An Appeal for Voluntary Subscription — The Day of Reckoning for The Pittsburgh Patrika

By Kollengode S. Venkataraman, Editor and Publisher

The Coronavirus pandemic turned the lives of over six billion people upside down worldwide, devastating every segment. Even giant US businesses using the now-familiar “Too Big to Fail” argument, sought — and got — taxpayer-funded bailouts. There is a saying in Tamil,

Translation: “In the tornado, the kitchen grinding stone itself is flying in the air. What can peepul leaves do?” The Patrika is a peepul leaf sucked into the Coronavirus tornado.

“Day of Reckoning” is the phrase in the Bible referring to the Last Judgement. We use the phrase here not in the biblical sense, but in the literal sense, with “reckoning” to mean counting, as in “accounting.” 

You have been receiving the magazine for free for twenty-five years since 1995. In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, this is no longer possible. The pandemic wiped out the advertisements that paid for printing and mailing 1900 copies of the magazine for free every three months to readers around Pittsburgh. So, The Patrika is seeking voluntary subscriptions to continue to inform readers about what is going on in our midst.

When The Patrika started its journey twenty-five years ago, the lead article “Why This Newsletter?” began thus:

“The Pittsburgh Patrika is an experimental newsletter to reach people who trace their heritage to the Indian subcontinent, or who are curious about the people from there. This newsletter is a forum for airing and sharing your views, ideas, and even frustrations, on any topic. People from the Indian subcontinent have a diverse background, and yet, are so very alike. When we look through our patina of sophistication, we see that our pleasures and pains, problems, hopes, and even griefs, are similar…

We have opinions on war, peace, societal issues… … raising children in these ‘modern’ times, dealing with ‘old-fashioned’ parents, intercaste, interracial, interfaith, [and no-faith] marriages, divorce, reproductive rights, religion, religiosity and spirituality, ecology, taxes, tax evasions and tax shelters, NRIs… … This is a forum for expressing and critiquing ourselves. It will last only so long as it serves these stated purposes.”

Against these objectives, The Patrika is satisfied with what it delivered in the last twenty-five years. The Patrika’s credibility is its editorial integrity and independence. To ensure this, the magazine never sought financial or other support from any social, political, cultural, religious or corporate entities.  

This unique magazine for the Greater Pittsburgh Indian Community goes to the offices of local, state and federal elected officials, local libraries, and media outlets, providing them a credible window on how we are melding into the American mainstream. Because of this, we have become a one-of-a-kind source of information as we receive inquiries from the mainstream, seeking resources from within our community.

Our writers pen articles about our people who render yeomen service in different fields and their talents. Also, knowledgeable members among us regularly review music and dance recitals and other events.

Thus there is a compelling need to continue to highlight in an editorially independent magazine the accomplishments of our community members in their professions and extra-professional activities. Such records gives credibility to these stories and can inspire our youngsters about opportunities, possibilities — and needs — in their adult life.

Our very first issue came out with no ads. Savor the irony here: after twenty-five years, we are almost back to square-one, only two ads in this issue.

So, The Patrika seeks voluntary subscriptions from readers to continue to inform readers about what is going on in our midst. Contributions of $20 or more from readers are welcome with gratitude. Please remember, we have been mailing this magazine for free for 25 years, or 100 issues! We hope this is a temporary measure.  If and when the economy recovers, we will definitely revisit this situation.

You can donate online at the GoFundme here:

Or mail your check payable to:

The Pittsburgh Patrika, Inc. 4006 Holiday Park Dr. Murrysville, PA 15668

We will update you on the total amount we receive from readers in response to this appeal.  Please note that your subscription is NOT tax-deductible since The Patrika is NOT a tax-exempt enterprise.   End.


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