icon of sex, the former porn-star as a Bollywood icon. Karenjit Kaur Vohra, the Canadian-born Indian-American actress and model better known by her stage name Sunny Leone is active in Indian film industry.
Sunny has played roles in independent mainstream events, films and television shows. Her first mainstream appearance was in 2005, when she worked as a red carpet reporter for the MTV Video Music Awards on MTV India. In 2011, she participated in the Indian reality television series Bigg Boss. She also has hosted the Indian reality show Splitsvilla.
Ms Leone’s transformation from porn-star to mainstream Bollywood has not been universally accepted in India, where modern continues to co-exist with traditional and parochial value systems. News accounts last week described possible threats to a recent concert in the tech-city of Bengaluru where Ms Leone was staring. According to Times of India
“The pro-Kannada outfit had threatened to disrupt the event. Around 200 policemen in civil dress were deployed at the venue. The KRVYS, an offshoot of pro-Kannada organisation Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, has been opposing the event for two reasons: first, the event would spoil the culture of Bengaluru and second, Sunny Leone was playing the lead role in a multi-lingual movie Veera Mahadevi, a period drama portraying a warrior.”
Even with a few threats and protests, her concerts and public appearances seem to have a strong fan following. After a recent appearance in Bengaluru, media accounts quoted several women techies
Speaking to Deccan Herald, Chitra P, a business analyst with a leading MNC, was quoted saying: “Sunny is fabulous. She is a powerful women’s voice we have today.”
Preethi, a content writer and a fan of Sunny’s dance skills said: “The protests were uncalled for and it was not in the right taste. People must get past her previous career and see her as an artiste.”
Her fan following has also led to several endorsement deals for products ranging from condoms to Desi Ghee (link). It is a sign of our times that a generation of Indians have embraced Ms Leone’s unlikely transformation into Bollywood.
GaramChai.com prides in having the most extensive listing on Indian Newspapers and periodicals published in North America – US and Canada. Like with other businesses, even publications change hands, transform, relocate or move.
Our team tries to keep updated on such changes and we make the updates in our database. For example, just today, Chhaya from the popular magazine, CityMasala informed us of the change to their contact number.
The details of CityMasala have been updated online, along with a few other changes to our databae.
The Bounce! is a human-interest story that chronicles the life and adventures of a computer programmer, Raj, as he migrates across four countries spanning three continents. The first half of this engaging story is about Raj’s experience seeking love by moving back from America to India, eventually migrating to Canada with his new bride. During their journey, the couple experiences a tragic loss onboard an international flight.
The second half of the book chronicles the protagonist and his wife bouncing back. It is a story of love, loss and the life of an Indian American who happens to be an accidental beneficiary of globalization and offshoring.
The author’s delicate narrative is, in essence a tragedy to triumph story that should appeal to everyone seeking their inner-hero.
The Bounce! gives an insight into the world of our educated, but globally transient workforce: how immigrants fit into American culture and communities, build their own away-from-home communities, and how they struggle with the age-old immigrant’s dilemma: balancing the adopted worlds’ needs against traditional values and cultures.
It is hard to find words to describe a story like the one that is shared in this book. Based on a true story and written in the first person, it is easy to feel deeply what the protagonist feels as he journeys (literally) through life. As one reads it is easy to feel the young Raj’s initial lightness as he works towards acquiring a green card and pursuing a successful career in the IT world while looking for love. His reserved joy at receiving his green card and the contrast made to the Indian youngsters seen in Bollywood movies, where dancing and singing are commonly observed, had me smiling as I read.
Raj’s initial humor and joy/hope for the future is heavily contrasted with the unthinkable tragedy he later experiences, yet themes of hope are strong throughout the book. The theme, “live in the present,” is subtly woven throughout Raj’s road to healing and hope after heartache. The reader is allowed to experience the whole spectrum of human emotion — humor, joy, love, hope, sorrow, shock, anger and ultimately revelation. These emotions are interwoven with fascinating revelations about various parts of the world, such as Switzerland, Canada, India, and parts of the United States.
This book is perfect for anyone who has experienced love, loss or both. It is especially powerful for those who may have lost a loved one well before it was thought possible. The ending is a poignant testimony to the God-given ability to not only survive a terrible loss, but to thrive as well. This short story was simply put – beautiful. I absolutely loved it and would not wish for any portion to be omitted. I would have loved a few more minutes with Ajay at the end, though!
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Society for Science & the Public Jan. 23 named 40 finalists in the Regeneron Science Talent Search, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors, with nearly one-third of the field Indian American students.
The competition, in its 77th year, is designed to engage and inspire the next generation of scientific leaders, a joint Regeneron, Society for Science news release said.
Alumni have gone on to win the Nobel Prize, found top science-based companies and invent groundbreaking new medical treatments, it added.
The finalists were selected from a pool of highly qualified entrants based on their projects’ scientific rigor and their potential to become world-changing scientific leaders.
“The Regeneron Science Talent Search finalists are tomorrow’s scientific leaders, and their projects address some of the most urgent challenges we face as a society. Our world has no greater or more important resource than these bright young minds,” said Dr. George D. Yancopoulos, president and chief scientific officer of Regeneron and Science Talent Search winner in 1976.
“I have deep respect and appreciation for each student who conducted extensive scientific research and completed a Regeneron Science Talent Search application. I look forward to what the finalists will achieve, as they add to the list of world-changing accomplishments by Science Talent Search alumni before them,” he said.
Among the finalists are Sidhika Balachandar, of Buchholz High School in Gainesville, Fla., for her project, “Picoscale Mechanics of Atomically Engineered Materials.”
Kavya Kopparapu, of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Va., was selected for the project, “GlioVision: A Platform for the Automatic Assessment of Glioblastoma Tumor Features, Molecular Identity, and Gene Methylation from Histopathological Images Using Deep Learning.”
San Jose, Calif.-based Lynbrook High School’s Rohan Mehrotra was chosen for his project, “On-Demand Electrically Controlled Drug Release from Resorbable Nanocomposite Films.”
For his project, “SNPpet: Computational Dissection of the Noncoding Genome Reveals Regulatory Sequence Patterns and Disease-Causing Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms,” Rajiv Movva of The Harker School in San Jose, Calif., was named a finalist.
Chythanya Murali, a student at Centennial High School in Ellicott City, Md., was named a finalist for the project, “CAR-NK-Cell Therapy: Raising the Tail of the Survival Curve.”
For her project “Evaluation of Gender Bias in Social Media Using Artificial Intelligence,” Nitya Parthasarathy of Irvine, Calif.-based Northwood High School was named among the 40 finalists.
Mihir Patel was named a finalist as well. The Alexandria, Va.-based Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology student was chosen for the project, “Automating Limb Volume Measurements of Lymphedema Patients Through Computer Vision.”
Advait Patil of Lynbrook High School in San Jose, Calif., was also named among the 13 Indian American finalists for the project, “A High-Throughput Multi-Omics Framework for Global Identification of Novel Molecular Interactions and Genome-Scale Modeling of Multicellular Ecosystems.”
Abilash Prabhakaran of Cherry Creek High School in Greenwood Village, Colo., was named a finalist for the project, “Selective Transfection Using DiBAC4(3).”
For the project, “Investigating the Developmental Requirements of Sex Chromosome Genes Affected in Turner Syndrome,” Isani Singh, also of Cherry Creek High in Colorado, was named a finalist.
For her project “Reinventing Cardiovascular Disease Therapy: A Novel Dual Therapeutic with FOXO Transcription Factor and AMP Kinase,” Marissa Sumathipala of Broad Run High School in Ashburn, Va., was named a finalist.
Vinjai Vale of Exeter, N.H.-based Phillips Exeter Academy was among the finalists for the project, “A New Paradigm for Computer Vision Based on Compositional Representation.”
And Teja Veeramacheneni of Archbishop Mitty High in San Jose, Calif., was named a finalist for the project, “A Novel 3D Wavelet-Based Co-Registration Algorithm with Improved Accuracy for Fusion of PET and MRI Brain Scans.
“This year’s Regeneron Science Talent Search finalists are some of the best and brightest young scientists and mathematicians in our country,” said Maya Ajmera, president and CEO of Society for Science & the Public and publisher of Science News.
“Their projects demonstrate the remarkable power of scientific curiosity, commitment and the desire to make the world a better place,” she said. “We are eager to see how they shape the future of STEM in our country and impact people all across the globe.”
The finalists will travel to Washington, D.C., from March 8 to 14, where they will undergo a rigorous judging process and compete for more than $1.8 million in awards.
They will also have the opportunity to interact with leading scientists, meet with members of Congress and display their projects to the public at the National Museum of Women in the Arts on March 11, the news release said.
The finalists are each awarded at least $25,000, and the top 10 awards range from $40,000 to $250,000. The top 10 Regeneron Science Talent Search 2018 winners will be announced at a black-tie gala awards ceremony at the National Building Museum next month.
A total of 300 students were chosen as semifinalists Jan. 9, with at least 70 Indian American and South Asian American students selected. The competition began with a field of roughly 1,800 entrants.
Regeneron is only the third sponsor of the Science Talent Search, with a 10-year, $100 million commitment. Regeneron believes that scientists should be the world’s heroes and are committed to fostering the next generation of scientific talent through STEM education efforts, the news release said.
The competition overall awards $3.1 million to provide the opportunities and resources that students need to become the next generation of inventors, entrepreneurs and STEM leaders.
As per media accounts, at least 14 Indian Americans — including four incumbents — are running for the US House of Representatives this year. The list of Indian Americans who have announced their candidacy from various congressional districts across the country include:
Candidate: Aruna Miller District: Maryland’s 6th congressional district Party: Democrat
In May 2017, Maryland State Delegate Aruna Miller became one of the first Indian Americans to jump into fraywhen she filed a “Statement of Candidacy” form with the Federal Election Commission to run for Congress from Maryland’s 6th congressional district. The incumbent John Delaney has announced that he’s not seeking reelection.
Miller, who is a civil engineer by profession, came to the United States at age 7. She first got elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in November 2010. She is a member of the Ways & Means Committee and its subcommittees on revenue, transportation, and education. She is the second Indian American delegate from Maryland to run for Congress in two years. Fellow Democrat Kumar Barve ran unsuccessfully from the neighboring 8th district in 2016. Miller and her husband, David Miller, live in Darnestown, MD, just outside of Washington, DC.
Miller has said her focus areas will be jobs, economy, and infrastructure.
Candidate: Dr. Hiral Tipirneni District: Arizona’s 2nd congressional district Party: Democrat
Dr. Tipirneni, an emergency room physician, first announced her candidacy from Arizona’s 8th districton July 19, 2017. A special election was announced for the seat after the incumbent Rep. Trent Franks resigned on December 8, following a House ethics panel decision to investigate him over sexual harassment charges.
The primary is scheduled for February 27 and the general election for April 24.
Tipirneni’s family immigrated from India when she was three. She grew up in suburban Cleveland and obtained a medical degree from Northeast Ohio Medical University. After serving as Chief Resident of the University of Michigan’s Emergency Medicine program, she and husband, Kishore, whom she met at the medical school, moved to the Phoenix, AZ, area. The couple has three children.
Candidate: Anita Malik District: Arizona’s 6th congressional district Party: Democrat
Businesswoman Anita Malik is running for the US Congress in the 6th congressional district of Arizona. The daughter of immigrants from India, Malik is running for the seat held by three-term Republican, David Schweikert.
Malik believes in fair tax reform that benefits both individuals and small businesses. She is assuring quality, low-cost health coverage for everyone and support to immigrants by policies that unite families and bring diverse talent. Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Malik was 7 when her family moved to Arizona where her father worked as a mechanical and computer engineer.
She went on to graduate summa cum laude with degrees in both computer information systems and finance from Arizona State University. She later earned her master’s degree in journalism from the University of Southern California in 2002.
Candidate: Jitendra Diganvker District: Illinois’ 8th district Party: Republican
Jitendra Diganvker announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for Illinois’s 8th congressional district race in November.
If nominated by the Republican party, Diganvker will be facing another Indian American and Democratic incumbent Raja Krishnamoorthi, and it will be the first time two Indian Americans will be facing each other in the congressional general election.
Diganvkar is campaigning on the issues of security, affordability, fairness, and entrepreneurship.
Born in India, Diganvker’s father was a government officer and his mother a teacher. According to his website, he graduated from Shah N. H. Commerce College, in Valsad, Gujarat, with a degree in Business Management and Advanced Accounting.
In 1995, Diganvker immigrated to the United States to pursue his American dream. He got a job working at a small retail store in Chicago, then worked as a ticket auditor for United Airlines. He became an American citizen on February 4, 2003, and after years of hard work and saving money he launched his first business, of renting cars, which he ran for years.
After closing down his car rental business, Diganvker launched his credit card processing firm based in Schaumburg.
Candidate: Vandana Jhingan District: Illinois’ 8th district Party: Republican
Another Indian American running for the Republican Party nomination from Illinois’ 8th district is Vandana Jhingan, a journalist by profession. She is backed by the Republican Hindu Coalition.
Jhingan, a Chicago-based journalist, is the Midwest Bureau Chief of the Indian American cable network TV Asia. Like Krishnamoorthi, she also lives in Schaumburg, Illinois.
Jhingan, who is from New Delhi, came to the United States after graduating in Business Administration from the Faculty of Management Studies in Delhi. She also studied philosophy at University of Delhi.
Candidate: Sapan Shah District: Illinois’ 10th district Party: Republican
A physician by profession, Shah is running from Illinois’ 10th congressional district seat as a Republican.
The 37-year-old candidate from Libertyville mainly plans to focus on the areas including healthcare crisis, taxes and spending; and championing the role of citizen legislators as intended by the nation’s founders.
The seat is currently held by the three-term incumbent Democrat Brad Schneider.
The Republican primary is scheduled for March 20. Shah is competing against two other Republicans, Jeremy Wynes and Doug Bennett, who have already announced their candidacy earlier.
Shah is the founder of Flagship Healthcare, a Chicago firm that supports some 800 physicians and several hospitals across the country.
Candidate: Harry Arora District: Connecticut’s 4th congressional district Party: Republican
Businessman Harry Arora is running for Congress from Connecticut’s 4th congressional district.
Arora, who is seeking the Republican nomination, filed his paperwork with the state to register as a candidate in December. His focus would be on reviving the economy of Connecticut, lowering the cost of healthcare and improving government.
Born in India, Arora came to the United States as a graduate student. After his graduation, he worked for large corporations for a decade.
After working with Amaranth Advisors, LLC, a Greenwich-based hedge fund that collapsed in 2006, Arora started his own investment management firm, ARCIM Advisors, LLC. In 2012, he co-founded Northlander Advisors, an investment firm with a focus on European energy.
Candidate: Abhijit ‘Beej’ Das Party: Democrat District: Massachusetts 3rd congressional District
Abhijit Das, “a constitutional lawyer by training, but an entrepreneur at heart,” as he calls himself, is the first Indian American congressional candidate to run from Massachusetts. He is one of the 13 candidates who have so far entered the race to succeed the retiring Democrat Niki Tsongas, the wife of former presidential candidate and Massachusetts Sen. Paul Tsongas.
Son of immigrants from India, Das — popularly known as “Beej” — grew up in Lowell, MA. After earning his bachelor’s in political science from Middlebury College in Vermont and a JD from the University of Michigan Law School, he worked as a lawyer for a few years. He went on to work for Hilton Worldwide, where he was responsible for the development of its brands on the Indian subcontinent. Das left Hilton to launch his own hospitality business, Troca Hotels & Yachts.
Das says he is running for congress because politicians in “Washington have become overgrown unruly children who can neither get along nor get out of each other’s way.” He says on his website, “We all want an American government as worthy as its people. ”
The primary in the state is on September 4.
Candidate: Sri Preston Kulkarni Party: Democrat District: Texas 22nd congressional district
Sri Preston Kulkarni, who worked as aide to Senator Kirsten Gillibrand on the Senate Armed Services Committee, is running from Texas’ 22nd congressional district, which has the largest Indian American population in the state.
The former Foreign Service Officer has spent time in Iraq, Israel, Russia, Taiwan and Jamaica during his 14-year career with the Department of State.
The Democrat says he is running because “hostility and conflict are being inflamed in our own country, through the politics of anger and demagoguery, demonization of specific ethnic and religious groups, threats to rule of law, degradation of women, and an undermining of democratic institutions like a free press.”
The Texas 22nd district, which is in the Greater Houston area, is currently represented by Republican Pete Olson. It has a highly diverse population with 25 percent Hispanics and 18 percent Asians. Having served the country as diplomat, he says he knows how to “push back the tide of fear” and offer “a positive vision for the future that all groups can believe in.”
Candidate: Chintan Desai Party: Democrat District: Arkansas 1st congressional district
Chintan Desai moved to Helena, Arkansas, from California in 2010 to teach fifth graders as part of Teach for America. Seven years later, he’s preparing to take on the three-term incumbent Republican Rick Crawford.
Desai grew up in San Luis Obispo, California, and earned his undergrad degree in political science from the University of California, Davis. “My unlikely story began when my parents moved to this country with little money and even fewer friends,” he says on website. “They lived the American Dream working hard every waking moment to provide their only child a bright future. I had opportunities beyond my wildest dreams — going to college to earn a degree and launching a career in education.”
Desai is running on a progressive platform. Among issues that he’s advocating are making higher education more affordable, closing the income and wealth inequality, sensible gun-control legislation and slowing climate change.
Once a Democratic stronghold, the district is reliably Republican now.
A 34-year-old man of Indian-origin Prabhu Ramamoorthy was arrested by federal authorities in Michigan after a woman co-passenger complained of being sexually assaulted by him after falling asleep on the flight.
Prabhu allegedly groped the 22-year-old seated next to him on a Spirit Airlines flight from Las Vegas which landed in Detroit early on January 3, the Washington Post reported.
The man, Prabhu Ramamoorthy, who prosecutors said is an Indian national living in the United States on a temporary visa, was charged with aggravated sexual abuse and held without bail after an appearance in federal court in Michigan on Thursday.
The victim told investigators that she woke up to find her pants and shirt unbuttoned and the man’s hand inside her pants.
Federal prosecutor Amanda Jawad said that Ramamoorthy sat between his wife and the victim. He stopped after the victim woke up, and the woman went to the back of the plane to report the incident to a flight attendant, the criminal complaint said.
Two flight attendants told federal investigators that the victim was crying and that her shirt was untied and that her pants were unbuttoned when she reported the incident at about 5:30 a.m., 40 minutes before the plane’s landing, Jawad said. The attendants kept the woman in the back of the plane and offered her a different seat, and while they were talking to the victim, Ramamoorthy’s wife came to the back to see what was going on, Jawad said.
Ramamoorthy was arrested after the plane landed, according to court documents. He told agents in a written statement that he had taken a pill and fallen into a deep sleep, Jawad said, and that he hadn’t done anything besides learning from his wife that the 22-year-old woman was sleeping on his knees.
Magistrate Judge Steven Whalen, who said it was a “very unusual case,” ordered Ramamoorthy to be held pending trial after Jawad successfully argued that he was a flight risk and a potential danger to others around him. The prosecutor said that Ramamoorthy’s wife, who was also living in the United States on a temporary visa, would not make a suitable custodian for him.
Prosecutors said Ramamoorthy, who hails from Tamil Nadu was living in the United States on a temporary visa. He was charged with aggravated sexual abuse and held without bail after an appearance in federal court in Michigan on Thursday.
In another unrelated news, Times of India reported that an Indian doctor has been sentenced to 10 months behind bars in the US for groping two teenage female patients and faces deportation to India after the completion of his jail term.
Arun Aggarwal, 40, was sentenced on Thursday after pleading guilty to four counts of gross sexual imposition.
Police have found a body in the search for a three-year-old girl who went missing after her father reportedly sent her out of the house at 3am as a punishment.
Sherin Mathews has been missing since October 7 after being left in an alley by her home in Dallas, Texas, for refusing to finish her milk.
Police said the remains of a child had been found yesterday in a tunnel around half a mile from the family’s home. Officers said the body was “most likely” that of the missing toddler and efforts to officially identify it are underway today.
Wesley Mathews a native of Kerala in India and his wife Sini adopted the toddler’s from India. She was reportedly malnourished when the Mathews adopted her and police suspect that the little girl also had disabilities, which made it difficult for her to communicate. The three-year-old was last seen when her father reportedly took her outside at 3 AM and made her stand near a tree behind the family’s house as a type of punishment for not drinking milk.
Sherin Mathews saga does not end here, but rather raises more questions:
About parenting: The area behind the house is wooded and infested with wild coyotes. What would possess a parent to leave a three-year-old near the house at 3 AM “as a type of punishment for not drinking milk” ?
About adoption: Adopting a child is hard enough (link). Will stories like this make it harder for innocent parents to adopt children from abroad?
About Indian-Americans: Incidents like these throw a spotlight on the South-Asian, Indian-American and NRI community. Not all the media attention will be positive.