प्रेस क्लब आफ इंडिया में चुनाव कल यानि 29 मार्च को है. पैनल के अलावा बिना पैनल भी लोग लड़ रहे हैं. बिना पैनल लड़ने वालों में से महिला पत्रकार करुणा मदान भी हैं. वे कोषाध्यक्ष पद की उम्मीदवार हैं. उनका कहना है कि देश दुनिया में महिलाएं जाने कहां कहां पहुंच गई हैं लेकिन आजतक कोई भी महिला प्रेस क्लब में कोषाध्यक्ष नहीं बन सकी है.
उन्होंने प्रेस क्लब आफ इंडिया की पैनल पालिटिक्स पर कई गंभीर आरोप भी लगाए हैं. उनका कहना है कि जो लोग प्रेस क्लब में सत्ता में हैं, उन लोगों ने चुनाव से ठीक पंद्रह दिन पहले करीब पांच सौ नए मेंबर बना डाले और इस तरह अपने व अपने पैनल के जीतने का जुगाड़ कर डाला. प्रेस क्लब सदस्यों को लिखे गए करुणा मदान के पत्र को पढ़ें और वोट डालते समय इन बातों को भी ध्यान में रखें…
——– Forwarded message ———-
From: "Karuna Madan" (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: 28 Mar 2014 01:32
Subject: Karuna Madan as Treasurer
Trust you are doing well. As you are aware, the Press Club of India is holding its annual elections this time on March 29, 2014 (Saturday) from 11 am to 6.30 pm, I would like to appeal to you to strengthen my position as Treasurer. I chose the post of Treasurer for some reasons.
Firstly, the Press Club has never seen a woman Treasurer in its long history of 56 years. This is when women are proved world over to be better managers of finance at home and outside.
Secondly, the Press Club has been mired in innumerable controversies over leakages and financial irregularities, particularly in the last ten years or so. All successive committees have failed miserably to plug the leakages and put the finances on track.
Thirdly, I have had the necessary experience of being the office-bearer of the Press Club. Additionally, I have over 18 years of professional experience as a journalist. For your reference, I have been the Vice President and Committee Member of the Press Club in the past. But for some strange reason, women either desisted or were discouraged to contest and hold the office of Treasurer. With your blessings, I would like to break this tradition this time.
Furthermore, the Club is losing its sheen due to 'cheap politics' played by some people who form groups/panels and try to grab all 21 positions so that they can run the Club according to their whims and fancies. The so-called panels do not want genuine, independent candidates to win even a single seat, so that their strategy to run the Club the way they want is not derailed. They do not believe in democracy and want to run the Club without a single strand of Opposition.
My question is – Why should anyone vote for a complete panel of 21 candidates? Why should we not vote for an individual candidate according to his or her capability? Why do these 'panel people' expect the educated journalist class to blindly put a stamp in favour of ALL of their 21 candidates?
Interestingly, the latest trend is that these people who play panel politics make around 500 members just 15 days or one month before the elections, as part of their strategy to win elections. That is roughly the number you need to win a election in Press Club. I have no issues with making members, in fact, we should make more members, but why just days before elections? Why do they keep the membership pending for the whole year, leaving the poor applicant anxious throughout the year about the status of his membership.
Why cant we give membership earnestly and honestly to all deserving journalists within a reasonable time? Also I think it is very regressive on the part of such people running the Club to assume that all new members will vote for them blindly, without applying their mind and without paying any attention to the individual credentials of the contesting journalists.
If their intentions were indeed genuine to give membership, they should have done that in March or April last year when they got elected. But throughout the year, there is no talk of membership and suddenly few days before elections, memberships are doled out as part of a cunning strategy to blackmail the new members into voting for them.
As an educated class, we must not give in to this kind of blackmailing. Membership is your right, and not a favour given to you by anyone. Having said that, I would like you to vote for the individual candidate and not for any particular group/panel. Yes, I am contesting for the position of Treasurer, but look around, talk to people, make an opinion and vote for me only if you have by that time built confidence in my candidature.
Look forward to meet up this Saturday.