Feb 2019
Feb 2019

Ohio sitarist Hasu Patel Honored by the UN for ‘Extraordinary Service to Humanity’

Eminent Indian American sitarist and composer Hasu Patel has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the United Nations for ‘Extraordinary Service to Humanity.’

Patel, who taught sitar, tabla and vocals at Ohio’s Oberlin College for close to two decades, was honored before her scheduled performance in August 2018 in Montreal, Canada, by Dr. Elaine Valdov, representative to the United Nations and president of International Peace Ambassadors.

The Westlake, Ohio-based musician continues to train students and perform at concerts in the U.S. and abroad.

Patel, who earned her bachelor’s degree in sitar from the Faculty of Performing Arts, M.S. University in Vadodara, and was a gold medalist, went on to receive her master’s degree in sitar with distinction from Ahmedabad’s Gandharv Mahavidyalaya. She later received a master’s degree in accountancy and financial information systems from Cleveland State University.

Patel plays sitar in a very special style known as Gayaki Ang (vocal style), where the sitar replicates the fluidity and subtle nuances of the human voice, according to her bio on her website, which adds that she is the first woman to receive a music degree with a gold medal in the 75-year history of the Faculty of Performing Arts.

A winner of several awards like the Ohio Heritage Fellowship Award from the Ohio Arts Council and the ‘Hind Rattan Award 2009’ from the NRI Welfare Society of India, Patel made her first public appearance at the age of ten.

Her website also notes that Patel is the only Indian musician/composer to be included among 25 prestigious women composers of the U.S. in a book titled, “In Her Own Words” by Dr. Jennifer Kelly of Lafayette College, PA., a publication of the University of Illinois.

Jan 2019

Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) named to key Congressional panel

Democratic lawmaker Raja Krishnamoorthi has been appointed as a member of a Congressional committee on intelligence, becoming the first South Asian to serve in the powerful body tasked to strengthen U.S.’s national security.

Mr. Krishnamoorthi, 45, who represents Illinois’s 8th Congressional District in the House, was chosen along with Congresswoman Val Demings of Florida, Sean Patrick Maloney of New York and Peter Welch of Vermont as the four new Democratic members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) for the 116th Congress.

The HPSCI is tasked with overseeing the activities and budget of the 17 intelligence agencies of the U.S.Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi appointed Mr. Krishnamoorthi on Wednesday. Ms. Pelosi said: “Our new members of the Intelligence Committee bring exceptional judgment, expertise and determination to our mission to honor that oath and, guided by the strong, principled leadership of Chairman Adam Schiff, will restore the long tradition of bipartisanship and integrity of this critical committee.”‘

Mr. Krishnamoorthi, after Ms. Pelosi announced his appointment, said: “It is very humbling to be chosen to serve on the Intelligence Committee in this Congress, and I am ready to join with my colleagues in preserving the safety and security of our nation“. “The intelligence challenges and international threats facing our country today are vast, ranging from terrorism to cyber warfare to investigating Russia’s previous and continuing attempts to sabotage our democracy. Mr. Krishnamoorthi, whose family moved to New York when he was three months old, has attended Princeton University, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. He also attended Harvard Law School.

Early this week, Ms. Pelosi appointed Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal to the House Education and Labour Committee.

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