Displeased with the Editors Guild of India’s silence over the Meghalaya court’s recent ruling over a Facebook post against her, journalist Patricia Mukhim has tendered her resignation from the journalists’ body, alleging the organisation defends only star editors and anchors.
Mukhim submitted her resignation letter to the Guild chief Seema Mustafa on Monday, lamenting that the organisation was silent on the High Court order against her but showed eager “alacrity” in extending support to Arnab Goswami following his arrest earlier this month.
In her letter, Patricia Mukhim, a Padma Shri Awardee and editor of The Shillong Times, rued that despite Arnab being a non-member, the Guild issued a statement in his favour after he was arrested in a case of abetment of suicide and not in connection with his journalistic pursuits. She said that she had shared a copy of High Court order with the Guild hoping that the organisation will issue a statement condemning the order.
“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. Clearly, this is also a case of prejudice and a deliberate attempt to push those in the margins even further away so that they disappear completely from the national discourse (since the Guild is a national association of editors) and leave them to deal with the matter in their personal capacity,” Mukhim bemoaned in her resignation letter.
Patricia Mukhim further continued, “It is no longer possible for me to continue to be a part of this hallowed group of editors who are loyal to those who occupy a certain elite space. In fact, I feel completely out of place; almost an outlier in the Guild.”
Meghalaya High Court finds Patricia Mukhim guilty of inciting communal disharmony
Mukhim is currently facing charges of a criminal case against her over a social media post where she outlined incidents of violence in the state of Meghalaya. On November 10, the Meghalaya High Court dismissed Mukhim’s petition seeking to quash an FIR filed by Dorbar Shnong, the traditional local body in Meghalaya against the editor’s Facebook post.
Earlier in July this year, Patricia Mukhim had taken to Facebook to condemn the attack on nine “non-tribals” by a group of alleged tribals at a place called Lawsohtun. Mukhim had claimed that non-tribals were attacked with iron rods for playing in a “tribal majority” area. Mukhim had raised questions of the Dorbar Shnong of the area and tagged Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma seeking action against the attackers.
However, the High Court found Mukhim guilty of creating communal disharmony, a crime under Section 153 of the CrPC.