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Gopal Raju founder of "India Abroad died


NRI Gopal Raju founder of "India Abroad," and NRI media pioneer dies


New York, April 11, 2008
Narinder Singh

NRI Gopal Raju, 80, a bachelor, founder of India Abroad, IANS news service, Desi Talk and Gujarat Times- died on Thursday with complications arising from a sudden bout of jaundice. Raju left instructions shortly before he died for a private funeral "without any fuss."

In 1950, Mr. Raju, immigrated to USA from Banglore. Before publishing News paper, he opened restaurant and also run travel agency. He ran first successful ethnic newspaper "India Abroad" in the United. Raju was shy publisher and had a dream to make a strong bridge between the NRI community and India.

In 1970, he founded the Indian American Foundation (IAF), raised millions of dollars for education, health and also to build houses in the earthquake of Latur and Gujarat.

In 1993, he launched the Indian American Center for Political Action (IACPA)- a well-known non-profit organisation in Washington to involve the NRI community in US politics.

In 2007, President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam awarded him the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman for his contributions toward India and its services for NRIs.

  • Former prime minister I.K. Gujral, who knew him very well, said: "He was a institution and also the most significant bridge between India and America. His contribution in setting up India Abroad and a number of other Indian papers in North America speaks a lot about his initiatives. The foundation that he set up and the response he was getting made us feel proud of him and his work."
  • Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi said, "It was with profound grief and shock that I learnt about the sad demise of Gopal Raju. He was one of my oldest friends since I met him in the early 1980s and we were in regular touch for about 25 years."' I convey my sincere condolences to all his friends and relatives as well as to the members and officer-bearers of the organisations that he founded, which will, I have no doubt, continue to make valuable contributions to Indian society as well as the overseas Indian community,' Ravi said.
  • India-West, publisher Ramesh Murarka said, "I respect for the man, who made India Abroad successful after facing an overwhelming challenge by being the first on the scene and having the people accept a print media they could use to their own benefit. He was a man of principle in terms of maintaining the journalistic quality of his publication and maintaining his journalistic ethics."
  • VEENA MERCHANT, editor-in-chief of News India-Times, long-time colleague and friend said, "There has been an outpouring of grief and heartfelt words of sympathy at the passing away of Gopal Raju. We are deeply touched by these sentiments and are overwhelmed by the kind of feelings that he generated, not just in the community but all those who came into contact with him."
  • Sreenath Sreenivasan, dean of students at Columbia Journalism School said, "Raju paved the way for every Indian journalist working in the United States today. He was also tremendously supportive of the South Asian Journalists Association and my own work."
  • H.K. Dua, editor of Tribune and former media advisor to prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda, said: "Gopal Raju was a remarkable journalist, always eager to do something more than he had already done and achieved. He was an institution builder. Single-handed, he built India Abroad newspaper and IANS. For most NRIs in the US, the two institutions were windows for knowing about India."

NRIpress reporter, Gary Singh who knew him since 1970, said, "Gopal Raju was very soft-spoken person and beleive in- free press. There was no doubt that he knew many well known politicians both in India and the US but he always avoided to see them. He became popular during the Emergency in India when he started writing the feelings of opposition."




Gopal Raju


Indian President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam (L) presents Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards 2007 to Gopal Raju from the US during the closing ceremony of the Fifth "Pravasi Bharatiya Divas" (Overseas Indian conference) in New Delhi, 09 January 2007. Some 1200 delegates from 47 countries participated in the three-day conference, an annual gathering of Non Resident Indians (NRI). AFP PHOTO/RAVEENDRAN