New York, Apr.10 : Pioneering publisher Gopal Raju, who founded the India Abroad newspaper, passed away in New York early on Thursday morning. He was 80.
India Abroad, which he launched in 1970, gave the growing Indian-American community a voice to express themselves, and quickly became an influential voice in the United States's ethnic media.
After he sold the newspaper to rediff.com in April 2001, he continued to be involved with the Indian-American media, notably the weeklies News India Times and Desi Talk.
He also founded the India Abroad News Service, later called the Indo-Asian News Service. He was awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman last year.
Several years ago, Raju sought out Representative Stephen Solarz for advice on how the Indian-American community might increase its political clout in Washington.
Hire an Indian-American who has interned in the US Congress, counselled Solarz, widely regarded as India's best friend and most forceful advocate on Capitol Hill.
When, after a fruitless search, Raju reported that no such person could be found, Solarz then recommended that Raju hire someone from AIPAC - the legendary American Israel Public Affairs Committee, reputed to have some of the most impressive political muscle in Washington.
Out of that casual conversation, and others like it, has evolved one of the most interesting partnerships in US politics today - the new collaboration between the Indian-American and Jewish communities.