From: PCI Elections 2018 (email@example.com)
Date: Wed, Dec 12, 2018 at 3:13 PM
Subject: An appeal for PCI elections
To: Members of PCI (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Being working Journalists, you are the moral custodians and guardians of Press Club of India. We have a long familial tradition of looking up to guardians in the times of crisis. PCI is going through a systemic crisis for last few years and being marginal and insignificant voices in the club, we have desperately resorted to this kind of appeal for the first time.
As you know, PCI elections are on 15th December. Unlike the past, we do not have multiple panels this time and there is not much to chose from except the incumbent committee. This has become possible just due to some technical manipulations by incumbent management committee. This time they are not going to hold GBM too, as was our tradition. All this speaks volumes about shrinking democracy and increasing autocracy in the functioning of PCI.
You will be shocked to hear that this time, not a single complete panel is in opposition. The only one i.e. Nirnimesh panel is fractured with just four central panel candidates and six executive committee candidates. Seems as if the BJP’s “opposition free” slogan has much inspired the outgoing President and his team that was hell-bent on not holding elections this year, as per some reports in the media.
The basic amenities in club have touched a new low this year. Chilly Paneer served accidentally with pieces of chicken is a case in point. No member can afford sitting with his/her family and expect being treated fairly. One such case happened with a senior business journalist. The committee members on the other hand keep themselves busy in hobnobbing with establishment for a piece of land that has been an issue of contention for last more than a decade.
Sir/Ma’m, with due respect we want to say that since last seven years, the same management committee is winning elections with different faces. Same set of people are deciding the affairs of club. Now they have brought us to a point where we are left with no choice- either vote for them or abstain. In this Catch-22 situation, we are appealing everyone not to vote for the central panel represented by Anant-Mahua. It will help break the cartel that is dictating over PCI affairs for some time now.
To revive transparency and journalistic integrity, we need to support a few young and independent faces in the executive consisting of a total 26 candidates, keeping in mind that we do not vote for those who were part of the outgoing committee. Panel voting has now become a curse. Interpanel voting is the limited option in diminishing democracy. We appeal you to practise the same.
Let’s smash the regressive status quo that haunts the most coveted Press Club in India. Let’s rely on the younger generation like Yashwant Singh, Afzal Imam, Shaurya Bhaumik, Dilip Mandal etc. Let’s revive the Democratic functioning in management. Let us make the managing committee accountable.
We will keep in touch for a couple of days.
See you all on Saturday, 15th December with a vote of change.
(A collective of PCI scribes)
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