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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.
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.
Not only does this resolution marginalizes the Hindu community but also appears to be deeply racist and Hinduphobic.
Cricket fans can now book the ultimate experience with the official accommodation booking partner for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup, Booking.com. The T20 Pavillion, a bespoke cricket-themed luxury stay that transforms the Presidential Suite at Grand Hyatt Mumbai Hotel and Residences into a classic cricket stadium.
The suite offers guests an all-inclusive once-in-a-lifetime experience during the India vs Pakistan ICC Men's T20 World Cup match on October 24, 2021, packed with quirks and luxuries that is sure to satisfy even the biggest cricket enthusiast. Additionally, as a part of the experience, guests will also have the exclusive opportunity to meet Bollywood actor Shraddha Kapoor at The T20 Pavilion.
The booking window that opens at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and will be booked on a 'first come, first serve' basis with check-in date on October 24, 2021 and check-out on October 25, 2021. | Photo by Alessandro Bogliari on Unsplash
For one night only, guests can soak in the energy of a roaring stadium to enjoy the epic match on a life-sized screen while seated on comfortable sofas -- just like the luxury box seats at the stadium. They can also head to the locker room (dining room) next to the field (living room) to have some energy drinks, just like a cricketer would do or head to the bedroom, transformed into a net practice area. It's got the field, the pitch, the locker room, pitching nets and cricket memorabilia infused in every element of the room.
The booking window opens at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and will be booked on a 'first come, first serve' basis with check-in date on October 24, 2021, and check-out on October 25, 2021. The T20 Pavilion is priced at Rs 6666 only in honour of all the great sixes smashed at the T20 World Cup. The T20 Pavilion can accommodate up to four guests. Cricket fans can visit the website or mobile app to book this cricket-inspired stay. (IANS/ MBI)
Amid the rush to find quick treatments for Covid-19 last year, the world saw a global race to find new stem cell-based treatments. Now, researchers report that such therapies were filled with violations of government regulations, inflated medical claims and distorted public communication. There are reports of patients suffering physical harm -- including blindness and death -- from unproven stem cell therapies.
"Efforts to rapidly develop therapeutic interventions should never occur at the expense of the ethical and scientific standards that are at the heart of responsible clinical research and innovation," said lead study author Laertis Ikonomou, associate professor of oral biology at University at Buffalo, New York. There are clinics offering unproven and unsafe "stem cell" therapies that promise to prevent Covid-19 by strengthening the immune system or improving overall health, the researchers noted in the paper published in the journal Stem Cell Reports.
There are reports of patients suffering physical harm -- including blindness and death -- from unproven stem cell therapies. | Photo by Viktor Forgacs on Unsplash
The findings from preliminary studies on possible stem cell-based Covid-19 treatments are frequently being exaggerated through press releases, social media and uncritical news media reports. Clinics selling supposed stem cell treatments on a direct-to-consumer basis sometimes use these findings and news reports to exploit the fears of vulnerable patients by unethically advertising the unproven benefits of stem cell treatments to boost the immune system, regenerate lung tissue and prevent transmission of Covid-19, said co-author Leigh Turner from the University of California, Irvine.
"Patients suffer financially as well, as the products range in price from a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars, and people are often encouraged to receive the expensive treatments every few months," added Ikonomou. Patients led to believe they are protected against Covid-19 may decide against vaccination, stop wearing masks, cease engaging in physical distancing, or otherwise avoid behaviours intended to promote personal safety and public health.
They may also become less likely to take part in carefully-developed clinical trials conducted by companies that follow ethical standards. "Scientists, regulators and policymakers must guard against the proliferation of poorly designed, underpowered and duplicative studies that are launched with undue haste because of the pandemic, but are unlikely to provide convincing, clinically meaningful safety and efficacy data," Turner stressed. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: findings,studies,therapies,unproven,reports,treatments, pandemic, covid, world
By N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe
Travelling calories don't count but it's important to keep yourself in shape. Working out has become more of a lifestyle than any leisure activity. It indeed gets difficult to maintain timely eating habits. But there are always some ways out if you are willing to choose healthily. Dietician and Nutritionist Sakina Mustansir shares few ways to keep a balanced diet:
- Try to eat homemade food/cook your own meal: There is an old saying, "your mood changes when you eat according to the person's mood who made it." Even when you cook unhealthy food it becomes healthy when it's made at home. It's always convenient to carry food from home rather than eating at roadside vendors or unhygienic food. So, try to cook your own meal wherever possible. Also carry munching snacks like nuts, dried fruits, peanut butter sandwiches or whole wheat/multigrain bread sandwiches, protein bars etc.
There is an old saying, "your mood changes when you eat according to the person's mood who made it." | Photo by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash
- Stay hydrated: No amount of soft drinks or hard drinks will subside the need for water in our body. It's always recommended to be hydrated. Research shows when you are dehydrated it results in forced hunger cravings. You confuse hunger with thirst and get sugary food cravings or indulge in binge eating. Do you know? Drinking water before every meal cuts the portion size and you end up intaking fewer calories.* Don't skip or avoid breakfast: Most of the people skip breakfasts on the trip which makes them more lethargic which enables them to follow healthy eating patterns. If you eat a healthy breakfast your body fills up the nutrients and proteins it requires for the day and starves the carvings off. Buffet breakfast is a trap, don't indulge in overeating either. Cater to the energy your body needs at the moment. While travelling, never skip breakfast. Always aim for a good healthy breakfast so as to avoid hunger pangs and binging on unhealthy snacks later during the day. Also carry some uncut fruits or boiled eggs or chickpeas from the breakfast table for later, to keep you energetic for the exploration.
Research shows when you are dehydrated it results in forced hunger cravings. | Photo by Brendan Church on Unsplash
- Avoid alcohol or sugary beverages: The calories in beverages are more reactive as compared to the calories in solid food. Being on a vacation doesn't mean your liver is on a vacation as well. Cutting on calories or alcohol fat is more difficult than cutting down the vacation fat. Avoid sodas if that's convenient.
Being on a vacation doesn't mean your liver is on a vacation as well. | Photo by Marjan Blan | @marjanblan on Unsplash
- Local cuisine: Usually the most authentic local cuisine also happens to be the healthiest. So while traveling, always try the country's authentic cuisine rather than fast food joints and processed foods. This will not only keep you healthy and give you more energy to explore but you will have an opportunity to taste different cuisines and experience their culture.
While traveling, always try the country's authentic cuisine rather than fast food joints and processed foods. | Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash
- Don't stress about treats: Give yourself a break, don't keep a count on everything you eat. You always end up eating more if you stress about what you eat all the time. Having a healthy relationship with what you eat is important. Plenty of vegetables are healthier than you are aware of.
Give yourself a break, don't keep a count on everything you eat. | Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash
Any weight you gain while you travel is most likely to be water retention or constipation. You are most likely to reduce this in a span of one week when you're back to your lifestyle. Be diligent with your exercise or walks while travelling. (IANS/MBI)
Keywords: Food, Balanced Diet, Travel, Home-made, Taste, Eatables, Vegetables, Healthy, Nutrition