23/01/2017 12:34 PM IST | Updated 23/01/2017 12:56 PM IST

New Form Requires Promise Of No 'Anti-National' Speech When Booking Space At Women's Press Club

Patriotism rules.

Twitter/K G Suresh

A new form has been issued for those wanting to host an event in the Indian Women's Press Corps (IWPC) office situated in Windsor Place in New Delhi, that requires them to declare that the event will not have any 'anti-nation' content.

The tiny hallway of the IWPC, popularly known as the Women's Press Club, has always been a popular spot for NGOs, rights activists and individuals who wish to address journalists. But now in order to book the venue, one needs to fill up and sign a form that says, "Nothing will be said which will be anti-national, question the integrity of the country, amount to sedition or cause harm to the reputation of the club."

While the new form has been in circulation since September 2016, the changes were noticed only a few days ago.

According to a report in the Telegraph, the changes were made after a managing committee meeting approved them. "There are people in the managing committee who support the new provision and we need a consensus before we can remove it," an IWPC office-bearer was quoted as saying.

Some IWPC members have started a signature campaign for the withdrawal of the form. A News18 report says that even though the resentment against the new provision is palpable among many members, they are not willing to speak against it openly. Many members view the new rule as an attack on their freedoms and a "foolish attempt" to show allegiance to the ruling party.

The Press Club of India, situated near the IWPC office in New Delhi, does not have any such pre-conditions for organising events.

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