[WSMDiscuss] India in movement…., Publishing in movement…, Freedoms in movement… : Fwd: [Debate-List] (Fwd) Threat to India's valuable periodical Economic & Political Weekly
jai.sen at cacim.net
Fri Jul 21 23:57:47 CEST 2017
Friday, July 21, 2017
India in movement…., Publishing in movement…, Freedoms in movement…
[Back to the future… Yet one more instance of the clamping down on intellectual and political space in India, in this case prssure on Economic & Political Weekly, one of the beacons of free and critical thinking in India – and in its field, perhaps also across much of the world –, and in this case with the pressure apparently coming from the Adani Group, who (surprise, surprise) are the industrialists closest to the present government.
[Though there is still a lot of spunky journalism in the country, there is no question from the relentless series of attacks this year (as I have posted on before this, on universities, on the publishing world, and so on) that the institutions of free – and left - thinking in India are being hit one by one, and the situation is getting darker by the month… As the Statement says,
“India is currently living through a dark period in which there are real concerns about media freedom and independence, with significant corporate takeover of major media houses (both print and other) and increasing instances of overt and covert intimidation of independent media.”
[Please consider signing the Statement. I have :
Appeal for endorsements :
Threat to India’s valuable periodical Economic & Political Weekly
Mary E John and others
NB : As below, send your endorsements to maryejohn1 at gmail.com <mailto:maryejohn1 at gmail.com>
Congratulations on your principled stand Paranjoy; thanks for initiating this Appeal, Mary – perhaps along with others such as Jayati, I understand -; and thanks for posting this internationally, Patrick.
> Begin forwarded message:
> From: Patrick Bond <pbond at mail.ngo.za>
> Subject: [Debate-List] (Fwd) threat to India's valuable periodical Economic & Political Weekly
> Date: July 21, 2017 at 6:30:25 AM EDT
> To: DEBATE <debate-list at fahamu.org>, "progeconnetwork at googlegroups.com" <progeconnetwork at googlegroups.com>, PEN-L <pen-l at mail.csuchico.edu>
> Reply-To: pbond at mail.ngo.za
(This comes from close allies at International Development Economics Associates. Please sign if you are concerned. I am.)
Economic and Political Weekly (EPW)
As long standing members of the intellectual community served by the EPW, we are appalled and dismayed by the recent events leading to the abrupt resignation of the Editor, Paranjoy Guha Thakurta. We are distressed that the Board of the Sameeksha Trust has insisted that the Editor retract articles published in the journal, and is preparing to introduce new norms for the Board-Editor relationship and appoint a co-editor. It is obvious that, taken together, these actions (mentioned by the Editor in interviews to the press and not denied in the statement issued by the Trust) would force any self-respecting editor to resign. By failing to distinguish between internal issues of procedural propriety in Board-Editor relationship from the much larger question of the EPW’s public reputation for integrity, the Board of the Sameeksha Trust has dealt a mortal blow to the journal’s credibility. We can now only fear for the future of the EPW.
Paranjoy Guha Thakurta’s professional reputation has been primarily that of an investigative journalist of several decades standing. His well-known past exposes have delved into the malpractices of large corporations and the complicity of state institutions in such corrupt practices. That such journalism could provoke retaliation by those investigated is hardly surprising. These facts must have been known to the Board of Trustees of the Sameeksha Trust when they appointed Guha Thakurta as Editor just 15 months earlier.
The fact that a legal notice was sent to the Editor and the publishers (Sameeksha Trust) of EPW, for an ongoing investigation on the tweaking of rules that have benefited the Adani Group, is therefore not surprising. Legal notices have unfortunately become the standard means used to intimidate and suppress investigative journalism. When they translate into court cases that can extend for many years, they obviously add to costs and further harassment of honest and courageous journalists. However, as long as all the published material can be adequately substantiated and verified, there is little reason to fear an adverse result from the judicial process. But publishers MUST stand behind and back their editors on this if the media are to maintain even a shred of independence and credibility.
It is one thing to wonder if the Editor may have erred in initiating legal action on behalf of the Trust without first consulting its Board, and quite another to withdraw an already published article from the journal. If the Board believes the article to be mistaken in its facts, it must issue a public apology and retraction. If it is only concerned that due deference was not shown to the Board, it must publicly stand by the article while initiating action against the Editor. By forcing the Editor’s resignation without clarifying its stand on the substance of the article, the Board has diminished the institution that it is mandated to nurture.
India is currently living through a dark period in which there are real concerns about media freedom and independence, with significant corporate takeover of major media houses (both print and other) and increasing instances of overt and covert intimidation of independent media. In this context, reports of what appears to be a capitulation by the Board of Trustees of Sameeksha Trust – removing the “offending” articles from the EPW website and trying to impose humiliating terms on the Editor – are alarming. The EPW has a long and distinguished tradition of encouraging independent and critical thinking that is vital in a democracy. We hope that current Trustees will be mindful of their inherited legacy that is enriched by the contributions of scholars, analysts and activists in India and abroad, and will take immediate steps to restore the prestige and credibility of the journal and the Sameeksha Trust.
If you endorse this statement, please email maryejohn1 at gmail.com <mailto:maryejohn1 at gmail.com> ….. with your name and affiliation.
IDEAs or the International Development Economics Associates is committed to building a pluralistic network of committed researchers, teachers and other economists interested in advancing progressive heterodox approaches to critically analysing and addressing the problems of economic development processes.
Website: www.networkideas.org <http://www.networkideas.org/> or www.ideaswebsite.org <http://www.ideaswebsite.org/>
jai.sen at cacim.net <mailto:jai.sen at cacim.net>
www.cacim.net <http://www.cacim.net/> / http://www.openword.net.in
Now based in New Delhi, India (+91-98189 11325) and in Ottawa, Canada, on unceded Anishinaabe territory (+1-613-282 2900)
Recent publications :
Jai Sen, ed, 2016 – The Movements of Movements, Part 1 : What Makes Us Move ? (forthcoming in 2017 from New Delhi : OpenWord and Oakland, CA : PM Press), ADVANCE PREFINAL ONLINE MOVEMENT EDITION @ www.cacim.net <http://www.cacim.net/>
Jai Sen, ed, 2013 – The Movements of Movements : Struggles for Other Worlds, Part I. Prefinal version of Volume 4 Part I in the Challenging Empires series. New Delhi : OpenWord. Prefinal version 1.0 available @ http://www.into-ebooks.com/book/the_movements_of_movements/ <http://www.into-ebooks.com/book/the_movements_of_movements/>
FORTHCOMING PUBLICATIONS :
Jai Sen, ed, 2017a – The Movements of Movements, Part 1 : What Makes Us Move ?. Volume 4 in the Challenging Empires series (New Delhi : OpenWord and Oakland, CA : PM Press). Available for pre-order at PM Press <http://www.pmpress.org/>
Jai Sen, ed, 2017b – The Movements of Movements, Part 2 : Rethinking Our Dance. Volume 5 in the Challenging Empires series (New Delhi : OpenWord and Oakland, CA : PM Press)
CHECK OUT CACIM @ www.cacim.net <http://www.cacim.net/>, OpenWord @ http://www.openword.net.in <http://www.openword.net.in/>, and OpenSpaceForum @ www.openspaceforum.net <http://www.openspaceforum.net/>
AND SUBSCRIBE TO World Social Movement Discuss, an open, unmoderated, and self-organising forum for the exchange of information and views on the experience, practice, and theory of social and political movement at any level (local, national, regional, and global), including the World Social Forum. To subscribe, simply send an empty email to wsm-discuss-subscribe at lists.openspaceforum.net <mailto:wsm-discuss-subscribe at lists.openspaceforum.net>
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the WSM-Discuss