‘Complete Silence’: Journalist Patricia Mukhim Quits Editors Guild
Patricia Mukhim, a Padma Shri recipient, veteran journalist and editor of The Shillong Times has quit Editor’s Guild of India accusing the association of being exclusionary towards lesser-known journalists by standing up for only celebrity journalists, NDTV reported.
In her resignation letter, a copy of which is with NDTV, she wrote:
"“I now wish to resign from its membership. There are several reasons for doing so. First, as a journalist, I don’t belong to that august league of celebrity editors whose newspapers are widely read and web-based news portals are hugely popular... I come from the fringes both geographically and in terms of my own status in an association I consider hierarchical by its very composition.”"
She added that while the journalists’ body responded with ‘alacrity’ upon the arrest of TV anchor Arnab Goswami, it had disregarded Mukhim’s plea to speak up for her when the that was lodged against her over a Facebook post.
She continued, “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. 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.”
Mukhim further said that she perceives this difference in treatment as “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.”
What Did Mukhim’s Facebook Post Say?
Mukhim, in her post on Facebook, had written about a skirmish between tribal and non-tribal youths at Lawsohtun. She has stated that this continued attack on non-tribals in Meghalaya, whose perpetrators have never been arrested since 1979, has resulted in Meghalaya being a failed state.
Following a complaint, police have reportedly registered a case against Mukhim. Police also issued a notice under Section 41 A CrPC requiring her to appear before the Investigating Officer.
Taking note of the Facebook Post, Justice W Diengdoh observed that the post sought to create a divide to the ‘cordial relationship’ between the tribals and non-tribals living in Meghalaya.