Rana Ayyub is an Indian journalist and opinion columnist with The Washington Post.[2] She is author of the investigative book Gujarat Files: Anatomy of a Cover Up.[3][4][5]

Rana Ayyub
RANA AYYUB.jpg
Ayyub in August 2016
Born (1984-05-01) 1 May 1984 (age 38)
Occupation
  • Journalist
  • writer
RelativesAbdul Haq Azmi[1]

Background and family

Rana Ayyub was born in Mumbai, India. Her father Mohammad Ayyub Waqif,[6] was a writer with Blitz, a Mumbai-based magazine, and an important member of the progressive writers movement.[citation needed] The city witnessed riots in 1992–93, during which time the family moved to the Muslim-dominant suburb of Deonar, which is where Rana largely grew up. Ayyub is a practising Muslim.[7]

Career

Rana's worked for Tehelka (lit. "commotion/uproar"), a Delhi-based investigative and political news magazine. Rana has previously been critical of the BJP in general and Narendra Modi.[8] By her own account, a report done by Rana Ayyub was instrumental in sending Amit Shah, a close associate of Narendra Modi, to jail for several months in 2010.[9][10]

At Tehelka, Rana worked as an investigative journalist and her big assignment was to carry out the sting operation upon which her book Gujarat Files was based. At the end of the sting operation, the management of Tehelka refused to publish any story written by Rana or based on the data collected by her. Rana continued to work with Tehelka for several months more. In November 2013, her boss Tarun Tejpal, the editor-in-chief and major shareholder of Tehelka, was accused of sexual harassment by one of his journalist subordinates. Rana Ayyub resigned from Tehelka in protest against the organisation's handling of the charge against Tejpal.[11] She now works independently.[12][13][14] In September 2019, Washington Post hired her as its contributing writer to the Global Opinions section.[15][16][17][18]

In October 2020, HarperCollins India published an open letter written by Ayyub, to protest the controversial appointment of Actor Gajendra Chauhan as the Chairman of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), as part of the book Inquilab: A Decade of Protest which contains speeches, lectures and letters said to "capture the most important events and issues of the past ten years."[19][20][21]

Notable events

The Gujarat sting operation

As an investigative journalist working with Tehelka, Rana Ayyub took up a project to conduct a prolonged sting operation aimed at snaring politicians and government officials of Gujarat and get them to reveal any potential cover-ups regarding the Gujarat riots of 2002. Rana Posing as Maithili Tyagi, a filmmaker from the American Film Institute, and set about befriending her intended targets. She spent around ten months in disguise, and got paid a regular monthly salary from Tehelka during this period. However, at the end of the exercise, the management of Tehelka felt that the recordings which she had made over the months did not provide any new or sensational information, that the data gathered by her was of inadequate quality, and that they could not publish any story on the basis of the new data.[5][22]

The book

In her book Gujarat Files: Anatomy of a Cover Up, Ayyub documented the verbatim transcripts of recordings, made using a concealed recording device, of many bureaucrats and police officers of Gujarat. The recordings were made in the course of an undercover investigation to reveal the views of bureaucrats and police officers on the post-2002 Gujarat riots and Police encounter killings. Ayyub had been posing as 'Maithili Tyagi', a student of the American Film Institute, having an ideological affinity for the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's beliefs, to enable her to make the recordings.[23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30]

Dispute with Tehelka

Tarun Tejpal and Shoma Chaudhury have disputed Ayyub's claim that her story on fake encounters in Gujarat, which was the result of an eight-month long undercover investigation, was dropped by them. According to Tejpal, Ayyub's story was "incomplete".[31] According to Chaudhury, Ayyub's story "did not meet the necessary editorial standards."[31] Ayyub has responded to Tejpal and Chaudhury's assertions by noting that:

I must say I am not the only one to complain about dropped stories in Tehelka, the list is fairly big… Shoma Choudhury and Tarun Tejpal of Tehelka cited editorial decisions and gaps. The book is a bestseller and is getting rave reviews for its content. Let the reader be the judge.[31][26]

Reception

Historian Ramachandra Guha had called Ayyub's Gujarat Files "a brave book."[32] Jyoti Malhotra has noted that many journalists have privately applauded Ayyub's courage in authoring Gujarat Files.[33] Priya Ramani has commented: "The abuses from the paid foot soldiers on Twitter bounce off her spiral curls smoothly."[34] Reflecting on the procedure used by Ayyub in composing Gujarat Files, Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay has observed: "Going undercover and interviewing many who had been in the thick of gruesome extra-constitutional operations required bravado and this must be appreciated."[28]

Ayyub's investigation of the alleged Gujarat fake encounters has been listed by Outlook magazine as one of the twenty greatest magazine stories of all time across the world.[35] In 2018, Ayyub was awarded the "most Resilient Global journalist" by Dutch non-profit Free Press Unlimited for resisting attempts to stifle her work.[36][37]

Haren Pandya murder case

In the Haren Pandya murder case, the Supreme Court of India dismissed Rana Ayyub's book, stating that "it is based upon surmises, conjectures, and suppositions and has no evidentiary value.".[38][39][40] Ayyub termed the court's comments "puzzling", stating that the CBI had used her work as evidence in other related cases, and noting that no officer or bureaucrat had denied her claims or taken her to court.[41]

Controversies

Ayyub wrote an opinion piece on NDTV that Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan played three Muslim characters in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, Dear Zindagi, and Raees to give a message, which was a rebellion. Shah Rukh Khan wrote another opinion piece on Indian Express, referring to the opinion piece by Rana Ayyub, that he did not know the name of the character he played in Karan Johar's film and he had no intention of making any statement by playing Muslim characters.[42][43][44][45]

In February 2022, Ayyub received scrutiny after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) locked assets worth over ₹1.77 crore of hers.[46][47] This was done in relation to a money laundering case filed against her, for allegedly embezzling funds she acquired from the public in the name of charity. ED stated that Ayyub had transferred those funds to other accounts for personal spendings.[48][47][49]

FIR was filed against Rana Ayyub in Dharwad due to her alleged comments against anti-hijab protestors as Hindu terrorists.[50][51]

Awards and recognition

  • In October 2011, Rana Ayyub received the Sanskriti award for excellence in journalism.[52]
  • The 'Citation of Excellence' was conferred to Rana Ayyub in the 2017 edition of the Global Shining Light Award for her undercover investigation revealing state's top officials’ complicity during the 2002 Gujarat Riots.[53]
  • Actress Richa Chadda claimed to have been inspired by Rana Ayyub, who is also her friend, in 2016 film Chalk n Duster, where she plays a journalist.[54]
  • In 2018, Ayyub was awarded the Most Resilient Journalist Award by Free Press Unlimited for continuing her work "despite being harassed both online and offline and receiving death threats."[36]
  • In February 2020, Ayyub was awarded with McGill Medal for journalistic courage at University of Georgia's Grady College.[55]
  • She is the 2020 Voices of Courage and Conscience Awardee from the Muslim Public Affairs Council of America.[56]
  • She has also been named by Time magazine among ten global journalists who face maximum threats to their lives.[57] She has been profiled by The New Yorker.[58][relevance questioned]

Threats on social media

In 2018, Rana was at the receiving end of multiple death and rape threats on twitter. Her personal details were made public and a deepfake pornographic video was released.[59][60][61][62] In April 2018 she filed a complaint with Delhi Police, who subsequently decided to close the case in August 2020 saying that "despite efforts the culprits could not be identified yet."[63] The United Nations Human Rights office called on the authorities in India to "act urgently to protect" her from death threats following an online hate campaign.[64] The US State department's 2020 Human Rights Report specifically mentions the online trolling and death threats faced by Ayyub.[65][66] In its report documenting online attacks against journalists around the world, the international non-profit Reporters Without Borders discussed the hate speech unleashed against Ayyub and called on the government and Delhi police to protect her.[67][68]

In 2022, members of the Neo Nazi inspired alt right groups had created Bulli Bai, an app for fake online auction of Muslim women in India with intention to denigrate and harass the minorities. Ayyub and several prominent women journalists in India were targeted. They were also targeted with thousands of hate messages by the secret app Tek Fog used by the BJP supporters. The app was used to spread right wing propaganda online.[69]

References

  1. ^ Muhammad Ayyub Waqif. Yaad-e-Ayyam (in Urdu) (2017 ed.). Tehreer-e-Nau Publications. p. 41.
  2. ^ "India's Supreme Court endorses right-wing vision relegating Muslims to second-class citizens". The Washington Post (newspaper). 11 November 2019. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  3. ^ Mukhopadhyay, Nilanjan (25 June 2016). "Gujarat Files: Rana Ayyub and stinging truths". Business Standard India. Retrieved 16 November 2019.
  4. ^ Ayyub, Rana (25 May 2016). "A Lone Soldier In The Field: An Excerpt From Rana Ayyub's "Gujarat Files: Anatomy Of A Cover Up"". The Caravan. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  5. ^ a b Vijayan, Suchitra (4 June 2016). "An unfinished book". The Hindu.
  6. ^ @RanaAyyub (27 November 2019). "A moment of immense joy and pride. Just discovered a list of my fathers books, digitised and sequenced on the @Rekhta website. Goosebumps" (Tweet). Retrieved 3 October 2020 – via Twitter.
  7. ^ "Opinion: I Am A Practicing Muslim. My Concerns Right Now For India Are..." NDTV.com. 4 June 2017. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  8. ^ "Outrage on social media after DNA takes down article critical of Amit Shah". Times Of India. 14 July 2014. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  9. ^ PTI (25 July 2010). "Modi aide Amit Shah arrested, jailed in Sohrabuddin case". India Today. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  10. ^ Shah Khan, Saba (27 August 2019). "Investigative Journalist Pays the Price for Expose in India". VOA. Retrieved 3 February 2022.
  11. ^ "Tehelka scandal: Senior editor Rana Ayyub quits in protest". Firstpost.com website. 26 November 2013. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  12. ^ "Rana Ayyub – Author". NDTV. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  13. ^ "We didn't run Rana Ayyub's Gujarat riots story because it was incomplete: Tarun Tejpal". Firstpost. 31 May 2016. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  14. ^ "Rana Ayyub". Daily News & Analysis. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  15. ^ Washington, Post (26 September 2019). "The Washington Post names Rana Ayyub Contributing Global Opinions Writer". The Washington Post.
  16. ^ "Rana Ayyub joins Washington Post to write on Indian politics". The New Indian Express.
  17. ^ Scroll Staff. "Journalist Rana Ayyub appointed 'Washington Post' contributor, will write about Indian politics". Scroll.in.
  18. ^ Desk, Caravan (26 September 2019). "Rana Ayyub Joins Washington Post to Write on Indian Politics". Clarion India.
  19. ^ Ayyub, Rana (14 July 2015). "Opinion: Open Letter to Gajendra Chauhan from a Former Film Student". NDTV. Retrieved 29 October 2020.
  20. ^ Agrawal, Aarushi (18 October 2020). "Books of the week: From Romila Thapar's Voices of Dissent to The Best Stories of Dhumketu, our picks". Firstpost. Retrieved 28 October 2020.
  21. ^ Inquilab: A Decade of Protest. India: Harper Collins. 20 October 2020. ISBN 978-93-5357-970-8.
  22. ^ "Gujarat Files". www.goodreads.com.
  23. ^ Ayyub, Rana (25 May 2016). "How Rana Ayyub had to become Maithili Tyagi for her investigations in Gujarat". Scroll.in. Retrieved 7 April 2022.
  24. ^ Ayyub, Rana (2016). Gujarat Files: Anatomy of a Cover Up. ISBN 9781533341525.
  25. ^ "Gujarat Gazetteer, By Maithili Tyagi". Outlook (magazine). 11 July 2016. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  26. ^ a b "On the trail of the real culprits". Frontline. 8 July 2016. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  27. ^ "Book review: Gujarat Files". Mint. 4 June 2016. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  28. ^ a b "Gujarat Files: Rana Ayyub and stinging truths". Business Standard. 25 June 2016. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  29. ^ "Gujarat Files: Sting claims political pressure in Gujarat riots". Indian Express. 30 May 2016. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  30. ^ "What the Silence Over Rana Ayyub's 'Gujarat Files' Tells Us". The Wire. 1 July 2016. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  31. ^ a b c "We didn't run Rana Ayyub's Gujarat riots story because it was incomplete: Tarun Tejpal-Politics News , Firstpost". Firstpost. 31 May 2016.
  32. ^ "Divide and win-The Sanjay Gandhi of this age". The Telegraph. 25 June 2016. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  33. ^ "Mainstream media turns away from "Gujarat Files"". The Hoot. 3 June 2016. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  34. ^ "The self-publishing story of dust and dreams". Mint. 1 September 2016. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  35. ^ "The 20 Greatest Magazine Stories". Outlook. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  36. ^ a b "Free Press Awards 2018: The winners". freepressunlimited.org. 2 November 2018. Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  37. ^ Shah Khan, Saba (27 August 2019). "Investigative Journalist Pays the Price for Expose in India". Voice of America. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  38. ^ "Central Bureau Of Investigation vs Mohd.Parvez Abdul Kayuum on 5 July, 2019" (PDF). main.sci.gov.in. Retrieved 18 December 2020.
  39. ^ "SC rejects NGO's plea for further probe in Haren Pandya case". www.dnaindia.com. Retrieved 18 December 2020.
  40. ^ "SC rejects NGO's plea for further probe in Haren Pandya case, slaps Rs 50K fine". www.outlookindia.com. Retrieved 18 December 2020.
  41. ^ Ayyub, Rana (11 July 2019). "An appeal to the SC to examine the Gujarat Files tapes as evidence". The Caravan. Archived from the original on 1 November 2020. Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  42. ^ Ayyub, Rana (13 January 2017). "Opinion: With 3 Muslim Characters, Shah Rukh Khan's Big, Brave Message". NDTV. Retrieved 7 April 2022.
  43. ^ Shah Rukh Khan (26 January 2017). "Why no Indian Meryl Streep, by Shah Rukh Khan". The Indian Express. Retrieved 7 April 2022.
  44. ^ Mathew, Suresh (25 January 2017). "SRK States That He Isn't Consciously Playing Muslim Characters". The Quint. Retrieved 7 April 2022.
  45. ^ Menon, Pradeep (25 January 2017). "Shah Rukh Khan's criticism of media makes sense, but he must speak out more often-Entertainment News , Firstpost". Firstpost. Retrieved 7 April 2022.
  46. ^ "Enforcement Directorate attaches journalist Rana Ayyub's assets worth Rs 1.77 crore". Newslaundry. 11 February 2022. Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  47. ^ a b PTI (11 February 2022). "Enforcement Directorate seizes deposits, journalist cries vendetta". The Telegraph. Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  48. ^ IANS (11 February 2022). "ED attaches Rs 1.77cr of journalist Rana Ayyub in money laundering case". Greater Kashmir. Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  49. ^ Pandey, Devesh K. (11 February 2022). "Assets worth ₹1.77 crore linked to journalist Rana Ayyub attached". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  50. ^ Rakesh, K. M (5 March 2022). "Karnataka: Journalist Rana Ayyub booked over 'Hindu terrorists'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 7 April 2022.
  51. ^ "FIR against journalist Rana Ayyub in Dharwad". The Hindu. 4 March 2022. Retrieved 7 April 2022.
  52. ^ "Sanskriti awards to Kashmiri writer, sarangi maestro". Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  53. ^ "Rana Ayyub received Citation of Excellence in Global Shining Light Award for 'Gujarat Files: Anatomy of a Coverup'". The Shahab. 18 November 2017. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  54. ^ IANS (25 June 2015). "Richa Chadha to play journalist". The Indian Express. Retrieved 7 April 2022.
  55. ^ "Washington Post writer Rana Ayyub awarded with McGill Medal for journalistic courage". Grady College. 24 February 2020. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  56. ^ "Building a Better Normal: MPAC Virtual Gala". mpac.org. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  57. ^ "Read About 10 Journalists Now Facing the 'Most Urgent' Threats to Press Freedom Around the World". Time. 1 April 2019. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  58. ^ Filkins, Dexter. "Blood and Soil in Narendra Modi's India". The New Yorker. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  59. ^ Shah Khan, Saba (27 August 2019). "Investigative Journalist Pays the Price for Expose in India | Voice of America - English". www.voanews.com. Archived from the original on 23 July 2021. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  60. ^ "Rana Ayyub on global list of journalists under threat: Abuse of those pursuing truth must be stemmed with govt action". Firstpost. 8 April 2019. Archived from the original on 21 November 2020. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  61. ^ Chesney, Bobby; Citron, Danielle; Farid, Hany (11 May 2020). "All's Clear for Deepfakes: Think Again". Lawfare (blog). Archived from the original on 24 August 2021. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  62. ^ Gavilan, Jodesz (3 June 2018). "India journalist gets death threats, online hate over gov't exposé". Rappler. Archived from the original on 1 October 2020. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  63. ^ Sharma, Betwa (7 August 2020). "Delhi Police To Close Case On Violent Abuse And Threats Against Rana Ayyub". HuffPost India. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  64. ^ "OHCHR | UN experts call on India to protect journalist Rana Ayyub from online hate campaign". www.ohchr.org. Retrieved 24 December 2020.
  65. ^ "'Media Outlets Critical of Govt Harassed, Pressured in India': US State Department Report". The Wire. 31 March 2021. Archived from the original on 1 April 2021. Retrieved 12 April 2021.
  66. ^ "INDIA 2020 HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT" (PDF). US Department of State. Archived (PDF) from the original on 31 March 2021. Retrieved 12 April 2021.
  67. ^ "Online harassment of journalists: the trolls attack" (PDF). RSF (PDF). 25 July 2018. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 July 2021.
  68. ^ "RSF urges Indian authorities to protect woman journalist | Reporters without borders". RSF. 27 April 2018. Archived from the original on 2 July 2021. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  69. ^ "These Muslim Women Were Fetishized for Their Faith and 'Auctioned' Online". www.vice.com. 12 January 2022. Retrieved 13 January 2022.

External links

  Media related to Rana Ayyub at Wikimedia Commons