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

The Complete Works of Tagore Now Online

Rabindranath TagoreAsk a Bengali what in his/her bookcase does he/she treasure most?  And the answer will be – the sixteen volume set of Rabindra Rachanabali, that is, the complete works of Rabindranath Tagore. Over the years, the works of Tagore has been one of the key source of revenue for Bishwabharati. However, after the expiry of the extended copyright, publishers were free to reprint Tagore without having to pay any royalty to Bishwabharati. The Society for Natural Language Technology Research (SNLTR) grabbed this opportunity and made the entire published works of Tagore (Rabindra Rachanabali) available online through their website No longer do you have to carry along with you the heavy volumes, neither do you have to spend money to buy them. Online Rabindra-Rachanabali is free.  The website was released to the public on 27th January 2010, at the Kolkata Bookfair. Continue reading