प्रेस क्लब आफ इंडिया (पीसीआई), दिल्ली के चुनाव घोषित हो चुके हैं. पर्चा दाखिला और नाम वापसी भी हो चुका है. वोट 13 नवंबर को पड़ेंगे और वोटों की गिनती व नतीजे 14 नवंबर को आएंगे. इस बार प्रेस क्लब चुनाव में कोई खास सरगर्मी नहीं दिख रही है. न कोई आरोप प्रत्यारोप का दौर चल रहा है और न ही कोई खींचतान. इस बीच प्रेस क्लब के अध्यक्ष परवेज अहमद ने सभी सदस्यों को एक पत्र भेजकर काफी कुछ बातें कहीं-बताई हैं. चुनाव से संबंधित नोटिस व परवेज का पत्र नीचे प्रकाशित कर रहे हैं. -एडिटर,
I am here again to wish you for the season of festivity. After a long spell of unbearable summers, we have just passed through the healthy showers. Although some times incessant rain create problems, we have to accept heavenly waters gracefully, as we all know “BIN PAANI SAB SOON”. Now, a pleasant winter is just walking on the ramp, towards us. And, we soon would according a warm
All my member friends must have already seen lots of changes at the Club premises including the new furniture and new television sets. A new office is also made functional befitting the dignity of Press Club of India (PCI). And, all this has added significantly to the overall ambiance and atmosphere of the Club.
But the most noticeable change this year has been the absence of all those whistle blower friends, who used to falsely blow whistles at the drop of a hat without providing anything substantive. Where they have gone and also with them constant allegations of corruption? Last year the legally elected body of the managing committee had to seek legal recourse when it was wrongfully thrown out of the office through an illegally called EGM. The Hon’ble court’s Interim order was on legality of the so called “EGM”, not about the financial irregularities, for which the very EGM was called. And the so-called “Interim Committee” sought the High Court’s intervention alleging corruption of crores of rupees but the honorable High court not only dismissed the case but also rejected their demand to appoint receiver in the Press Club of India.
The whole year went off peacefully without any murmur or sound of ”Corruption” for which so much of hue and cry was made last year.
But the whole issue is whether such evil forces should be ignored or they should be reprimanded for their ugly behaviour and unruly conduct. I personally feel that such forces must not let go lightly and every responsible, sensible and serious member of the club must help curb such tendencies and patterns so that the PCI should be saved from such irresponsible and selfish people.
Now its time to discuss the role of national media in dealing with the issues of the PCI. It was very difficult to understand, how the national media became the party in publishing baseless and one sided stories, without even bothering to cross check about the PCI’s internal matters ? The PCI became the target of some journalists working for the Times of India, Indian Express, NDTV, Punjab Kesri and The Sunday Guardian and misused the newspaper’s space in furthering their nefarious agendas.
I would like to refer to the headlines ” Sonia joins Press Club, stairs a row, in The Times of India dated 31 August 2009, on the front page. The reporter Bhaskar Roy, under whose byline this appeared did not even try to cross check facts or take the version of the PCI’s managing committee and chose to write one-sided concocted story. The fact of the matter was that Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi never joined the Club on her own, She in fact was offered an honorary membership by the PCI as a matter of honour.
The return of the Press Club honorary membership card by Ms Sonia Gandhi was truly a display of her disappointment. Probably it should be considered by each member of the Club as a matter of shame that a national leader had to disassociate herself from the Club due to the irresponsible headlines that hogged the national newspapers.
Even the headline of The Indian Express, dated September 2, 2009, “Journalist fight on, Sonia gives back her Press Club card” was unkind. Another two column story was published with the photograph of the returned card by the Express. A leading Hindi newspaper Punjab Kesri has given one of its weekly colunmists a free hand to write whatever she wants to write against PCI on regular basis. It seems that it’s not the columnist but the newspaper has some grudges against the Club and allows the columnist to write as she wishes to by throwing all best journalistic practices.
The same columnist has now been given a chance show her “art” on the pages of M.J.Akber’s “ The Sunday Guardian”.
Last year when the members of the managing committee met Ms.Sonia Gandhi to discuss about the new building of the Club, the office-bearers also offered her the Club’s honorary membership as part of the Pres Club’s old tradition. Even earlier many important leaders had also been given similar memberships. I duly ask members why can’t the PCI offer its honorary membership to the important personalities of the country ? But it was shocking to watch as to how the some of the major national media houses became part of the malicious campaign, not against any individual but against whole institution called the Press Club of India.
Strangely, ” Gustakhi mauf”,a popular satirical show on NDTV also attacked the Press Club of India in a most brazen way. In one of its episodes the UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi asked UP chief minister Mayawati, “Why don’t you join the Press Club of India? Mayawati replied,” Wahaan Bharashtachaar Bahut Hai”. It’s difficult to understand how the NDTV got interested in smearing the image and prestige of the Press Club of India. Surprisingly, the NDTV which boasts of high standards of practicing journalism even failed to cross check facts from the office-bearers of the Club. Probably the channel believed more in one of their staff members who was leading the false campaign against the Club rather than on tenets of journalism. Interestingly he was the same person who was an elected treasurer at that time and was responsible for managing all the accounts.
But by just telling a lie thousand times, it does not become a truth.
Our team in the last four years has done every bit in trying to give the Club its traditional dignity. We have succeeded in a big way. As most of you know we have deposited the process fee of Rs One and half crore for the new land allotted to the press club at 6,Rajendra Prasad Marg, New Delhi, next to Rajiv Gandhi Foundation.
Our dream is to have a modern building for The Press Club of India. Through this letter I call upon the media luminaries Messers. Pranoy Roy, Shekhar Gupta, M.J.Akbar, Ashwani Minna and Vineet Jain to keep off their prestigious organizations from being used by their partisan staff journalists for their ulterior motives and help us safeguard the prestige of the Press Club of India.
Even I take this opportunity to invite all the senior and reputed journalists holding prestigious positions in media houses to help Press Club build its own building, which can become a prestigious address of the entire media fraternity.
I also convey my sincere thanks to one and all for your love and support, without which we couldn’t have even moved a single step forward.
With all the best wishes,