Dalip Singh Saund was the first Indian-Ameican elected to the US Congress in the 1950s. Originally from Punjab Saund came to the USA in 1920 to study mathematics and got a PhD from University of California at Berkeley. Instead of entering the world of academia, Saund switched directions and worked as a farmer in Southern California. The then immigration laws of American did not make it possible to become an American citizen. It was only after the Luce-Celler Act of 1946 that was he able to become an American citizen. Once he became an American citizen he started to took an active interest in public affairs and eventually ran for Congress and won the elections defeating aviatrix Jacqueline Cochran (R). He represented Imperial Valley in Southern California (1957-1963) and during his tenure as a Congressman he travelled widely, including India. He passed away in 1973.
Congressman Saund’s (D) contribution was recognized and honored by the San Jose City Council during the annual Sikh Appreciation month, which falls in November. Here is a short video of the ceremony at San Jose City Council with mayor Chuck Reed, Councilman Ash Kalra (D) and Dr. Eric Saund, grandson of Congressman Saund.
As part of the celebration Councilman Kalra’s office organized a screening of a new documentary of Congressman Saund called “Dalip Singh Saund: His Life, His Legacy.” Produced by Samantha Cheng, the film is part of a program to create awareness of the political contributions made by Asian-American members of the community.
Academy award winner Hillary Swank’s new film “The Homesman” was the opening night film at this year’s Mill Valley Film Festival.
Swank was there on the opening night of the festival. In this video clip she talks about how she prepared for her role in the film and working with Tommy Lee Jones, who directed and acted in the film. The film is based on a novel by Glendon Swarthout.
The film stars Hillary Swank, Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones, James Spader, John Lithgow and Hailee Steinfeld. It releases in San Franciso bay area towards the end of the year.
Ash Kalra (D) grew up in San Jose, the third largest city in California. In 2008 after spending over 10 years at San Jose’s Public Attorney’s office, Kalra decided to run for city elections. He was elected in 2008, the same year Barack Obama won the Presidential elections on his platform of “Yes, We Can Do It.” Kalra became the first Indian-American in San Jose’s City Council representing District 2. Now, he is preparing for his next political move. He announced his intention to run for the State Assembly Elections for 2016.
We have a 2-part interview with Kalra. In Part-1 of our interview we spoke to him about why he chose to run for elections, the role of Indian-Americans in American politics and growing up in San Jose. California was the first state to elect an Indian-American to the Congress. Congressman Dalip Singh Saund was the first Indian-American elected to the American Congress in the 1950s.
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Eleven. Do your remember what it was like to be a eleven year old? How did you view the world around you? What did you think of the world, love, music and helping people around you?
What do eleven year olds around the world think is the subject of Australian filmmaker Genevieve Bailey’s documentary “I Am Eleven.” She travelled around the world from India to America to France and Australia to talk to an interesting cross-section of 11-year from different soci0-economic background. The film makes for a fascinating watch as we see the world through 11-year olds around the world. And after you watch the film, you may find yourself sifting through your memories and savoring those happy 11-year old moments.
Bailey spent over 5 years traveling around the world and filming the documentary. The reason she started the project was she went through a rough patch on the personal front, and was looking to do something that would bring her happiness. She thought back to her happy memories as a 11-year old and decided to find out what 11-year olds around the world think.
We met with Bailey to talk about the film along with 21 year old Dagan, who is the first kid we see in the documentary. Interestingly, Bailey and Dagan were meeting for the first time after nearly 10 years. And at the time of the interview Dagan had not seen the film and he had faint recollections of what he said in the film.
Stanley Kubrick’s “Full Metal Jacket,” is a film about America’s involvement in the Vietnam war. Released in 1987 the film follows a Marine group during the war. It took about 2 years to complete the shooting of the film. During the making of the film Mathew Modine maintained a dairy, which he later on published as a limited book called “The Full Metal Jacket Diary.” Modine plays a journalist in the film.
And now Modine’s diary is available as an iPad app. Created by Adam Rakoff, the app is about 4 hours long, and a free preview of the first chapter is available.
We caught up with Mathew and Rakoff at this year’s Conquest Film Festival in San Jose. Modine was honored with a Maverick Tech Innovator’s award. Here is that interview we did on how the Full Metal Jacket Diary came about.
Belkin is a well-known consumer electronics company. You probably have seen or used their products. The company recently introduced a couple of smart new home appliances that uses “WeMo” their Home Automation Solution. Using your smart phone, you can easily operate these smart home appliances. For example, you can turn operate a smart lightbulb or coffee pot using your phone.
I got an opportunity to see how Belkin’s WeMo Platform works and here is a video of that. platform works.