Delhi Union of Journalists (DUJ), the largest body of journalists in the capital, will go to elections today. DUJ, affiliated to Indian Journalists Union will be holding Elections for the post of president, general secretary, three secretaries and treasurer, besides 19 executive committee members and 21 national council members.
The elections to DUJ which in the past played a significant role in the formation and implementation of wage board for journalists are being held after a gap of over 4 years. The last elections were held in 1997.
Interestingly, only about 800 members out of DUJ's total strength of close to 2000 will be voting in the elections, as rest of them has not cleared their dues. The rival group has made it an election issue. Says Sanjay Roy, trade unionist, and President Association of Desk Journalists, "This time there is lack of interest in elections because DUJ which has not been functioning effectively for the last five years has considerably delayed the elections. At a time when journalists are facing new challenges, DUJ needs to be reactivated and massive membership drive should be launched to enlist more journalists".
President of DUJ, S K Pande says that the executive body has already passed a resolution to enroll journalists from TV, radio and Internet on case to case basis. This decision, according to Pande will be put before the general body for endorsement after the new executive body of DUJ is formed.
Meanwhile the ruling team of S K Pande (President) and Javed Faridi (General Secretary) is expected to sweep the elections. Pande says that in view of the fresh threats posed by contract journalism, increasing commercialization of media, technology upgradation, impending entry of foreign media, increasing attacks on journalists and closure of small newspapers, DUJ will be reorganized to meet the challenges.