On 26 April 2021, The Editors Guild of Indian released the following statement. “The Editors Guild of India is deeply disturbed by reports of inhuman treatment being meted out to the journalist Siddique Kappan, who has been in custody since October 2020, under the draconian UAPA, for trying to report on the rape and death of a Dalit girl in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh. His wife has alleged that her husband has been tied to a bed and is neither able to take food nor access toilet, while undergoing treatment at a Mathura Hospital for Covid-19. This is shocking and should stir the conscience of the nation that a journalist is being treated in this cruel manner and being denied basic rights.
Yogi on ignoring demands for Siddique Kappan’s fair treatment
The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Ajay Mohan Bisht, (Yogi Adityanath), has been ignoring the demands from his family and the civil society for fair treatment of the journalist. It is further shocking that the Supreme Court of India has yet not intervened in this case to ensure a fair trial of the journalist, even though the Habeas Corpus petition challenging his arrest has been pending before the court for the past six months. All of this goes against the basic canons of a constitutional democracy where independent journalistic enterprises need to be protected rather than repressed.
The Editors Guild of India had written a letter to the Chief Minister of UP in November 2020, highlighting several instances of state persecution and violence against journalists, including that of Kappan. Since then, the situation has only worsened. Recently, the CM threatened to seize the property of anyone who reported on the paucity of oxygen in hospitals in the state. Such declamations have a chilling effect on media freedom, at a time when there is urgent need for objective reporting and accountability on the worsening pandemic.
EGI demands that Siddique Kappan be given proper medical treatment at the earliest and that he be treated with dignity. The Guild also urges the Supreme Court to urgently take up the pending writ petition and give him a fair trial.
Seema Mustafa, President Sanjay Kapoor, General Secretary Anant Nath, Treasurer
The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.
The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.
Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.
As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.
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