|[June 21, 2014]
Judge Sri Srinivasan, India Abroad Person of the Year 2013
MUMBAI, India --(Business Wire)--
Srikanth Srinivasan, the first South Asian origin federal judge
in the United States, is the India Abroad Person of the Year 2013.
Judge Sri catapulted into greatness when, as an Assistant to the
Solicitor General, he became the first Indian American to argue before
the US Supreme Court in November 2002. He went on to serve as Principal
Deputy Solicitor General before becoming the first South Asian American
to be nominated as a federal judge in the DC Court of Appeals, America's
second highest court.
He was not only confirmed 97-0 by the US Senate in May 2013, the first
confirmation to this court in seven years, but also instantly earned the
buzz of a US 'Supreme Court nominee-in-waiting.'
Much like his confirmation, the India Abroad editors' decision
was also unanimous.
Judge Sri formally accepted the highest honor of India Abroad,
the oldest and most widely circulated news weekly for the
Indian-American community on Friday evening at a glittering ceremony at
The Pierre in New York City, the iconic US flagship of the Taj Hotels.
The India Abroad Person of the Year Awards honored 11 achievers in eight
Arogyaswami J Paulraj, professor emeritus at Stanford University,
was the recipient of the India Abroad Award for Lifetime Achievement
The India-born and educated Paulraj transformed the Indian Navy's sonar
system before coming to Stanford at age 48 and revolutionizing wireless
technology; his technology is at the heart of current high speed WiFi (News - Alert)
and 4G mobile systems.
The evening also recognized the contributions of those who had dedicated
their lives to building acceptance, tolerance and spaces of belonging,
so that the community could play to its myriad strengths and flourish.
Kumar Barve, who was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates
in 1990 becoming the first Indian American to be elected to a state
legislature, was awarded the India Abroad Award for Lifetime Service to
the Community 2013. Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, in an exclusive
message prepared for the evening, said, "As our first Indian American
state legislator and the longest serving, Kumar is a paradigm of public
service. Over the last two decades, Kumar has dedicated his life to
making Maryland a better place to live, work and play, all while
mentoring the rising generations of new leaders coming up through the
legislature here in Annapolis."
Anuradha Bhagwati, a former Marine who took on the world's most
powerful military through her Service Women's Action Network to end
sexual harassment in the military, won the India Abroad Publisher's
Special Award for Excellence 2013.
US Representative Niki Tsongas, who serves on the House Armed Services
Committee and the Military Personnel Subcommittee, said in a citation
prepared for India Abroad. "Her efforts have helped lead
significant reform on behalf of the men, women and families impacted by
these terrible crimes."
US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who has stood by Bhagwati, in a special
video citation, said, "She (Anu) has taken on the issue of sexual
assault in the US military and has taken it directly to the chain of
command… She knows that until there is transparency and accountability
justice can't be done and she believes that these men and women who
serve in our military deserve justice."
Bhagwati received her award from India Abroad Publiher and Rediff.com Founder,
Chairman and CEO Ajit Balakrishnan.
The India Abroad Face of the Future Award 2013 went to Manu Prakash,
an assistant professor at the department of bioengineering at Stanford
University and the force behind revolutionary innovations like the
Foldscope, a 50 cent microscope that has a resolution equivalent to many
in laboratory and can fit in a child's pocket; a $5 chemistry set; and
an insect vector that can revolutionize the way data about mosquitoes is
collected. This year India Abroad honored two people in some
categories. The awards were not shared; they recognized the tremendous
individual contributions of the winners.
The India Abroad Gopal Raju Award for community Service 2013 went to Mallika
Dutt and Deepa Iyer. Dutt is the co-founder of Sakhi for
South Asian women and founder, president, and chief executive officer of
Breakthrough, an international human rights organization that aims to
make violence against women and girls unacceptable. She has succeeded in
bringing human rights activism out of academic circles into drawing room
conversations with campaigns like the Bell Bajao initiative.
Iyer, who stepped down last year after serving as executive director of
South Asian Americans Leading Together for over a decade, galvanized the
pioneering civil rights organization and the community's voice by taking
the South Asian voice in the United States to Washington, DC. Under her,
the organization stood at the forefront of the community's fight in the
face of the post-9/11 backlash of hate crimes, racial profiling and
civil rights infractions.
Rising stars of the community Arvind Mahankali and Sathwik
Karnik won the India Abroad Special Award for Achievement 2013.
Arvind was honored for his win at the Scripps National Spelling Bee
2013, while Sathwik was the winner of the National Geographic Bee 2013.
As Indian Americans expand their footprint in America it is also
important to recognize those who -- though not Indian by origin --
contributed to deepening the understanding of India outside the
In recognition of this, the India Abroad Friend of India Award 2013 went
to Sankritist Sheldon Pollock and filmmaker James Ivory.
Pollock is the Arvind Raghunathan Professor of South Asian Studies at
Columbia University and has dedicated his life to preserving the
language. He helms the Murty Classical Library of India, which is
working on making great Indian literary works of the past accessible
through translations; and the Ambedkar Sanskrit Fellowship Program at
Columbia, which aims to establish an endowment to fund graduate studies
in Sanskrit for students from historically disadvantaged communities.
Ivory's association with India began nearly six decades ago when he made
two documentaries about India and deepened with the six features he
directed in India and his lifelong partnership with producer Ismail
Merchant, the Merchant Ivory Productions. His films like The
Householder, Shakespeare Wallah and Heat And Dust are
This was the 11th year of the India Abroad Person of the Year
awards, a pioneering effort to recognize Indian-American achievement
that has in the past honored achievers like Nobel (News - Alert) Laureate Venkatraman
Ramakrishnan; PepsiCo chief Indra Nooyi; astronaut Sunita Williams;
music conductor Zubin Mehta and Grammy-nominated musician Vijay Iyer;
USAID administrator Raj Shah; lawmakers like US Congressman Ami Bera,
South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal;
Olympic gymnast Mohini Bhardwaj; US Attorney for the Southern District
of New York Preet Bharara; writers Anita Desai, Salman Rushdie, Jhumpa
Lahiri, and Siddhartha Mukherjee; and filmmaker Mira Nair.
Among the audience this year were Ambassador Dyaneshwar Mulay, India's
Consul General in New York; Ambassador Vijay Nambiar, United Nations
Secretary General's special advisor on Myanmar; Dr Vivek Murthy,
President Obama's nominee to be the new US Surgeon General; Vijay
Seshadri, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 2014; Sonny Mehta,
publisher and editor-in-chief at Knopf; Mohanlal, one of India's finest
actors who is filming his new movie Peruchazhi in the US; Indian
contemporary dancer-choreographer Astad Deboo; writers Suketu Mehta and
Amitava Kumar; Oscar winner Megan Mylan; Raju Narisetti, senior vice
president and deputy head of strategy at News Corp (News - Alert); actress Madhur
Jaffrey; fashion designer Bibhu Mohapatra, among others.
Rediff.com (NASDAQ: REDF) is one of the premier worldwide online
providers of news, information, communication, entertainment and
shopping services to Indians worldwide. Founded in 1996, Rediff.com is
headquartered in Mumbai, India with offices in New Delhi, India and New
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