Meghalaya Based Journalist Resigns from Editors Guild of India over Silence in Case Against Her | Northeast News
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Meghalaya Based Journalist Resigns from Editors Guild of India over Silence in Case Against Her

G Plus News | November 18, 2020 11:34 hrs

Veteran journalist and Padma Shri awardee Patricia Mukhim, who is based in Meghalaya and is currently the editor of The Shillong Times, has resigned from Editors Guild of India.

Mukhim alleged that the top journalists' body "defends" only celebrity journalists. 

In her resignation letter, Patricia Mukhim gave the example of how the journalists' body responded with "alacrity", and issued a statement condemning TV news anchor
Arnab Goswami's arrest but did not issue any statement in her case.

Last week, the Meghalaya High Court had refused to act over a police complaint filed against her for a Facebook post she had put out in July. 

Mukhim claimed that she had briefed the top journalists' body in detail about this case. "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," she said in her letter.

"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," Mukhim wrote in a strongly-worded letter to Seema Mustafa, the newly elected President of Editors Guild of India.

Earlier, Mukhim had criticised the Lawsohtun village council for failing to identify the "murderous elements", when masked people attacked five boys at a basketball court in the village through a Facebook post. 

In her post, she had asked Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma and the Dorbar Shnong, the traditional local body, to take action against the accused.

The village council in Meghalaya filed a complaint against Mukhim for allegedly trying to rake up sentiments.

Based on this, the police filed a criminal case against her. She was also accused of defamation.

Mukhim approached the High Court to quash the FIR filed by Dorbar Shnong. 

The single bench of the High Court judge, however, ruled that it found Mukhim guilty of creating communal disharmony – a crime under Section 153 CrPC.  

Mukhim has now decided to challenge the High Court order in the Supreme Court.

"It is no longer tenable for me to be part of this hallowed group of editors whose loyalties are to those that occupy a certain elite space. In fact, I feel completely out of place; almost an outlier in the Guild," Mukhim wrote in her letter while requesting Mustafa to accept her resignation.

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