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Indian Journalists are brave but

Indian Journalists are brave but nobody is protecting them, says  Rana Ayyub

Two days after I’d written in the New York Times about being the target of an online hate campaign, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights warned the Indian government that it had a duty to protect me.

This came within days of several journalism and human rights organizations bringing my case to the U.N.’s attention. As a journalist, I’m uncomfortable becoming the story, but in this case, after a week of abuse and death threats that had left me traumatized and at fear for my life, I had no choice in the matter.

But what happened to me was relatively light compared to the fate of many journalists who live at a distance from the circles of power in Delhi and Mumbai. Indian journalists are increasingly at risk from fanatics, criminals, and online mobs — and the government is doing barely anything to protect them.

As a journalist and columnist, I write mostly about criminal investigations, atrocities against India’s minority groups, and social justice. I am the author of a book that put forward damning revelations about Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his second in command, Amit Shah.

Hate and threats have been a part of my career in investigative journalism, partly because I am a high-profile Muslim journalist who has persistently called out India’s majoritarian politics. But this round was exceptionally virulent. A photoshopped tweet falsely claimed I had written, “I hate India and Indians.” Another falsified image claimed to show that I had tweeted in support of child rapists. Neither, of course, was anywhere close to the truth. I frantically wrote tweets making clear I was being trolled, but to no avail. An online mob hurled abuse at me, threatening rape and death.

I was a terrorist sympathizer, a slut, a jihadi, a promiscuous woman. They called on me — a patriotic Indian who happens to be Muslim — to pack my bags for Pakistan.

And while online vitriol and bullying is not uncommon in India, the trolls then went a step further: My face was edited onto a series of pornographic videos and let loose on the internet. Everywhere I looked, I saw the images; I knew everyone who knew me had seen them too. My life was made a living hell. I began suffering from panic attacks. Even when I went to the police station to file a complaint, I sat there wondering if the cops who were watching the morphed videos were forming an opinion of my character.

But I am alive and, to some degree, protected. My colleagues away from the corridors of power are not.

On June 14, the Kashmiri journalist Shujaat Bukhari, one of the most prolific voices from the valley and the editor of the regional newspaper Rising Kashmir, was shot dead in Srinagar by unknown assailants. I last saw him two weeks ago at a media summit in Lisbon. The moment he saw me, with his usual irony, he commented that the U.N. had not intervened in Kashmir despite four decades of violence and impunity, and how fortunate I was to have gotten the group’s support. On the day Bukhari was killed, a U.N. report citing gross human rights violations in Kashmir was released. His last tweet was a link to coverage of the damning report.

In his death, Shujaat reminded me of the privilege I enjoyed as a journalist who had the backing of U.N. special rapporteurs.

There are many others like Shujaat in my country.  In March, Sandeep Sharma, a freelance journalist for the television channel News World, was run over by a truck in the central state of Madhya Pradesh. Sharma had exposed the complicity of police officers in an illegal mining case.

Navin Nischal wrote for the Hindi daily Dainik Bhaskar in the eastern state of Bihar. He was riding his bike alongside a friend in March when they were hit by an SUV driven by the husband of a former village head he had been investigating.

Last year, also in Bihar, the Hindustan journalist Vikas Kumar suffered serious head injuries after being beaten up by members of a gang that sold illegal adulterated alcohol.

Sometimes it’s the state itself targeting journalists. In September 2017, the independent Kashmiri photojournalist Kamran Yusuf was arrested by the National Investigation Agency. Kamran, then 23, was accused on flimsy evidence of throwing stones at troops and not released until this March.

As these cases show, beyond the metropolises, the rural Indian journalists doing some of the most critical work are not warned on social media or via phone calls but are instead killed with impunity; they are mowed down by cars or shot dead by assailants who remain at large.

Other prominent journalists such as the NDTV host Nidhi Razdan and the Washington Post columnist Barkha Dutt have also recently revealed they have received threatening messages from trolls and from people in power. But journalists who work in big cities and are well-known figures in India — such as Ravish, Barkha, Nidhi, and I — have the privilege of large platforms and followings that offer us some form of protection, as well as the personal support we need to psychologically survive such campaigns.

The Indian state has much to answer for in its prosecution of journalists in recent years through concerted, malicious campaigns. A union minister in the present government has a history of berating journalists, calling them jihadis, third-rate thugs, and “presstitutes.” Journalists who are critical of the government are not allowed access to government events or interviews. Reporters and editors who are critical of the government have been forced to resign. Most are now independent journalists writing for news websites like Scroll and The Wire, spaces created in response to self-censorship by mainstream publications.

But for all my personal troubles in the last month and reading of horror stories from fellow journalists, I have found some answers too: Mainstream journalists like me need to signal-boost voices that are far removed from the urban centers.

Those of us with a public platform in India must use our position of privilege to embolden the voices of the unsung reporters who are a part of our fight to protect free speech in the country we love and cherish.

The article was first published at FP

Read More: In India, Journalists Face Slut-Shaming and Rape Threats

One Comment

  1. samir sardana samir sardana August 23, 2020

    The Indian Media is a sack of bania and brahmin trash ! They are only fit for media lynching of Muslims

    To understand the media lynching of Muslims – you need skills of deconstruction and analytics

    Step 1

    WHat is the definition of a Hindoo ? dindooohindoo

    The wisdom of the “children of Cyrus,Darius and Xerxes”,encapsulates the “transcendence of Human thought”, the “Deuterosis of the Dindoo”, as under:

    A “Persian dictionary”,titled “Lughet-e-Kishwari”,published in Lucknow in 1964,gives the meaning of the word Hindu as “chore [thief], dakoo [dacoit], raahzan [waylayer], and ghulam [slave].

    Step 2

    Media in Hindoosthan – Big Picture – North India

    This is not the USA or EU, wherein intellectuals,ideologues,idealists and philosophers,own,manage and edit newspapers.In India or Hindoosthan,the media is owned by rapacious banias,brokers and pimps,fronting for politicians and tycoons, blackmailers ,extortionists,murderers and rapists.

    In the North of India,the entire media is owned by banias,and financed by banias,politicians and political parties. It is either owned by the banias,or the bania is a front man,for the mafia or the politicians and political parties. These banias are English illiterate,and a race of liars,thieves and cheats – a race of pure Indians,id.est., they are not Rig Vedic invaders.They have atypical Indian features,and are easily identifiable.

    Step 3

    Media in Hindoosthan – Big Picture – South India

    In the South of Hindooland,the media is mainly owned by Political parties – as the media,is a working capital guzzler,
    and the media needs cash (not bank loans),to operate.With the parties in power,the government ad blitz,is done
    through these outlets,and the money is also bled out,to generate cash,for the politicians.As time passes,some of
    these media entities,are listed on stock exchanges

    Some South based newspapers and media houses ,are owned and run by the weasels and impotenticas,of the Brahmin race – like the Hindu etc.,id.est.,Tamil and other South Indian vermin Brahmins.

    Step 4

    What is the Bania filth (Marwari-Gujarati-Kayastha scum).

    It is the Bania filth who worked as spies for each invader into Hindoosthan ! They also funded the wars of the Mughals and Sakas and Huns. There is not one 1 record in history of them having stood up for anything ! They sold their women to the invaders

    The Birlas,Goenkas,Bajajs and other bania filth built their empire by sending their women to Nehru for his peccadilos.They also funded Ambedkar in London – result that – Ambedkar spoke not one word against the Bania vermin !

    95% of the NPA and Bank Frauds in North India upto the borders of the Vindhyas are on account of Bania vermin ! No one talks of the said statistic as every media house is owned and managed by banias or has 75% of the advert revenue from Banias

    The entire banking system is designed as a wealth transfer system to move funds from Indian clowns in SB accounts and Fancy Bonds – which funds Banias ,who steal the money for Netas ,and the avail of CDR/OTS

    To hide all of the above and their history,the bania media owners are now,paragons of ethics,morality and democracy.These rats who did not shed their urine, in a single war of the Hindoo nation,since the war of “Bharata”,are exhorting Indians to die for the natoon,and also,exhorting the dubious courage of foolish Indian soldiers from poor,backward and destitute families.

    This is Hind–oooo-sthan !

    Step 5

    The real owner of the Media and the Media Busines Model

    In essence,the actual and quasi owners of the media,are the banias and the politicians – as the revenue model, of the
    news,is based on advertisements – which are sourced from corporates,owned and managed by banias,or managed by brahmin/bania and kayastha vermin.Corporate adverts,are based on TRPs – but the Govtt ad blitz and propoganda,is based on discretion of politicians,and their pimps,in the media.

    There are several loss making media outlets,in the pathetos of Hindoosthan – for decades – but they do not fold their
    business. Foolish people ask Y ? Several Editors and Owners,of Large media houses,and loss making media outlets – act as
    pimps,of the politicians.They provide access to politicians and baboos for large contracts,loans,acquisitions and licences.
    That is the REAL business model,and then,there is the “conversion” operation – wherein,the Politicians get paid in cash,
    for the Govt ad blitz done,via the media entity.The conversion is more profitable,for loss making media entities,for obvious
    reasons.

    The rate for rotatng the cash of the politicians,is half the SBI PLR (Medium term PLR).Banks do not lend to media outlets –
    and so,the working capital of these outlets,is funded by the cash of the politicians and banias.

    Hence,the real owner of the media,is the politician and the bania financier.The Bania CEO, is meant to manage cash flow and
    has no intellectual imputs.It is thus,obvious, that the media has to peddle the line and ideology,of the politicians,and the
    ruling dispensation.

    Step 6

    Media Antics and Tactics

    To ring fence themselves,the Indian Media has made defamation laws – which suit their needs,and the media house is owned by a myriad maze of Trusts,NGOs,Firms,Partnerships and Corporates – which makes criminal liability,impossible.The self regulatory bodies of the Indian media,are all bogus,and are meant to dissuade the plaintiffs.The media vermin,can destroy any politician,and also, any Judge – and so,no Judge has ever sent an Editor,or Onwer of a media outlet,to jail.The Dubious Hindoo nation,has no concept of “punitive damages”,on anybody.

    Besides,the media is pampered with nil duty on newspaper imports,EPCG schemes for newsprint makers and other sops for the media.In addition, they get land and property concessions at prime locales,but at sub prime rates.To keep the moolah flowing,these vermin,have award ceremonies of dubious credibility,to pamper the egos of politicians and tycoons,and banias – to keep the cash flowing – an exercise,in cheap antics and perfidy,wherein the media and the awardees,are complimenting each other,with an audience of morons,waxing eloquent on the merits of Indian Democracy !

    Step 7

    Y Anti – Muslim Media Tone

    1st the public,has to get some basic concepts clear

    The media owners = Bania vermin,and in a few cases,Brahmin vermin
    The media editors = Brahmin vermin,and in some cases,Bania filth
    The media lawyers = Brahmin vermin,Punjabi banias and some Sindhi Ani’s
    The Politicians = All Right Wing Hindoos (In North India)

    Who are these people,and the raucous heathens and menials,which comprise the audience of the TV media,and the regional language print newspapers. These are the offspring of the rapes of women by the Sakas,Scythians,Mughals, Afghans, Turks,Mongols etc.It is said that Rajput harlots poured kerosene on their vaginas,before they committed suicide.The debauched history,of the hindoo cowards,is haunting the Hindoo – after 2000 years.

    What are the Indian Muslims ? They are converts from the lower castes.If the Mughals and Turks,had not ruled the Hindoos,these lower castes – would have been destroyed.Islam redeemed the Dalits and lower castes.However, the DNA is that of a Hindoo coward,still – and that is Y,West Asians mock Indian Muslims,and call them “Hindoos” – even in Mecca ! Many West Asians,do not even consider Indian Muslims,to be Muslims.

    The deep reservoir of that Hindoo shame,has been converted into Muslim hate,by the Politicians – as that is the core of the Hindoo DNA.If there were no Muslims – the Hindoos would target the Dalits.It is the evolution of shame and humiliation,into HATE and VITRIOL – which is a tried and tested formula,in several nations.The media acts as a tool,for the “accentuation and catalysis” of the anti-muslim agenda,by distorting and hyping incidents, WHICH ARE CREATED AND NURTURED BY THE IB,NIA AND THE POLITICIANS (as a part of a conscious strategy of assymetric war,on the Indian Muslims and a perpetuation of, a monotony of propoganda)

    The formula of the politician,is simple – to create an issue each week of the year, in order to bring diffident and marginal hindoos,into the right wing hindoo cult – and let the opposition splinter the Muslim vote,into different parties.The Fact is that 90 % of the Hindoos,do not care for NRC/CAA,and also,believe that the Tabligh,is a Corona Bomb.That fact (which is the “Core DNA” of the Hindoo), and the media lynching,have fed on each other.

    Incidentally,the rabid competitive lynching by the media houses – pushes up the TRPs,to the stratosphere – which gets in the corpporate advertisements, and which are then,followed by a political audit (by the politician) – who then,loosens the purse strings,of the state ad blitz,through the preferred media houses – akin to bones,thrown at the dogs,in a manger.

    To add the spice,each TV channel has a posse of rented and dubious Muslims and Nassara – who are not regarded as Muslims,by Islam,and also,derided by Mecca and Rome.These limpet rats are used to provoke Sunni Islam,and make it appear to Hindoo heathens and menials,that there are fissures in Islam – and that,there are some Indian Muslims,fighting the ogres of Islamic Orthodoxy – like Salman Rushdie ! Most Hindoos believe that Shias,Ismailis,Bohris are a “Caste”, within Islam – just like the Hindoos – same same.

    Step 8

    Reductio Asurdum – Expecting idealism and ethics

    If the media is owned by banias and politicians – then Y will the media focus,on the following :

    Corruption – as it is done by banias and politicians,and the politicians,are the sponsors of the state adverts
    Bank NPA and Frauds – as it is done and sanctioned,by banias and politicians,and the banias are the sponsors of the adverts
    Farmers suicides – as no bania dies and banias and politicians gain,by farm overproduction
    Farm moneylenders – as all the financiers and arhatiyas,are banias
    SME doom – as the money is stolen by banias,and politicians
    Manufacturing doom – as that will hurt the oliticians,and the corporate sponsors
    Military doom – as that will hurt the politicians,and the hindoo ego
    Evils of the Hindoo faith – as that will hurt a billion hindoos and politicians,and the corporate sponsors
    Dalit and Lower castes – as that will hurt a billion hindoos and politicians,and the corporate sponsors
    Hunger,poverty,rape and degradation – as that will hurt a billion hindoos,and the corporate sponsors

    Take a sample of Zee – owned by a Bania – who also has,a manufacturing industry.He is English illiterate , and so,has a Hindi channel. His news acnhors – female are middle aged,divorced and with frigid vaginas – who vent their hate on the Muslims. The Men are limpet impotenticas, Brahmins (invariably) and Banias,who have studied in a conservative environ, and have no knowledge of history or philosophy,and also,have no domain of expertise,in any field

    The female saga of the Hindi news anchors,runs across all TV channels in India.The Muslim anchors spare no efforts to bash the Islamic orthodoxy,in order to maintain their secular credentials.Same for the Christian anchors,who spare no effort,to state,that they are “tax paying Indians” and devoutly Indian.

    Take a sample of a TV channel NOT owned by a bania – but owned and run by a poodle of the state.Republic TV.Run by the inept son of a Fokad Fauji –
    Left Right – Left Right – Left Right.Even a donkey has more than IQ.The IQ of the clown,is still in the bootstraps of his father’s shoes.

    Take a sample of a non-bania owner,of a newspaper.The Hindu.Run by a Tamil Brahmin – a race of impotent,dullards and duds – who are a race of cowards and supines – as detailed in the Hindoo scriptures.These vermin,doomed Tamil Nadu and also,India.The man is an iliterate and an impotentica , with Nil IQ.Spying on debauched and dumb politicians and baboos – involves no intellectus.

    Even a Dog can highlight inefficiency and corruption – as in, when a flock of sheep,is out of control or breaks free,or is attacked by a fox or a cattle thief.The dubious Indian Media,has no solutions.The Dog has !

    The question is – what to do with these vermin,in the media – who are the invisible hand,in perpetuating the Hindoo caste system and elitism,in a manner of pernicious stealth.Targetting Muslims,is just a deflection and a diversion, and a small component of that “stealth strategy”.The “media grand plan” works – as Hindoos,are basically a race of “cowards and duds” – else,they would not have followed a “bogus religion”,for 5000 years – which has brought them to the cusp of doom.

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