Skip to main content

Even media mogul Murdoch wouldn't act the way EPW trustees moved against editor Thakutra: Ex-editor Reddy

C Rammanohar Reddy
By Our Representative
Former “Economic and Political Weekly” (EPW) editor C Rammanohar Reddy has warned through a series of controversial Facebook posts on his timeline that if the “rapid slide in EPW after the current crisis” is not checked, the world-class journal, known for some of the best research and scholarly articles, will fade away.
Written in three parts, the posts, titled “EPW on Edge”, taking a tough view of the recent controversial exist of editor Paranjay Guha Thakurta, Reddy – who was EPW editor between 2004 and 2016 – has told the Sameeksha Trust, which owns EPW, the responsibility to prevent the collapse of the journal is “that is yours and yours alone, not of the editor.”
Sameeksha trustees are some well-known academics -- historian Romila Thapar, political theorist Rajeev Bhargava, economist Deepak Nayyar (EPW chairman), sociologists Andre Beteille and Dipankar Gupta, and Ambedkar University vice-chancellor Shyam Menon -- and two doyens of banking and finance DN Ghosh (EPW managing-director) and Deepak Parekh (chairman HDFC).
Thakurta was forced to resign after his article in EPW alleging the Adani Group evading Rs 1,000 crore in tax was withdrawn following a defamation law suit slapped by the business group against EPW. One of the most cited investigative articles in the recent past, it can be accessed in www.thewire.in HERE.
Reddy, who also resigned amidst controversial circumstances more than a year ago – he is said to have resisted interference from the trustees – says, to argue that the Sameeksha Trust is a private trust and is therefore not answerable to the public is untenable, pointing out, it is “registered under the Bombay Public Trust Act of 1950 which covers, among other things, trusts set up for charitable purposes including education.”
He adds, “The trust also enjoys tax exemption under Section 80G of the Income Tax Act for donations made to its corpus; it is therefore answerable to the public. Public trusts cannot claim a privatized existence.”
Insisting that “there is a crisis in the governance of EPW”, Reddy says, “If not attended to, it is certain to affect the reputation and the quality of the journal.”
He wonders, “Which academic or journalist with self-respect and integrity will now want to be Editor of a journal whose board can one day say (i) you can’t write under your name, (ii) we will appoint a joint editor, and (iii) we will draw up norms of behaviour (written?) between the board and the editor?”
Doubting that even media mogul Rupert Murdoch has such norms for his editors, Reddy regrets, “The Sameeksha Trust is a self-selecting board whose members have given themselves permanent tenure.” Pointing out that “voting them out is not possible”, he adds, the trustees, in order to repair what has been damaged, should “quickly come out with a public statement that “affirms independence of the office of the editor.”
At the same time, je says, the trustees should state that in future they would “not issue any directions on either selection of articles or their removal from the EPW website”, assert that the trust would “back the editor and the team in any legal matter arising from publication of articles”, even as giving the editor “full freedom in all respects other than in matters concerning the Sameeksha Trust where he should consult with the trustees.”
Also seeking formation of an interactive consultative body, comprising a dozen or so members drawn from among scholars, and chosen by the trustees in consultation with the editor, Reddy says, “Such an advisory body could channel suggestions from the EPW community to the editor and trustees.”
If this all this does not happen, Reddy cautions, “We may well have to later say, EPW was one more Indian institution that was so difficult to build and so easy to destroy.”
---
Click HERE, HERE and HERE for Rammohan Reddy’s Facebook posts

Comments

Uma said…
To think that such eminent trustees are also toeing the government's line sends shudders of fear and disgust down the spine

TRENDING

Did Modi promote Dholavira, a UNESCO site now, as Gujarat CM? Facts don't tally

By Rajiv Shah  As would generally happen, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tweet – that not only was he “absolutely delighted” with the news of UNESCO tag to Dholavira, but he “ first visited ” the site during his “student days and was mesmerised by the place” – is being doubted by his detractors. None of the two tweets, strangely, even recalls once that it’s a Harappan site in Gujarat.

Labelling a Jesuit a Marxist? It's like saying if you use a plane, you become American

Jesuits: Cedric Prakash, Stan Swamy By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ* A thirteen- fourteen-year-old has many dreams! That's an impressionable age; at the cusp of finishing school. It is also a time when one tastes a different kind of freedom: to go for camps with boys of your own age (not with ones family). Such camps and outings were always enjoyed to the hilt. The ones, however, which still remain etched in my memory are the mission camps to the Jesuit missions in Maharashtra and Gujarat.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Giant conglomerates 'favoured': Whither tribal rights for jal-jungle-jameen?

Prafull Samantara By Mohammad Irshad Ansari*  The struggle for “Jal, Jungle and Jameen” has been a long-drawn battle for the tribal communities of India. This tussle was once again in the limelight with the proposed diamond mining in the Buxwaha forest of Chhatarpur (Madhya Pradesh). The only difference in this movement was the massive social media support it gained, which actually seems to tilt the scale for the tribal people in a long time.

If not Modi, then who? Why? I (an ordinary citizen) am there! Main hoon naa!

By Mansee Bal Bhargava*  The number of women ministers is doubled in early July from the first term after cabinet reshuffle by the present government led by Narendra Modi. While there were 06 women ministers in the previous term, this term there are 11. The previous two governments led by Dr Manmohan Singh had 10 women ministers in each tenure. Are these number of women ministers something to rejoice in the near 75 years of independence? Yes maybe, if we think that things are slowly improving in the patriarchal system. This change is less likely to achieve gender balance in the parliament otherwise we require more than 11 as per the 33% reservation . This change is also less likely because the men politicians’ inability to handle the country’s mess is becoming more and more evident and especially during the corona crisis. Seems, the addition of more women ministers may be a result of the recent assembly elections where women played a decisive role in the election results. For example

Effluent discharge into deep sea? Modi told to 'reconsider' Rs 2275 crore Gujarat project

Counterview Desk  In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, well-known Gujarat-based environmentalist, Mahesh Pandya of the Paryavaran Mitra, has protested against the manner in with the Gujarat government is continuing with its deep sea effluent disposal project despite environmental concerns.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Gujarat govt gender insensitive? Cyclone package for fisherfolk 'ignores' poor women

By Our Representative A memorandum submitted to the Gujarat government by various fisherfolk associations of the Saurashtra region of Gujarat under the leadership of Ahmedabad NGO Centre for Social Justice's senior activist Arvind Khuman, who is based in Amreli, has suggested that the relief package offered to the fishermen affected by the Tauktae cyclone is not only inadequate, it is also gender insensitive.

Debt bondage, forced labour, sexual abuse in Gujarat's Bt cottonseed farms: Dutch study

By Rajiv Shah  A just-released study, sponsored by a Netherlands-based non-profit, Arisa , “Seeds of Oppression Wage sharecropping in Bt cottonseed production in Gujarat, India”, has said that a new form of bondage, or forced labour, exists in North India’s Bt cottonseed farms, in which bhagiyas, or wage sharecroppers, are employed against advances and are then often required to work for years together “without regular payment of wages.”

Covid: We failed to stop religious, political events, admits Modi-dharmacharya meet

Counterview Desk An email alert sent by one the 11 participants, Prof Salim Engineer, on behalf of the Dharmik Jan Morcha regarding their "religious leaders' online meet" with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, even as offering "support to meet challenges of Corona pandemic", blames religious congregations, though without naming the Maha Kumbh and other religious events, which apparently were instrumental in the spread of the second wave.