Reader Says INDIA New England News Failed Mr. Beej Das by Not Providing Him a Platform

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Nilanjana Rakhit (Photo: NR website)

By Nilanjana Rakhit

Is justice served by publishing an article about a candidate’s election loss rather than helping him to win the election in the first place?

Beej Das is a constitutional lawyer.  He served as a judicial clerk in the Federal Court in Maryland, where he wrote opinions on issues of Civil Rights, Affirmative Action, Intellectual Property etc., issues also relevant to our community.  His professional background made him uniquely qualified to serve in the US Congress and to represent our community at the Federal level of Government.

Related article:

Beej Das Election, The Boston Globe Headline and Lessons for Future Indian-American Candidates

However, some segments of the community erred in not supporting him even when they were approached directly and/or indirectly.  The INEN also failed him by not providing him a platform to transmit his message to the Indian-American voters in his district. Had it done so it could have made a big difference!

Nilanjana Rakhit (Photo: NR website)

This election outcome teaches us how fragmented we are as a community. The ethnic background of Beej Das it seems was considered to be more important to some groups, rather than getting a seat at the table.  If we continue on this path of disunity, I can confidently say that we will remain in the dark, unrecognized without anyone hearing us or speaking for us.

Solidarity matters and is the only way for us to have a voice in the corridors of power in Washington and Beacon Hill.

What is the role of journalism in this process?  Journalists that cover events worth reporting should have a moral compass, a sense of social responsibility, where facts matter and should be presented without prejudice.  INEN as a news media should be a voice of the Indian-American community, representing one and all.  Not doing so is a failure of their professional duty.

Moving forward, I strongly suggest that INEN take a leadership role in uniting the Indian-American community, be inclusive and act in the best interest of the Indian-Americans.  This means that if there is a qualified Indian-American aspiring to run for the election, he or she should be supported by their home base, and INEN has a moral role to play to make it happen.

(Ms. Rakhit is a chartered account and a long-times resident of Massachusetts. She has provided tax, accounting and consulting services to businesses and individuals for seventeen years in the Greater Boston area. Previously, she was with the Boston Consulting Group for more than ten years. She earned her CPA certification while at Pannell Kerr Forster. She earned B. A. from Calcutta University, MBA from WV University College of Graduate Studies and MS in Taxation from Bentley University.)

1 COMMENT

  1. I am surprised by the readers rant. As many of you many know, I run the largest Facebook group called IACUS over 9300 members. Just 2-weeks ago Amit Dixit called me to mention about Beej Das. He asked me whether I can spread the word through phone calls

    My first question to Amit Dixit was “Is he a Democrat or Republican”? Amit responded that he is a moderate Democrat.

    Since I am a Republican, I told Amit that I have no desire to campaign for some Democrat, even if he is an Indian American.

    Any way as a courtesy we approved the flier of Beej Dad in IACUS and it reached over 9300 people

    As I hung up the call. I was wondering as to Who is guy Beej Das. Frankly I have never heard of him. Has he involved any community activities related to Indian American Organizations such regional associations, Charity event etc. To be candid this was the first time I have heard his name (I am been in New England over 30 years now) and If he has been involved many people in the community would have known him. I did some searching and found out he a business man and owns some hotels including one in Tyngsboro. I am not sure he has ever sponsored any Indian Community or Charity events.

    India New England is a “For profit business”. Since Beej Das seems to be rich person, I wonder as to why he could not spend $1000 or so and advertise in INE, if he felt that that INE has the reach to the Indian Community in his district. I am sure he did paid advertisements in other local papers. Why does he want a freebie for INE? Is it because he is an Indian American and he has to right to ask for free things?

    This reminds me an incident that happened few years ago. I was the Chair for TiECON East 2005. When time came for promotion, I gave $1000 to INE and $1000 to Lokvani to promote the conference and they did a good job. However, one Axx hole who thinks a world of himself asked me- Why did you spend the money on INE and Lokvani? They will do it for FREE anyway. (No, I am not kidding). I told him bluntly, I am the chair for the conference and I make the decisions and I will show the profit for t event at the end. Also, if TiE cannot support Indian businesses, how does he expect American businesses to support Indian Businesses. He shut up. Every time I see this guy receive a community award, I laugh my ass off (Community Ratna? – My foot)

    Coming back to Beej Das issue. He should plan on spending money on Indian media and not expect FREE stuff, just because he is an Indian American. You are not entitled to anything FREE.

    My personal suggestion to Beej Das is – If you want Indian American votes, get involved in sponsoring Indian community events and charities.

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