In a marked departure from its conventional practice of being guided by consensus, Editors Guild of India held its first elections for its new office-bearers via Zoom, on Friday. In a first, senior journalist Seema Mustafa, the founder and editor of the website The Citizen, has been elected as the new president of the Editors Guild of India for a one-year term. She will now be replacing Shekhar Gupta- veteran journalist and founder and the editor-in-chief of leftist media portal ThePrint.
According to reports, Seema Mustafa and Editorial Director of Itv network MD Nalapat were vying for the post of President. Seema defeated MD Nalapat of The Sunday Guardian, with the former receiving 87 votes while the latter managed 51 votes.
Shekhar Gupta took to Twitter to write a goodbye note: “As we wrap our innings at @IndEditorsGuild gratitude to Gen Secy @AshokAkaybee treasurer @sheela2010 & the stellar members of our Exec Committee. We may argue in the world of ideas, compete in markets, yet unite in a good common cause. Thanks all for a wonderful ride together.”
As we wrap our innings at @IndEditorsGuild gratitude to Gen Secy @AshokAkaybee treasurer @sheela2010 & the stellar members of our Exec Committee.— Shekhar Gupta (@ShekharGupta) October 17, 2020
We may argue in the world of ideas, compete in markets, yet unite in a good common cause.
Thanks all for a wonderful ride together.
For the post of general secretary, the editor of the magazine Hard News-Sanjay Kapoor was pitted against Smita Prakash of ANI. According to reports, Kapoor bagged 90 of the 140 votes polled, beating Smita Prakash by 40 votes.
Meanwhile, Anant Nath, the Editor of The Caravan, was elected treasurer, unopposed. The newly elected trio has replaced Shekhar Gupta of ThePrint, AK Bhattacharya of Business Standard, and Sheela Bhatt of ex-NewsX, respectively.
Who is Seema Mustafa?
Seema Mustafa of The Citizen is ideologically opposed to Hindutva and harbours rather morbid views. During the recent controversy over the Hathras case, she spread fake news over the incident and attributed a fake quote to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in a post on Facebook.
In January 2020, Seema Mustafa penned an article on the Shaheen Bagh protests titled ‘Shaheen Bagh – No, Money Cannot Buy Them!’ where she whitewashed the toxic radicalism and fundamentalism of the protesters. She declared in the article, “But fortunately for India there are still these phenomenal women out there who, only as women can, have answered the need of the hour and stepped out to protect their men and their sons and their homes, and embrace their country.”
In another article titled ‘Muslims Come Out to Claim India, Unprecedented Assertion’, she declared, “Violence as is being reported from Uttar Pradesh —heinous to say the very least—has not deterred the minorities who are coming out, demonstration after demonstration not just to oppose CAA but to claim India.” She also appears to be a fan of Shaheen Bagh ‘dadi’ Bilkis Bano.
In a Facebook post on the 10th of October, Seema Mustafa said that we should be grateful that thy are asking for equality and not revenge. In the photo was a Muslim woman wearing sunglasses and a dupatta wrapped around her head.
Seema Pasha also targeted the Delhi Police over their investigation into the Delhi Riots. It is pertinent to remember that the Delhi Police has come under intense criticism from ‘liberal’ intellectuals and journalists for exposing the conspiracy by radical Muslims to unleash violence at the national capital.
Seema Mustafa also appears to be a fierce defender of Umar Khalid, currently under arrest for his alleged role in the Delhi riots, which would explain her opinions on the Delhi Police.
Her reputation is such that even Swati Chaturvedi is not pleased with her election as the President of the Editors Guild of India. Chaturvedi claims that Seema Mustafa has contested two Lok Sabha elections and has gaslighted victims of sexual predators as well.
How seriously would the government take a free press representation from a person who has contested (lost her deposit) in two lok Sabha election from the @IndEditorsGuild How seriously would you take Ms Mustafa? She has also gaslighted #meetoo victims— Swati Chaturvedi (@bainjal) October 17, 2020
Editors Guild of India and its bias
Editors Guild of India, which is considered to be India’s top body of editorial leaders and is considered to be the conscience keeper of the country’s media has many a time been called out by journalists for its bias and its selective approach. Journalists have often alleged that Editors Guild remains silent on issues other than Guild office-bearer issues.
Owing to the Guild’s double-standards, Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami had earlier this year, resigned from the Editors Guild of India on live TV. He had slammed the President of the Guild, Shekhar Gupta, for destroying the remaining credibility of the organisation. Moreover, last year Zee News Editor in Chief had said that the Guild is a den of petty media politics, a cosy club of self-serving editors who express selective outrage. Now, it remains to be seen whether these new office-bearers would be able to earn back the lost credibility of the Guild.