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So much for the right to speech – Rana Ayyub has received a legal removal demand from the Government of India regarding her Twitter account

Rana Ayyub has received a legal removal demand from the Government of India regarding her Twitter account, which claims that her tweet on the Jaipur train incident violates India’s Information Technology Act, 2000.

The well-established journalist and opinion columnist with The Washington Post, Rana Ayyub has received a legal removal demand from the Government of India regarding her Twitter account for exposing the impact of Muslim hate speech. 

The recent spine-chilling incident that happened on the Jaipur-Mumbai Express also had its own after-effects. Chetan Kumar, a police officer with the Indian Railway Protection Force (RPF), fatally shot four passengers inside a train on July 31. 

Chetan Singh (33) allegedly killed four persons on board the Jaipur-Mumbai Central superfast express on July 31, 2023, using his colleague’s service weapon. He allegedly murdered his colleague ASI Tikaram Meena before moving on to other coaches and killing three passengers. Abdul Kadir in coach B5, Asgar Kai in coach S6, and Sadar Mohammad in the pantry. All agreed that Singh got off the train at about 5 a.m. near Dahisar Station before being apprehended on MIRA road in Thane. The dead were removed from the train at the Borivali Railway Station. The reason for the termination was said to be unknown. However, the accused was overheard saying, “The media is run from Pakistan, and the people who bring us news, if you want to live in Pakistan, vote only for Modi, Yogi.” The conversation was caught on a video that was taken by a fellow passenger. The sources allegedly tell that the firing was followed by an argument. The accused is being probed. 

Rana Ayyub has received a legal removal demand from the Government of India
Tweet by Rana Ayyub on Jaipur-Mumbai Express Shooting Incident

Rana Ayyub’s reporting highlights the issues that reflect negatively on Indian Government and its policies

Rana Ayyub has received a legal removal demand from the Government of India regarding her Twitter account, which claims that her tweet on the Jaipur train incident violates India’s Information Technology Act, 2000. Likewise following an instruction from the Indian government, Twitter has kept AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi’s Twitter account after he tweeted describing the shooting incident on the Jaipur-Mumbai train as a terror act. 

Rana Ayyub who is a critic of the Modi government was also stopped from flying out in connection with the money laundering. The government is being critical as Rana Ayyub’s reporting highlights the issues that reflect negatively on the government or its policies.

Rana Ayyub has received a legal removal demand from the Government of India
Message sent by Twitter Authorities to Rana Ayyub

Twitter’s co-founder Jack Dorsey also claims that the Indian government forced Twitter to block the accounts and tweets related to the Kisan Andolan. Being a democratic country, the government has threatened Twitter “If you don’t follow suit, we will shut down your office”, and “We would raid your employees’ homes”. The Centre replied that Twitter has a problem adapting to the sovereignty of Indian law, denied Dorsey’s words, and claimed them as a “white lie”. 

It’s a disgrace to Indian Democracy that the citizens are restricted to express their views. The Indian government is progressively repressing journalists who criticize Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The country, which formerly took pride in having a diversified media landscape, has been trending in the opposite direction in recent years.

Not only this, but Ayyub has faced harassment for over a decade now, she has received multiple death threats, legal challenges, and online harassment. A false pornographic film clip with Ayyub’s resemblance on WhatsApp in 2018. The video drew significant public outrage.

Rana Ayyub has received a legal removal demand from the Government of India

Muslim hatred, or Islamophobia, is a serious problem that has been documented in many regions of the world, including India. Islamophobia is defined as prejudice, discrimination, or rivalry aimed toward Muslims because of their faith. It can take many forms, from verbal abuse and social isolation to physical assault and structural discrimination. Muslims in India have alleged discrimination in various areas, including employment, education, and access to government services. It has been a tough week for Muslims in India, Jaipur Express Incident, A Hindu mob raped a Muslim minor girl, a Muslim woman was assaulted by her clothes torn publicly, Two Muslim Madrassa students were beaten and a mosque was set ablaze and an imam shot dead by Hindus.

The irony is that all of these have been happening when the country is getting to its 76th year of Independence in another 10 days. Independence Day is supposed to be celebrating secularism, the right to speech, the protection of individual rights, and the continued commitment to democratic values. Instead, we are fighting against communal riots, Silencing Journalists, and Patriarchy.

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Sai Prasanna

Sai Prasanna is a recent Computer Science graduate and a passionate writer. She is a book enthusiast and a tech fanatic. More »

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