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Patricia Mukhim quits Editors Guild of India citing "complete silence" on case against her

Mukhim says the journalists' body responded with "alacrity", and issued a statement condemning Arnab Goswami's arrest but is silent in her case

Sabrangindia 18 Nov 2020

Patricia Mukhim quits Editors Guild

Patricia Mukhim, a veteran journalist from Shillong, has resigned from the Editors Guild of India (EGI) after the newly elected leadership’s quick response to the arrest of Republic TV chief Arnab Goswami. Mukhim, the editor of Shillong Times says that EGI "defends" only ‘celebrity’ journalists. Her resignation letter, quoted by NDTV and The Telegraph stated that the EGI had responded with "alacrity", and issued a statement condemning Goswami's arrest but did not issue any statement in her case. 

Mukhim, in a Facebook post on July 4, had called out the Lawsohtun village council for failing to identify the "murderous elements", when masked people attacked five boys at a basketball court in the village. No one was arrested in the case, reported NDTV. Mukhim had sought that Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma and the Dorbar Shnong, the traditional local body, take action against the accused.

However, the village council in Meghalaya filed a complaint against Mukhim accusing her of trying to rake up sentiments, she was also accused of defamation. Soon the local police filed a criminal case against Mukhim. She approached the Meghalaya High Court to cancel the case but was reportedly turned down on November 10 when the HC refused to quash the FIR filed against her. According to The Telegraph, the court observed that the post  “apparently seeks to promote disharmony or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will between two communities”. 

Mukhim defended her post, stating that she only raised the issue of “continued” attacks on non-tribal persons in her post. According to news reports Mukhim has now decided to challenge the HC order in the Supreme Court.

 

 

Meanwhile, Mukhim has claimed that she had briefed the Editor’s Guild about this case but did not get the support she sought and hence has decided to resign from its membership. She told media that she has several reasons for doing so,  “I don't belong to that august league of celebrity editors whose newspapers are widely read and web-based news portals are hugely popular," she wrote. "I come from the fringes both geographically and in terms of my own status in an association I consider hierarchical by its very composition. I had shared this High Court order with the Guild hoping that it would at least give out a statement condemning it but there was and has been complete silence from the executive," she added. “Ironically, the Guild responded with alacrity and issued a statement condemning Arnab Goswami’s arrest (a non-member), not on grounds of journalistic pursuits but on an abetment to suicide case. I see this as a classic case of the Guild playing to the gallery to defend celebrity editors/ anchors whose voices matter while choosing to deliberately ignore a plea (unstated) from one of its members,” said Mukhim. 

 

 

The Editors Guild of India, was founded in 1978 with the “twin objectives of protecting press freedom and for raising the standards of editorial leadership of newspapers and magazines.”  The Editors Guild of India recently held online elections on October 16. Seema Mustafa, Editor of The Citizen, is its new President, and Sanjay Kapoor, Editor of Hardnews, was elected General Secretary. Anant Nath, Editor of The Caravan, was elected Treasurer. Mustafa succeeds Shekhar Gupta, Editor-in-Chief of ThePrint, while Kapoor and Nath took over from A.K. Bhattacharya, Editorial Director of Business Standard, and Sheela Bhatt, Contributing Editor of Rediff.com, respectively.

 

 

Mukhim sent her resignation letter as a member to Guild president Seema Mustafa on Monday. However, according to EGI sources the guild was making all efforts to persuade Mukhim to take her resignation back. The Telegraph reported that Mukhim was firm on her decision. The Shillong Times is one of the oldest English dailies in the Northeast.

 

Related:

Right to free speech does not mean a licence to promote hate speech: Editors Guild of India

We are trying to discourage Article 32 petitions: Chief Justice of India

Arnab’s plea listed urgently in SC, Dushyant Dave alleges preferential treatment

Remember journalists Siddique Kappan, Aasif Sultan, Kishorechandra Wangkhem?

Patricia Mukhim quits Editors Guild of India citing "complete silence" on case against her

Mukhim says the journalists' body responded with "alacrity", and issued a statement condemning Arnab Goswami's arrest but is silent in her case

Patricia Mukhim quits Editors Guild

Patricia Mukhim, a veteran journalist from Shillong, has resigned from the Editors Guild of India (EGI) after the newly elected leadership’s quick response to the arrest of Republic TV chief Arnab Goswami. Mukhim, the editor of Shillong Times says that EGI "defends" only ‘celebrity’ journalists. Her resignation letter, quoted by NDTV and The Telegraph stated that the EGI had responded with "alacrity", and issued a statement condemning Goswami's arrest but did not issue any statement in her case. 

Mukhim, in a Facebook post on July 4, had called out the Lawsohtun village council for failing to identify the "murderous elements", when masked people attacked five boys at a basketball court in the village. No one was arrested in the case, reported NDTV. Mukhim had sought that Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma and the Dorbar Shnong, the traditional local body, take action against the accused.

However, the village council in Meghalaya filed a complaint against Mukhim accusing her of trying to rake up sentiments, she was also accused of defamation. Soon the local police filed a criminal case against Mukhim. She approached the Meghalaya High Court to cancel the case but was reportedly turned down on November 10 when the HC refused to quash the FIR filed against her. According to The Telegraph, the court observed that the post  “apparently seeks to promote disharmony or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will between two communities”. 

Mukhim defended her post, stating that she only raised the issue of “continued” attacks on non-tribal persons in her post. According to news reports Mukhim has now decided to challenge the HC order in the Supreme Court.

 

 

Meanwhile, Mukhim has claimed that she had briefed the Editor’s Guild about this case but did not get the support she sought and hence has decided to resign from its membership. She told media that she has several reasons for doing so,  “I don't belong to that august league of celebrity editors whose newspapers are widely read and web-based news portals are hugely popular," she wrote. "I come from the fringes both geographically and in terms of my own status in an association I consider hierarchical by its very composition. I had shared this High Court order with the Guild hoping that it would at least give out a statement condemning it but there was and has been complete silence from the executive," she added. “Ironically, the Guild responded with alacrity and issued a statement condemning Arnab Goswami’s arrest (a non-member), not on grounds of journalistic pursuits but on an abetment to suicide case. I see this as a classic case of the Guild playing to the gallery to defend celebrity editors/ anchors whose voices matter while choosing to deliberately ignore a plea (unstated) from one of its members,” said Mukhim. 

 

 

The Editors Guild of India, was founded in 1978 with the “twin objectives of protecting press freedom and for raising the standards of editorial leadership of newspapers and magazines.”  The Editors Guild of India recently held online elections on October 16. Seema Mustafa, Editor of The Citizen, is its new President, and Sanjay Kapoor, Editor of Hardnews, was elected General Secretary. Anant Nath, Editor of The Caravan, was elected Treasurer. Mustafa succeeds Shekhar Gupta, Editor-in-Chief of ThePrint, while Kapoor and Nath took over from A.K. Bhattacharya, Editorial Director of Business Standard, and Sheela Bhatt, Contributing Editor of Rediff.com, respectively.

 

 

Mukhim sent her resignation letter as a member to Guild president Seema Mustafa on Monday. However, according to EGI sources the guild was making all efforts to persuade Mukhim to take her resignation back. The Telegraph reported that Mukhim was firm on her decision. The Shillong Times is one of the oldest English dailies in the Northeast.

 

Related:

Right to free speech does not mean a licence to promote hate speech: Editors Guild of India

We are trying to discourage Article 32 petitions: Chief Justice of India

Arnab’s plea listed urgently in SC, Dushyant Dave alleges preferential treatment

Remember journalists Siddique Kappan, Aasif Sultan, Kishorechandra Wangkhem?

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