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Monday, April 9, 2012

Desi Media and Desi Plaza TV of Dallas

Friends, a note about the progress of Desi Media in Dallas/ Fort Worth.

Thank God we have Fun Asia today that  is the defacto Communications Center for the Desi Americans living in North Texas. Almost all the social and cultural events have become successful in reaching out to the largest possible audience.

I am glad to see John Hamid and Shabnam Modgil are running the FunAsia Entertainment center,  TV, Radio and FunAsia Pages effectively. I am proud of them for what they do. 

We also have a new portal, aka Desi Plaza TV is a comprehensive web portal – loaded with information about the Desi** community. I thank Dr. Krishna Puttaparthi and Manohar Nimmagadda for creating this portal and including me in it as one of the many Desis in Dallas.

In the following interview I spoke way too fast and I was not even breathing in between… I was surprised at myself. However, the previous interview reflected me in full, the link of which is at the bottom of the page.  

I was speaking Desi English unbeknown to me. I hope you enjoy the message of pluralism and my short anecdotes about what it takes to create a cohesive society in the following  interview


When I started the Asian News Magazine (1993-2001) and Asian News Radio (1996 -2001), and Desi TV (1996-97), my clear goal was to bring communities together; it was born out of my personal need to connect with the Indian community. 

I came to Dallas in 1980 but rarely did I know any Desi, all the way until 1992, I knew a handful of  Desi’s then;  among them are;  Vinod Kumar, Kishore Asirvadam, Vinod Mathur, Madan Goyal and Anil Dandonna. Then comes 1993, in just one year I got to know everyone in the town, some of my earliest friends include but not limited to Kundan Sharma, Shabnam Modgil, Syed Abu Talib, Abraham Thomas, Anu Agarwal and a few others, but I reached out to everyone; Atheists, Baha’I (Ben & Simi Moghaddas), Buddhist, Christians (Indian and Pakistani), Hindu, Jain, Jewish (there are three Indian Jews in town), Sikh and Zoroastrians.  Obviously, I will not be able to list every active Indian, Pakistani or Bangladeshi without writing a few words about them, so that is entirely another topic – Desi History, some day, I will work on it.

My pet theme in the paper was the Calendar, where we listed and talked (Radio) about every festival on a weekly basis and published a calendar for people to find the events and go to places. As an Indian, I wanted to promote the idea of learning about each other, to know each other and that is when the Foundation for Pluralism came into being. 

As an extension of that, I also ran a two year daily radio program called Wisdom of Religion, all the beautiful religions of the world. The first program on religion was by Dr. Hasmukh Shah on Hinduism.  We have done 100+ hours of talk on Islam, Hinduism and Christianity and 50 hours each on Sikhism, Jainism, Buddhism, Judaism, Baha’i, Zoroastrianism, Atheism and interfaith/pluralism. We did workshops on all the religions as well.

Cricket took off big for the first time with the Gold Cup in 1996 and went on to become North Texas Cricket Association, where I was president around 2002-04, and we won the international award for the best cricket development in the America’s.  We beat all the other cities in terms of continuing education of umpiring classes for every team to qualify playing – from 6 teams in 1996, we made it to 32 teams and 16 playing fields when I left, we passed many resolutions including creating the Premiere league.

We did a history of the Desi People on my Radio show as well, as a dinner show.
A lot of things have developed from those efforts – including 1220 Am and B magazine etc. The Asian News calendar was the predecessor to Sulekha and Ek Nazar portals as well.

Thank God we have Fun Asia today that literally is the Desi communications Center for people to do things that are Desi and glad to see John Hammond and Shabnam Modgil are running it very effectively with TV, Radio and FunAsia Pages. I am proud of them for creating this for the Desi People of Dallas.

Fun Asia is not only the dream of Dr. Farrukh Hamid, but was my dream and every Desi’s dream as well,  a place to come together.  John Hamid has taken the company to new heights, making it a full media conglomerate with TV, Radio and Print media.  They are constantly introducing new things and of course, I love the food at FunAsia. Alibhai is one of the greatest chefs around and I have known him since 1994.

We also had a TV show between Shiraz, Talib, Shabnam and I, on Channel 52 in 1996. Shiraz was an outstanding editor and producer. Shabnam and Najma (my late wife) were great anchors; they both have done well on Radio and TV.

Here comes Dr. Krishna Puttaparthi, committed to serving the community through capturing the Desi activities on video for nearly two decades.  He and Manohar Nimmagadda have started the web portal www.DesiPlaza.Tv that profiles the people of Dallas and what goes on here.  It does not stay here, it gets to the world. Please visit the portal and find out what they are doing.

I did much better in the interview two years ago in the following two part interview.

** The word Desi – pronounced “They-see” means people of the Subcontinent, i.e., Bangladesh, Indian, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka (BINPS). 

Article link -  http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2012/04/desi-media-and-desi-plaza-tv-of-dallas.html 

Mike Ghouse
is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. He is a professional speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, civic affairs, Islam, India, Israel, peace and justice. Mike is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he writes weekly at Dallas Morning News and regularly at Huffington post, The Smirking Chimp and several other periodicals. www.TheGhousediary.com is Mike's daily blog.

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