Editors Guild of India finally stands up for Patricia Mukhim

The Shillong Times editor had quit the guild after accusing it of defending only ‘celebrity’ journalists such as Arnab Goswami.

ByNL Team
Editors Guild of India finally stands up for Patricia Mukhim
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Eight days after Patricia Mukhim, editor of the Shillong Times, quit the Editors Guild of India, alleging hypocrisy in who it stood up for, the association has issued a statement in her support.

A village council in Meghalaya had accused Mukhim of inciting “communal tension” through a Facebook post, leading to the registration of an FIR against her. Mukhim asked for the FIR to be quashed but the Meghalaya High Court refused.

On November 17, Mukhim said she had brought the matter to the guild’s attention, only to be met with “complete silence”. In contrast, she noted, the guild had reacted with “alacrity” to issue a statement in support of “celebrity” editor Arnab Gowswami following his arrest in connection with an abetment to suicide case.

In an interview with Scroll, Mukhim said the irony was that unlike her, Gowsami, who isn’t a member of the guild, was charged with a “non-journalistic offence”. “I feel the guild discriminates between high end editors and those from the periphery who don’t count for much. So why be a member of such an organisation?”

A week after Mukhim’s resignation, the guild finally spoke up for her. On November 22, the guild released a statement saying it was “deeply concerned” by how Mukhim was being “dragged through a cumbersome criminal charge procedure” for her Facebook post.

Describing Mukhim’s case as a systematic attempt to “muzzle dissent'', the statement, signed by president Seema Mustafa, general secretary Sanjay Kapoor and treasurer Anant Nath, elaborated that Mukhim’s case exposed the larger threats to freedom of speech in India.

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