A Focal Point for the Community, IAN Carries Torch Forward


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From left: Pramod Kulkarni, Jawahar Malhotra and Vanshika Vipin

By Jawahar Malhotra, Publisher

One score and a dozen years ago, an enterprising sociology professor with no background in journalism or publishing but a passion for the dynamics of human interaction saw fit to make his contribution to keeping his growing Indo American community connected by disseminating news. Ten months later, he turned to others to help nurture the idea and keep it alive.

Two of those – Pramod Kulkarni and myself – have kept the spirit and legacy of Dr. K. L. Sindwani and the resilience of his wife Mohini alive through thick and thin and now the fast changing world of news reporting. We have often sacrificed our personal lives and artfully balanced professional careers to make sure that Indo-American News spreads the word of the community’s achievements, and the personalities who have and continue to emerge.

In these long years, we have moved from hand-placed typeset to desk-top publishing to purely digital and web based publishing. We have run the community’s first TV show in the entire Southwest – Ashiana Television – and published the community’s first business telephone directories – Desi Connection. We have given birth to our competitors – other weekly papers – and given scores of young people a chance to show what they can do in graphic design and reporting as well as a chance to settle in their new adopted country.

In this endeavor, we have discovered that the community has become stronger by knowing how many hands across the city, state and country are working with a common purpose of ensuring a strong future for coming generations of Indo Americans. We have become the repository of a history that can help shift the facts and guide us along. Recently, the Indo American Charity Foundation tapped into our 32 year-old archives to put together a history of their own 25 year-old organization as much of their own data had scattered away. We will soon be available on permanent archives at the Rice University Library.

Many of the community organizations realize that the background we bring to their events cannot be replicated with a posting on social media sites. In communities where there is no community paper and word filters through the radio, like in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, the community is less informed and less able to respond in a unified way to current issues. Most local mainstream politicians, marketers and organizations also realize the value we bring and have developed personal relationships with us.

We are also seeing a changing landscape in the generation that is coming after us. Many first generation immigrants have started their family branches and are passing on. Others have sons and daughters who are getting married and starting their own families. As in any community of expatriates, we are evolving and Indo-American News is too with the addition of Vanshika Vipin as a partner who will ensure that we can continue the work that we set out to do for many more years to come.

It is heartening to realize that so many people have supported us for the way we tell their stories. As I am fond of saying, everyone has a story; it’s the art of telling it that makes it noticed and go forward, especially these days when the internet can spread it like a virus across the planet. The love we have received from our community, supporters and friends and the gratitude for a story well told is worth all the effort as we look forward to serving the dynamic Indo American community – hence our name – and evolve with it and the times.