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Saturday April 12, 2008

Gopal Raju, pioneer in Indian ethnic press, dies in NY

MYT 9:04:52 AM

NEW YORK (AP) - Gopal Raju, a publishing pioneer in the Indian ethnic press who founded the India Abroad newspaper and the Indo-Asian News Service, has died. He was 80.

Raju, the publisher of the weekly newspapers News India-Times, Desi Talk and Gujarat Times, died in New York on Thursday after a brief illness, IANS reported.

"Raju paved the way for every Indian journalist working in the U.S. today,'' Sreenath Sreenivasan, dean of students at Columbia Journalism School, told the news service.

India Abroad calls itself the oldest Indian newspaper published in North America. The IANS, based in New Delhi, reports on India, South Asia and issues of interest to the Indian diaspora.

In the 1970s, Raju founded the Indian American Foundation, which raised millions of dollars for education, health, development and disaster relief projects in India.

In 1993, he founded the Indian American Center for Political Action, which placed Indian American interns with Congressional and Senate lawmakers in Washington.

"He was a institution and also the most significant bridge between India and America,'' Former Indian Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral told the news service.-AP

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