Silicon Valley's Indian Americans Rally in Support of Modi, Yogi

"We are all with you Modiji and Yogiji", says an Indian American man who tweeted a video clip of a a recent car rally in Silicon Valley, California. Rally participants can be seen carrying pictures of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Some also carried BJP's lotus flags. Hindu Americans enjoy the freedom to practice their faith and culture in the United States while at the same time they support Hindutva fascist rule in their country of origin. 

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Left) with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath

Silicon Valley Hindu Americans:

The Silicon Valley Hindu American car rally has come just ahead of the state elections in 5 Indian States, including India's most populous state of Uttar Pradesh whose chief minister Yogi Adityanath is a virulently anti-Muslim Hindu priest with a criminal record. Other states going to the polls in India include Goa, Manipur, Uttarakhand and Punjab.  

Silicon Valley's Indian American Congressman: 

Congressman Ro Khanna angered many of his Indian-American constituents in 2019 when he criticized Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindutva politics and joined US Congress's Pakistan Caucus.  Khanna still won 65% of all votes cast to deal a heavy defeat to pro-Modi candidate Ritesh Tandon in primary elections in California's 17th district that covers part of Silicon Valley. Vast majority of Hindu Americans, including those in Silicon Valley tech community, are supporters of Mr. Modi in spite of his Islamophobic legislation like CAA and his government's extended lock-down in Kashmir and brutal anti-Muslim actions in India.

California 17 Election Results: 

Incumbent Congressman Ro Khanna received 46,657 votes or 65,1% of the votes cast in CA17 district in the 2020 primary elections. His main challenger Ritesh Tandon trailed far behind with 17,337 votes or  24.2% of all votes cast, according to New York Times.

Ro Khanna's Tweet on Islamophobia in Silicon Valley. Source: Twitter

Khanna thanked his supporters in a tweet yesterday after "beating Ritesh Tandon who ran on Islamophobia and right wing nationalism in India".

Congressman Ro Khanna with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Capitol Hill

Ritesh Tandon, an Indian-American technology entrepreneur, said Khanna "has turned his back on our allies all over the world, including the nation of my birth, India by siding with India’s enemies like Pakistan on key security issues”, according to Indica News.

69% of Hindu Americans Support Modi: 

The results of the Indian American Attitudes Survey (IAAS) conducted in 2020 show that India's Hindu Nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi's massive popularity among Hindu Americans. The findings of the survey sponsored by Washington-based think tank Carnegie Endowment For International Peace reveal that 69% of Hindu Americans approve of Mr. Modi's performance. 70% of Hindu Americans agree or strongly agree that white supremacy is a threat to minorities in the United States, compared to 79% of non-Hindu Indian Americans. Regarding Hindu majoritarianism in India, however, the data point to a much sharper divide: only 40% of Hindus agree that Hindu majoritarianism is a threat to minorities, compared to 67% of non-Hindus, according to the 2020 IAAS Survey.

69% of Hindu Americans Support Modi. Source: Indian American Attitudes Survey 2020

The 7 in 10 approval rating of Mr. Modi by Hindu Indian Americans stands in sharp contrast to that of barely one in five Muslim Indian Americans. Indian American Christians are almost evenly divided: 35 percent disapprove, 34 percent approve, and 30 percent did not express an opinion. Twenty-three percent of respondents without a religious affiliation and 38 percent from other faiths approve of Modi’s performance, respectively. The share of “don’t knows” is the smallest for Hindus and Muslims compared to other religious categories, suggesting that views among respondents of these two faiths are the most consolidated.


Khanna Rejects Hindutva:

L to R: Ro Khanna, Riaz Haq

Congressman Ro Khanna (D-Fremont) tweeted the following on Aug. 29: “It’s the duty of every American politician of Hindu faith to stand for pluralism, reject Hindutva, and speak for equal rights for Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhist & Christians.”  On August 17, Khanna became the first Indian-American to join US Congress's Pakistan caucus headed by Democratic Congresswoman Sheila Jackson of Texas and Republican Congressman Jim Banks of Indiana. Khanna's decision to join the Pakistan caucus came after he met Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan during his July visit to Washington. After his July meeting with Khan Khanna tweeted: "Honored to meet PM Imran Khan. We spoke Hindustani, and I shared that my grandfather, an Indian freedom fighter with Gandhi, always had a hope for reconciliation. South Asian Americans of my generation hope for peace in the subcontinent in the 21st century."


Pakistani-American Support:

Congressman Ro Khanna has received support from Pakistani-American community for his courageous and principled stand on issues affecting South Asia. He regularly attends community events organized by Pakistani-Americans in Silicon Valley. I met him at a dinner hosted at the house of a Pakistani-American family that owns local Mirchi restaurant in Fremont. He assured the community he would continue to work to address issues such as Islamophobia that affect Muslims in America.

Summary:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi enjoys broad support among Hindu Americans in Silicon Valley and elsewhere. Still, the Indian-American Congressman Ro Khanna dealt a heavy defeat to his pro-Modi challenger Ritesh Tandon in California's 2020 primary elections. Khanna joined the US Congress's Pakistan Caucus and rejected Hindutva. His actions angered Hindu American supporters of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.  Cracks are beginning to appear in the Hindu American community. Democrats from the Progressive Wing of the Party are finding it increasingly difficult to support Prime Minister Modi as he ferociously pushes his hateful Hindutva agenda to target minorities. Vast majority of Hindu Americans, including those in Silicon Valley tech community, are solidly supporting Mr. Modi in spite of his Islamophobic legislation like CAA and his government's extended lock-down in Kashmir and brutal anti-Muslim actions in India.

Here's a video clip of Silicon Valley's Pro-Modi Hindu American car rally:

https://youtu.be/qplCI6hmdMA 


 


 Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

Imran Khan in Washington

Modi's Extended Lockdown in Indian Occupied Kashmir

Lynchistan: India is the Lynching Capital of the World

Hinduization of India

Upper Caste Hindu American Professor Acknowledges Internalized Islamophobia

Indian Textbooks

India's RAW's Successes in Pakistan

Riaz Haq Youtube Channel

VPOS Youtube Channel

Comments

Riaz Haq said…
Why 7% growth is miracle and 5% reality for India's economy - Times of India

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/for-india-the-reality-of-5/articleshow/89706607.cms


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5% growth amid de-globalisation to be significant achievement for India, says Ruchir Sharma

https://www.cnbctv18.com/economy/oil-breaches-100-for-first-time-since-2014-on-ukraine-attacks-12608582.htm

Morgan Stanley Chief Global Strategist Ruchir Sharma on Saturday said if the Indian economy grows at 5 percent in the era of deglobalization, then it will be a significant achievement.

Addressing the FICCI Annual Convention, Sharma further said India hastily passed agriculture and labour reforms during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Our expectations have to be realistic...if we can grow at more than 5 percent in a year, that is a significant achievement," he said.
Sharma also noted that it is no longer feasible in the world of deglobalisation to grow at 7 percent as exports cannot grow at 20 percent or 30 percent in a year, which was good in an era of globalisation.
"So, for an economy like India's, the growth rate of 5 percent will be pretty credible even in this era where I think emerging economies, in general, will make some sort of a comeback," he added.
Sharma pointed out that there were about 100 economies that were growing at 7 percent or more in 2007.
"That has never happened in the history of the global economy. In the last decade, only 10 economies in the world have grown 7 percent or more in any year," he said.
Sharma also argued that if the population growth of a country is slowing, then that country can't grow at the same pace as it did in the past.
According to the RBI, the Indian economy is likely to contract by 7.5 percent, in 2020-21.
He also pointed out that intra regional trade is the lowest in South Asia compared to any subregion of the world.
Sharma pointed out that India has seen a slight increase in exports since 2010.
"The last decade was a lost decade for emerging economies. The only economy to have gained in the global share in the last decade was China," he noted.


Riaz Haq said…
#Facebook charged #BJP less for #India election ads than others. The cheaper rates allow the BJP, Facebook’s largest political client in India, to reach more voters for less money. #Modi #Hindutva https://aje.io/scuc29 via @AJEnglish

Facebook’s algorithm offers cheaper advertisement deals to India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over other political parties, according to an analysis of advertisement spending spread across 22 months and 10 elections. In nine of the 10 elections, including the national parliamentary elections of 2019 that BJP won, the party was charged a lower rate for advertisements than its opponents.

The favourable pricing allows the BJP, Facebook’s largest political client in India, to reach more voters for less money, giving it a leg up in the election campaigns.

The Reporters’ Collective (TRC), a non-profit media organisation based in India, and ad.watch, a research project studying political advertisements on social media, analysed data for 536,070 political advertisements placed on Facebook between February 2019 and November 2020. They accessed the data through the Ad Library Application Programming Interface (API), Meta Platforms Inc’s ‘transparency’ tool that allows access to political advertisement data across its platforms.

On average, Facebook charged the BJP, its candidates and affiliated organisations 41,844 rupees ($546) to show an ad one million times. But the main opposition party, the Indian National Congress, its candidates and affiliated organisations had to pay 53,776 rupees ($702)— nearly 29 percent more—for the same number of views.

TRC and ad.watch primarily compared the BJP with the Congress because they were the largest spenders on political advertisements. In the 22-month period for which data is available, the BJP and its affiliates spent in total more than 104.1 million rupees ($1.36m) to place advertisements on Facebook through their official pages. In contrast, Congress and its affiliates spent 64.4 million rupees ($841,000).

But going by the higher rate Facebook charged the Congress, it has paid at least 11.7 million rupees ($153,000) more than what it would have paid for the same number of views had its advertisements been priced at the rate given to the BJP.

In Part 2 of this series, TRC and ad.watch showed how Facebook has allowed a large number of ghost and surrogate advertisers to promote the BJP, boosting its visibility and reach in the elections, even as it blocked almost all such advertisers that were promoting the opposition party and its candidates.

If we include the pricing of surrogate advertisements along with the parties’ official accounts, the deal that the BJP got becomes even sweeter. For all advertisers promoting the BJP, Facebook charged an average of 39,552 rupees ($517) for one million views for an ad, but for all advertisers promoting Congress, it charged an average of 52,150 rupees ($681), nearly 32 percent more.
Riaz Haq said…
US Air Force lets Hindu wear religious symbols amid #hijab row in #Modi’s #India. #US Air Force granted approval to Darshan Shah, a #Hindu, to wear a tilak chandlo (holy mark on the forehead) in uniform #Islamophobia #Hindutva .— Quartz

https://qz.com/2146337/us-air-force-lets-hindu-wear-religious-symbols-amid-hijab-row/

The idea of freedom of religion through symbolic display isn’t restricted to India as signified by the hijab row.

On Feb. 22, the US Air Force granted approval to Darshan Shah, an aerospace medical technician assigned to the 90th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron in Wyoming, to wear a tilak chandlo (holy mark on the forehead) in uniform.

Born into a Hindu family, Shah is originally from Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Ever since attending the basic military training in June 2020, he had been seeking a waiver in the uniform rules to wear the tilak chandlo while on duty.

“Not only was I wearing the uniform, which is one of my main identities, being a member of the Air Force, but I was also wearing my tilak chandlo,” said Shah, according to a US Air Force website. “It’s who I am. Wearing it is special. It’s my way of getting through hardships and difficulties in life. It provides me guidance…”

The decision by US Air Force has garnered a lot of support from several Hindus across the world. The leader of the sect Shah belongs to shared a phone call from India to discuss the waiver after several Hindu saints spoke to him about Shah’s perseverance.

Around the same time, India has faced turmoil caused by the hijab row in the southern state of Karnataka.

It began some weeks ago when one Karnataka decided to disallow, henceforth, the woman’s headcover on campus. Several Muslim families with woman students of the institution were outraged and boycotted classes. The row ballooned after other colleges in Karnataka began implementing similar bans.

Following days of protests, the Karnataka high court, a few days ago, upheld the ban on hijab. The row has now moved on to some temples in Karnataka now banning Muslim traders from taking part in their fairs and religious festivals.


Riaz Haq said…
Opinion by @RanaAyyub | I tried watching ‘The Kashmir Files.’ I left the theater to screams of ‘Go to Pakistan.’ #Hate in #India now packs courts and movie theaters — and my despair is giving way to fear. The dark forces seem more invincible than ever. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/03/29/india-movie-kashmir-files-screams-go-to-pakistan/?tid=ss_tw

The collective conscience of India is being altered beyond repair with hatred so potent that it even consumes the seemingly most unlikely people — such as the elderly man who arrived in a wheelchair to the theater to watch “The Kashmir Files.”

Two weeks ago, I gathered the courage to go watch the film against the advice of family and friends. “The Kashmir Files,” which portrays the exodus in the 1990s of Kashmiri Pandits, a minority Hindu community, has triggered anti-Muslim hate chants in theaters across India. As soon as I entered the theater in Mumbai, the audience broke into cries of “Bharat Mata ki jai” (Glory to India), a nationalist chant that has been repeatedly weaponized against Muslims. The man in the wheelchair soon joined the chants of “Sab mulle aatankwaadi” (Muslims are terrorists).

I left before the movie even began. I tried again the next day. A group of teenagers sitting in the front row soon began chanting “Bharat Mata ki jai.” I was seated in the fourth row, between an expectant mother and an elderly man who spoke proudly of how history in India was being redeemed under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The film began, and within 20 minutes there were disturbing scenes of Muslims lusting after Hindu women and a Muslim neighbor betraying his Hindu friend to support terrorism. There were scenes of Muslim kids flaunting Kalashnikovs and insulting Hindu deities. At one point in the movie, a Muslim militant tells a Kashmiri Hindu who wore attire depicting a Hindu god that only those chanting “Allahu akbar” will be allowed to flourish in Kashmir.

That’s when the audience started chanting “Jai Shri Ram” (Glory to Lord Ram). The teens in the front row whistled and started clapping at the slogans. Scenes of Muslims in skullcaps brutally murdering Hindus drew painful gasps from the audience.

The expectant mother seated next to me turned to her husband: “These Muslims are born bastards.” Unable to take the hate, I informed them that I am a Muslim and the language they were using was hate speech against my community. “Hate is what your religion teaches, not ours,” the woman responded. Others seated near us started cheering her statement, and I left the theater, just 30 minutes into the movie, feeling humiliated and physically unsafe. A man yelled at me “Ja Pakistan!” (Go to Pakistan).

When I complained to a theater manager about being heckled and abused, he gave a blank look. The film has been a box-office hit. The theaters are packed. The Indian government has even given the film tax privileges, deeming it important for the well-being of the country. That means audiences can buy the tickets at cheaper rates.

The next day, Modi met the cast and crew of the film. In a televised speech, the prime minister mocked the criticism, saying, “Those who always carry the flag of freedom of expression, this entire group has been rattled these past five to six days.”

I’ve written before about the power these films have to stir nationalist fervor and Islamophobic hatred. It’s now a proven formula. But the record-breaking success of “The Kashmir Files” has taken the propaganda to a genocidal level. The film is dominating all discussions. The head of government promotes it while large networks dedicate hours of programming to extolling the bravado in the film.

Riaz Haq said…
Religious Divide in #Bangalore #Karnataka will destroy #India's #tech industry, says #Indian corporate leader Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw. She was referring to reports of #Muslim vendors being kept out of temple towns and festivals. #BJP #Hindutva #Islamophobia https://www.freepressjournal.in/india/biocon-chief-kiran-mazumdar-shaw-calls-out-growing-religious-divide-in-karnataka

Bengaluru: A prominent voice from the corporate sector and executive chairperson of Biocon Ltd, Dr Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, has raised a red flag over the “growing religious divide” in Karnataka and expressed fear that it may affect the IT-BT sector too.

In a series of tweets, she raised a red flag over hardline Hindutva groups to keep out Muslim traders from temple festivals in Karnataka and urged Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai to resolve the “growing religious divide” in the state and warned that the country’s “global leadership” in tech and biotech was at stake.

“Karnataka has always forged inclusive economic development and we must not allow such communal exclusion — if IT/BT became communal it would destroy our global leadership,” wrote Shaw, who heads Asia’s leading biopharmaceuticals enterprise,” she tweeted, tagging Bommai and added: “Please resolve this growing religious divide.”

In a subsequent tweet, she posted: “Our CM is a very progressive leader. I am sure he will resolve this issue soon.”

She was referring to reports on how Muslim vendors were being kept out of several temple towns and festivals. Several temple committees organising the festivals, especially in the communally sensitive coastal districts, have been obeying the warning issued by the hardline Hindu groups. Some, however, have expressed dismay over the curbs and say these would hit long-standing social relations. The curbs came after Muslim groups organised a bandh against the hijab ban ruling by the Karnataka High Court.

However, the state government, in an official statement in the state legislature, said the restrictions on non-Hindus conducting business within the premises of temples is as per a rule introduced in 2002 under the Karnataka Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Act, 1997. This rule, many vendors say, has now been weaponised to keep them out of business.

Riaz Haq said…
#India’s #SiliconValley risks falling into the swamp of hatred. #Muslim girls #HijabBan has morphed into brazen disregard for the dignity & civil & #economic rights of #Karnataka’s #Muslims, who make up 12 percent of the state’s population. #Bangalore https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/04/07/bengaluru-karnataka-hijab-halal-attacks-hatred/?tid=ss_tw

More than any other city, Bengaluru — with its cherry-blossom-lined avenues, giant technology parks and self-made billionaires — has been India’s response to the postcards of poverty that have often defined Western media’s reductionist portrayal of the country.

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India sells billions of dollars of halal meat globally and is the second-largest exporter of halal foods to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation countries. Many of the country’s giant meat sellers are owned and run by Hindus. It is also routine for multinationals selling other consumer goods — including one run by a saffron-robed Hindu guru — to have halal certification. Yet it is two successful businesses unrelated to meat and founded by Muslims — iD Fresh Food and pharmaceutical corporation Himalaya — that have been assaulted with persistent fake news about the use of cow bones or bovine extracts in their products.


While big businesses might be able to ride out the wave of hate, small Muslim traders are more vulnerable. In Karnataka, an assortment of far-right Hindu groups are intimidating consumers into buying meat only from Hindu shopkeepers, pushing for the closure of halal meat shops and, in some instances, using violence and abuse to force their point. Social media has been weaponized to build toxic and fake narratives about halal slaughter practices, including false claims that it involves spitting into the meat.

Mohandas Pai, who served on the board of IT company Infosys — one of India’s most famous corporate brands, headquartered in Bengaluru — told me that these are isolated “local issues” that shouldn’t be globalized.

Yet sanction for these poisonous debates came from several leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in Karnataka. A government circular, since put on pause, mandated the stunning of animals before slaughter, in a move that would possibly make meat non-halal.

Pai, who is an investor in Licious — another major meat supplier that also sells products with halal certification — says that while hooliganism is unacceptable, the larger issue is one of transparency of information for the consumer. However, that seems almost esoteric at a time when, for an entire community, the issue is about the right to earn a livelihood with dignity.

A key BJP functionary in Karnataka has equated the sale of halal meat to “economic jihad” that benefits Muslim sellers. But data shows that a majority of Indian Muslims continue to work in the informal economy or unorganized sector: Only 28 percent of Muslims are salaried employees, compared with 46 percent of Hindus.

It is these citizens — street vendors, cart-pullers, small shopkeepers, butchers and handymen — who are now under attack. The latest outlandish demand targeting Muslims? To not buy mangoes from Muslim fruit sellers.


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The copycat targeting of economic activity that can be linked to Islam. In another incident, a TV reporter (employed by a channel reprimanded by India’s Supreme Court for vilifying Muslims on a show) barged into a store of the major food brand Haldiram’s, demanding to know why the packaging for savory snacks had text in Urdu. Urdu, recognized in the constitution, is one of 15 languages used on Indian currency notes.

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There’s no point trumpeting India’s improved rankings by the World Bank on ease of doing business if we can’t create a secure environment and level playing field for our own people. And we shouldn’t complain the next time headlines focus on our sectarian strife rather than our homegrown Silicon Valley.
Riaz Haq said…
In an interview with conservative host Tucker Carlsen, UPenn Professor Amy Wax said the following about Indian-Americans: "They're taught that they are better than everybody else because they are Brahmin elites and yet, on some level, their country is a sh*thole".

Prof Amy Wax of the University of Pennsylvania Law School alleged that “Blacks” and “non-Western” groups have “a tremendous amount of resentment and shame against western people for [their] outsized achievements and contributions.” “Here's the problem. They're taught that they are better than everybody else because they are Brahmin elites and yet, on some level, their country is a sh**hole,” Wax, who has a long history of racist remarks, said.

She also said that the westerners have outgunned and outclassed the Asian Americans in every way.

“They've realized that we've outgunned and outclassed them in every way… They feel anger. They feel envy. They feel shame. It creates ingratitude of the most monstrous kind,” she said.

https://youtu.be/ehrLmrFDmuk

Riaz Haq said…
"Anti-Minority" Image Will Hurt #Indian Companies, Warns Ex RBI Gov Raghu Rajan the day after #bulldozers tore down #Muslim homes & businesses close to a #mosque in #Delhi's Jahangirpuri area. #Modi #BJP #Islamophobia #Hindutva #genocide https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/anti-minority-image-will-hurt-indian-companies-warns-raghuram-rajan-2908962 via @ndtv

Amid concerns over minorities being targeted in India, former Reserve Bank governor Raghuram Rajan on Thursday cautioned that an 'anti-minority' image for the country can lead to loss of market for Indian products and may also result in foreign governments perceiving the nation as an unreliable partner.
India enters the perception battle from a position of strength, the professor at Chicago's Booth School of Business said, alluding to credentials like democracy and secularism, but warned that this battle is "ours to lose".

The comments came a day after bulldozers tore down several concrete and temporary structures close to a mosque in Jahangirpuri as part of an anti-encroachment drive, days after the northwest Delhi neighbourhood was rocked by communal violence.

Speaking at the Times Network India Economic Conclave, Rajan said, "If we are seen as a democracy treating all our citizens respectfully, and, you know, relatively poor country, we become much more sympathetic. (Consumers say) 'I am buying this stuff from this country which is trying to do the right thing', and therefore, our markets grow."

He added that it is not just consumers who make such choices over whom to patronise, but warmth in international relations too is decided by such perceptions, as governments take a call on whether a country is a "reliable partner" or not, based on how it handles its minorities.

The outspoken academic added that China has been suffering from such image problems because of its treatment of Uighurs and to an extent the Tibetans as well, while Ukraine has seen huge support because President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is seen as someone standing up to defend ideas that a democratic world believes in.

The services sector export presents a large opportunity for Indians and the country will have to seize it, Rajan said, adding that we need to be very conscious of the West's sensitivities on privacy.

One of the opportunities which can be leveraged is in the medical sector, Rajan said, warning that being perceived as a country which does not satisfy data security and privacy concerns can make it difficult to succeed.

He also said undermining the constitutional authorities like the Election Commission, Enforcement Directorate or the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) erodes the democratic character of our country.

In other comments on domestic affairs, Rajan said the Indian administration will have to grapple with the challenges of governance by discussing changes with key stakeholders to avoid instances like the three farm laws. The three legislations were repealed last year after protests by farmers.

Meanwhile, Union Minister of State for Information Technology, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, who also spoke at the event, blamed IT companies for poor planning, saying this lack of foresight has led to wage inflation in the over USD 230 billion sector.

He also said getting high-quality connectivity to every corner through both wired and wireless connectivity is a policy priority and the ministry is working towards the same.

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