Basanta Koomar Roy – The First Indian American Journalist

Basanta Koomar Roy

Basanta Koomar Roy's Publicity Brochure

Sudipta Bhawmik

In 1910, a young Bengali student from Calcutta arrived at the University of Wisconsin to complete his BA degree. His name was Basanta Koomar Roy.  In those days, coming to America for higher education was a growing trend.  Rabindranath Tagore pioneered the trend by sending his son Rathindranath to USA for studying agriculture for he felt that “It is better to be a farmer from Illinois than to be a gentleman from Oxford!” Basanta Koomar being an ardent fan of Rabindranath, was most likely inspired to come to America for the same reasons. He later mentioned (in his publicity brochure),   “… by receiving an American education he would be able to serve his Motherland more efficiently.”  And although he did not go back to India, he did serve his Motherland handsomely.  Basanta Koomar took up journalism with a mission to bring India closer to America.  During the early part of the twentieth century, information about India came to America filtered by the British media. The nationalist uprisings in India, the literary and cultural renaissance taking place Continue reading