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Mainstream, VOL LV No 33 New Delhi August 5, 2017

More on EPW

Saturday 5 August 2017


The chain reaction to the questionable exit of Paranjoy Guha Thakurta from EPW continues. My article, “EPW confronting Crisis of Identity” (Mainstream, July 29, 2017), catches a segment of it.

On July 25, two days before the Sameeksha Trust’s Managing Trustee, D.N. Ghosh, was scheduled to meet the EPW editorial staff, the latter (not all), shot off a letter to the ST, raising several allegations against Guha Thakurta. (http://raiot.in/epw-mess-listen-to-the-voices-of-editorial-staff-of-the-magazine/)

The letter was uploaded in scribd.com but taken off almost immediately. A webzine of Meghalaya managed to save it, but by that time the names of the signatories were deleted. Among them were two top members of the editorial staff (including a high-voltage Naxalite).

On July 31, 2017, Dr Ashok Mitra, breaking his initial silence, wrote to Ghosh and the Trust Chairman, who were inducted in the ST at his instance, criticising breach of basic principles by forcing Guha Thakurta to resign, “The Trustees” thereby did “precisely the reverse of the original purpose for establishing the Trust,” he pointed out and reminded them that the Trustees were “never to act as super editors”. (https://thewire.in/163370/ashok-mitras-letter-to-deepak-nayyar-and-d-n-ghosh-about-epw/)

Guha Thakurta in a statement refuted every allegation by the editorial staff point by point. He accused the ST of hamhanded treatment. “I am taking particular umbrage at the decision to suddenly block what used to be my official e-mail account. This is contrary to the explicit assurance that had been given to me that I would be allowed access to my EPW e-mail account for a few weeks after my resignation from the post of editor of the EPW on 18 July.” (Copy mailed by him to this writer among others)

There was an error in my article, mentioned above: Jean Dreze left the Sameeksha Trust in early 2016. In his place, came Andre Beteille. Also the full name of Shyam Mohan, Trustee, is B. Shyam Mohan.

Kolkata Sankar Ray

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