NEW DELHI, 12 July-2014, TNN: On July 9, 2014, the DNA newspaper published a hard-hitting opinion piece on BJP president Amit Shah titled ‘A new low in Indian politics’ by journalist Rana Ayyub on its website.
On Friday, Ayyub, who has been critical of the newly-elected Narendra Modi government, tweeted that her opinion piece had been taken down from the newspaper’s website.
She tweeted: “@dna has pulled down my piece on Amit Shah “A new low in Indian politics”. Appalled, disillusioned at the state of journalism!”
Rana, who has been writing for the newspaper since April 2014, told TOI that she has not been given any justification by DNA for the removal of her article.
However, she admitted that according to some of the newspaper’s employees, who shall remain unnamed, the article was taken down by the top management for being too ‘harsh’.
DNA’s decision to take down Ayyub’s article ignited outrage on social media with netizens questioning freedom of speech in the country.
Former Union minister Shashi Tharoor also condemned DNA’s decision.
This is an utter disgrace: http://t.co/j4xKrqzjG4 Can free speech survive in media that crawls b4 it’s asked2bend? @aditya_kuhar @RanaAyyub
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) July 12, 2014
Several senior journalists like Rajdeep Sardesai, Sagarika Ghosh and late Jehangir Pocha tweeted in support of Ayyub. Here are some of the reactions:
In an interview to News Laundry, Kunal Majumder, editor of DNA online, claimed that he was “not the one who decided what went up and what was taken down”.
Despite several attempts, we could not get in touch with Majumder.
Ayyub, who was a senior editor at Tehelka, resigned from the publication in November 2013, in protest over how they handled the sexual assault charge against its founder and editor Tarun Tejpal.