Toothless Editors Guild Condemns Arrest Warrant Against Journalist

Paranjoy Guha Thakurta. Screen grab.
Paranjoy Guha Thakurta. Screen grab.

By RMN News Service

The Editors Guild of India (EGI) has issued a casual statement about the non-bailable arrest warrant against senior journalist Paranjoy Guha Thakurta.

According to a statement released today (January 21), EGI said it strongly condemns the use of intimidatory tactics by powerful corporate houses against journalists to prevent media scrutiny.

While EGI is a toothless outfit, it keeps issuing shallow statements which are ignored by the authorities and people who are supposed to follow them.

It is reported that a court in Gujarat’s Kutch district issued an arrest warrant on Tuesday (January 19) against Thakurta in a defamation suit filed by the Adani Group.

The Wire news service has reported that the Adani Group had filed the defamation suit following a June 2017 article that said the Narendra Modi government tweaked rules relating to special economic zones which gave the group a “Rs 500 crore bonanza”.

Editor’s Note

Today there is no organization in the world that is working effectively to protect journalists from state excesses and police brutality. Although UNESCO and other UN agencies keep releasing loose statements and random reports about media freedom, they too have failed miserably to protect journalists in different countries.

Similarly, the NGOs – such as Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch – that claim to be working for press freedom and protection of journalists operate only as secondary news outlets.

They lift news from here and there about attacks on journalists and simply publish it under their own banners on their websites. They cannot influence and change the brutal decisions of the authorities that are unleashing terror on journalists.

By Rakesh Raman

“The issue of a non-bailable warrant by a lower court against Thakurta is another example of how intolerant the business houses have become to any criticism. Routinely, they have targeted independent and intrepid journalists by using the very instruments that provide media the necessary protection,” the EGI said in its statement.

The Editors Guild added that it is disturbed on how the judiciary in this case has become a part of the exercise to muzzle free press. It urged the Adani group to withdraw the criminal case against Thakurta.

But instead of releasing such meaningless statements, EGI should work hard to establish its credibility among journalists. It should inform only about those cases in which the journalists and their rights are protected because of the exclusive efforts of EGI.

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Rakesh Raman