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.
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!
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.)