India Doot: A Monthly Magazine for Non Resident Bengalees

Few years ago, I met Partho Ghosh at a Kallol (of New Jersey) general body meeting. Initially I thought him to be a new member of Kallol. I watched him sitting quietly in one of the back seats and observing the proceedings of the meeting. Later, during a break, someone introduced me to Partho as a journalist from the “Pratidin” news paper house in Kolkata. It was then, when Partho disclosed to me his vision of a news paper that can serve as a bridge between us, the non-resident Bengalees (NRB) and our home land. I was a bit skeptic at first. This is nothing new, already we have few magazines like that including “Probasi Anandabazar” (from ABP) and even our own Sangbad Bichitra. Besides, in the days of Internet, I didn’t think such a magazine added value when all the major Bangla dailies and weeklies are available on the web. Partho disagreed. His point was that the Bangla dailies were not edited for the non-resident readers. Not only is the news content targeted towards resident readers, even the advertisements had minimal value to us, the Bangla readers living abroad. His vision was, not only does he want to carry the news items that are of potential interest to a global audience, he would also like to publish the news made by the non-residents. The advertisements (which is a must to make any publication viable) would also be specially selected such that they fulfill the needs of the NRBs.
He pulled out a copy of a thin, but glossy and colorful, newspaper named “Bideshe Protidin”. As I browsed through the pages he reminded me that this edition does not at all represent the vision that he has for the magazine.

After that initial meeting, I kept on meeting Partho almost every year. In the mean time Partho has developed quite a network of readers in the USA and UK and has also quit Protidin to start his own publication company (PMG) and his dream magazine “India Doot”. “India Doot” now has evolved from “cut-and-paste” kind of newspaper to a magazine that any NRB would be interested to browse through whenever a fresh copy lands on their hands. Partho and his team hunts for fresh news from our home land that are of potential interest to us and collects advertisement that can be of use to some of us too. He tries not to differentiate between the news made in India vis-a-vis news made in the USA or UK. The news stories written by his team are brief and to the point, just the kind we in these parts of the world would like to read. Although, these days, the advertisements take up quite a bit of the newspaper real estate (no pun intended) but still the news content has not been compromised.

My wish list for “India Doot” has been to maintain an “events” section and a “classifieds” section. This would add more relevance to our lives abroad. Also an online version would have been nice.

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