Chicago: A day before the United States commemorates the 9/11 terrorist attacks, an elderly American Sikh was hospitalised after an assailant attacked him in Chicago, dubbing him a “terrorist”.
The racially-motivated attack occurred when Inderjit Singh Mukker was on his way to a grocery store on Tuesday night, as quoted in the Sikh Coalition.
As reported, “An unknown man passing by in his car allegedly started abusing Mukker by calling him “Terrorist!” and “Bin Laden!” and yelled “Go back to your country!”.
After continuous tailgating, Mukker decided to pull over the car. The assailant also stopped his vehicle, charged towards Mukker and threw several punches at him.
Fifty-three-year-old Mukker was left unconscious and was later taken to a hospital. He was treated for a fractured cheekbone, bruising and blood loss. He got six stitches for the lacerations on his face. Police said the alleged assailant has been arrested.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Mukker told, “No American should be afraid to practice their faith in our country.”
He added, “I am thankful for the swift response of authorities to apprehend the individual, but without this being fully investigated as a hate crime, we risk ignoring the horrific pattern of intolerance, abuse and violence that Sikhs and other minority communities in this country continue to face.”
In a similar incident of racial discrimination in the US, Sandeep Singh, a Sikh father in New York City, was run over and dragged 30 feet after being called a “terrorist” in August 2015. In 2012 also, a gunman with stormed into a Gurudwara and killed six Sikhs in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.
In the colder Midwestern state of Minnesota in the USA, The St. Paul City Council’s Resolution 20-712 has deeply troubled the Hindu community the region, needlessly bringing divisive international politics and creating Hindu phobia amongst the masses. Amidst the deadly coronavirus pandemic when people are losing lives, left right and centre the St. Paul City Council has chosen to table Resolution 20-712 which has left the Hindus of the area dumbstruck. The resolutin is to be taken up on May 20.
The way this resolution has been secretly introduced makes it problematic for the community. There are around 50,000 people of Indian origin in the Twin Cities and this resolution 20-172 creates an unnecessarily hostile environment for them. According to Vishal Agarwal, member of the Advisory Board of the Hindu American Foundation and Trustee Executive Council of the Hindu Society of Minnesota the Hindus are now forced to dispel the many untruths and stereotypes the St. Paul City Council has perpetuated. In these times of trouble, they have another pressure on themselves as respectable citizens of the area.
In an Open Letter to St. Paul City Council signed by 27 of the Twin Cities’ prominent Indian and Hindu community leaders, they have asked the government to Stop Tearing Apart the Hindu Community with RES 20–712. The letter written by Vishal S. Aggarwal given on Medium is as follows:
“Dear City Council Members of St. Paul, MN
We are a group of long-term residents of the Twin Cities and are prominent members of the Indian and Hindu American Communities of Minnesota. We are writing to you to express our collective dismay at RES 20–712 proposed by the St. Paul City Council for a vote on May 20, 2020.
It is our considered opinion that the tone and the content of this Resolution promotes misunderstanding and marginalization of our community, puts us in the way of harm, and distracts from our city’s collective fight against the ongoing Pandemic.
This past April, city council members introduced RES 20–621 that rightly condemned acts of racism directed against our fellow Americans — immigrants from the Asian and Pacific Islander communities residing in our state, who were being blamed unfairly for the Covid-19 Pandemic. The current RES 20–712 is opposite in its essential nature and impact. It injects divisive overseas politics into Minnesota and thereby endangers the safety and well-being of people of Indian origin in the Twin Cities by creating a hostile environment for us and creating fault lines within the community. We know that the City Council strives for peace and friendship in our community. This resolution achieves the opposite.
We urge you to withdraw RES 20–712 or vote against its passage for the following main reasons: It mis-states facts that are easily verifiable. Inaccurate declarations are made worse with incendiary language. It divides our local communities along religious and political lines at a time when we need to fight the Covid-19 Pandemic unitedly. The Resolution unnecessarily injects divisive overseas politics into local concerns. It endangers Indian Americans residing in Minnesota by falsely implying that their homeland is becoming some version of the Third Reich. Most Indian Americans here are first generation immigrants with strong family ties in India. The resolution makes them appear as racists and religious bigots. It also affects their relationship with family members back in India. It diminishes the valuable contributions of the Indian American community to Minnesota and undermines the healthy relationship between the two largest democracies in the world. Below we provide a Fact Check as ‘Clarifications’ for the various erroneous assertions made in RES 20–712 so that you get a correct and informed perspective.
There are 50,000 people of Indian origin in the Twin Cities. They are outstanding members of the community, contributing to a variety of notable sectors, including but not limited to healthcare, bio-technology and engineering, entrepreneurship, education, tourism and food service, retail etc. Numerous Indian, Hindu, Muslim, Christian and Sikh community organizations in Minnesota are volunteering tirelessly to serve other Minnesotans during the ongoing Pandemic. We wish to emphasize that when a city council paints an entire country in broad and factually dubious strokes, it reflects negatively on all people of Indian origin, and especially on Hindus Americans who reside in Minnesota as fellow Americans. It also promotes Hinduphobia.
Indian businesses have made a significant investment in the Twin Cities and are creating jobs for Minnesotans. According to a study by the Confederation of Indian Industry, Minnesota has attracted more than $1.8 billion and created 2,500 jobs as a direct result of investment from India-based companies, ranking Minnesota third among American states in Indian investment dollars. Several Indian companies are doing business in Minnesota: TATA Consultancy Services, Infosys, Wipro, and ITC Infotech are in the IT and telecom industry; Essar in the materials and manufacturing sector. Twin Cities based businesses also have significant and mutually beneficial investments in India. For example, Cargill began a five-year investment plan of $240M in 2017 intended to improve food safety and economic development and benefit the food processing and agriculture industries. 3M is heavily invested in India for over 30 years now. Target Corporation and Medtronic Ltd (with its major operations run from Fridley, MN) are other examples of companies with a broad footprint in India.
This resolution diminishes and disregards the deep economic relationship between Minnesota and India and demeans the worth of Indian Americans in our state as fellow Americans. The two organizations who have drafted this resolution do not fully represent their own communities, let alone South Asians or even Indian Americans as a whole. In the coming years, the governments of the United States of America and India are expected to coordinate closely to fight this Pandemic. It is pertinent to note here that the largest vaccine producing company in India is owned by an Indian minority citizen. Below is a list of individuals who endorse the contents of this letter (along with the Appendix). Their affiliations, while not reflective of institutional endorsements, give you an indication of their stellar community service to the several prominent institutions that they have founded and nurtured in our esteemed state. You have heard from some of our community organizations. Through this letter, our intent is to convey how RES 20–712 has deeply troubled us as individual Americans. The country of our origin has been tarred with crude and broad strokes without even a basic fact check, thereby making us feel otherized and unwelcome in a state that we have called home and contributed to for decades. Sincerely, 27 Prominent Indian American Citizens of Minnesota.”
The letter clearly states their plight and expresses how their status is being tarred without a thorough fact-check. They have clearly conveyed how their sentiments are deeply hurt and they feel targeted and troubled by RES 20–712. It further claims that the resolution divides the local communities along religious and political lines at a time when the fight against COVID-19 to be fought unitedly should have been the government’s main target.
The series is produced and directed by Munish Raizada.
‘Transparency: Pardarshita’ is a 6 episode Hindi language documentary series, states Dr. Raizada from Chicago. The series documents the sentiments of the India Against Corruption Movement (Anna Andolan) and explores the trajectory of the movement along with the backstage scenarios that led to subsequent political developments. The political developments finally gave birth to a new political party, the Aam Aadmi Party.
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Raizada further stated that the web series, Transparency; Pardarshita gives an in-depth analysis of the functioning of Aam Aadmi Party, whose genesis lies in the famous anti-corruption movement. The analysis is based on the narratives of various members of the political party, along with political analysts and journalists that followed the developments closely.
In the 6 episodes, the story revolves around chase for political funds (Chanda). The web series is not only a commentary on the genesis of India Against Corruption movement and subsequent political developments, it is also a fascinating tale of hype and hoopla, goals and misses, power struggle and drama- all intertwined in the chase for Chanda! All in 5 1/2 hours of engaging content!
Alternative politics was the reason, because of which the AAP was formed. The plot of the story thus, revolves around tracing those promises of clean politics and transparent political funding.
Raizada further enumerated the three founding principles of AAP, viz. financial transparency, internal vigilance and decentralisation of power and told that the series will remove each and every layer that led to the dismantling of all the three principles of AAP by the power centres of AAP.
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Transparency web series also has three melodious songs weaved into the narrative. Introducing songs in a documentary series is a one of its kind experiment in India.
Dr Raizada is a Chicago-Based medical specialist (neonatologist) who was an active participant in the India Against Corruption Movement at forefront as well as a core member of Aam Aadmi Party. He is himself the anchor of the documentary series. Through this documentary series, he has tried to show the actuality and ascertain the issue of political funding which led to the carnage of the trust of thousands of people and core volunteers of the party like him who dreamt of a Corruption-Free India.
Two days. 18 teams. 25 games. One winner. Thats cricket in Chicago for you. Baseball.
Played in the sprawling University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and Michelle Obama Athletic Complex, in the west loop neighbourhood of Chicago, the Super 8 Cricket Tournament is becoming a huge hit among the cricket crazy fans in Chicago and neighbouring cities like Ohio.
When four IT guys, originally from India (Harry, Shreenidhi, Vivek, Harsha), decided to start a cricket club in Chicago, little did they know, that what was started as a one time game, would take shape of a tournament, being played every year.
Since its inception in 2017, the number of participating teams in the Super 8 Cricket Tournament, has gone from 8 to 18. This time, according to the organisers, registrations had to be stopped in five days. Talk about supply exceeding the demand.
“Our initial goal was 16, then we moved to 18, but then we had to stop the registration, as the teams kept coming from different neighbourhoods, says Vivek Sarkar, Co-founder, WICA (West Loop Cricket Association). We also got requests from few non-Indians, which we will try to accommodate, next time.”
Sponsorship association with US Bank reflects the games’ huge popularity and increasing fan base, in the city known for it’s love for baseball (Chicago Cubs).
“It is an honor to sponsor the WLCA and this wonderful event! Thank you for allowing U.S. Bank to be a part of your cricket family. Cheers to your success”, says Susan Brown, Mortgage Loan Originator, US Bank.
For the players, it’s the undying love for the game of cricket that pulls them together. Players representing as many as 20 diverse neighbourhoods from Chicago and suburbs, were joined by those who drove hundreds of miles to be part of this fun tournament. Every year this tournament brings in new experince, new motivation.
“Basically for love of the game, we like organising and managing things, want to stay connected in this way, and spread this game around. Chicago is a very diverse city, many people often ask us about cricket, which makes us so happy. I would love to make this the best cricket league in Chicago”, says Kunal, Member, Core Organising Team.
For a few teams, even names are typical Indian (Chennai Super Kings, Hyderabad Nawab, Hyderabad Blues).
If you want to get in touch and participate in the next year’s tournament, the core organising team includes Kunal, Niranjan, Sunil, Saurabh, Vijay, Yogesh and Rahul.
This year GloryHunters took the champions trophy while defending champions Chicago Centaurs were the runners up.