On Tuesday, journalist Rana Ayyub’s tweet on the coronavirus appeared to rattle quite a few feathers on Twitter.
The award-winning journalist wrote on Twitter: “What is left for a virus to kill in a morally corrupt nation.”
Reacting to the outrage, Rana Ayyub further wrote: “One tweet has rattled the right, centrists, opportunists alike.”
Her comment on the coronavirus outbreak – which has already infected at least 140 people in India – sparked fury.
Swati Chaturvedi, journalist and author of I am a Troll wrote: “What an opportunist tweet. Forget journalists what a disgusting person. FYI journalists speak truth to power ie the government of the day. They don’t gloat over deaths. You are sick & nihilistic when you want your country to go down.”
Abhishar Sharma also agreed and said: “Agree. She is the mirror image of the hateful people who organize gaumootra parties. I cant even believe she actually said that. Ughh”
BJP National Spokesperson Sambit Patra wrote: “People like these are off course a CURSE for any Nation! #DoobMarona rather than talk #Corona."
Rana Ayyub recently won the ‘2020 McGill medal for journalist courage’.
McGill Fellow Sofia Gratas had said: “Ayyub is committed to telling the stories of people who can’t do it on her own, making her an ideal McGill medal recipient.
While some have hailed Rana Ayyub’s ‘courage’ in speaking truth to power, others have accused her of fear-mongering and spreading hatred.
In 2019, the Supreme Court of India dismissed a PIL of an NGO seeking further probe into former Gujarat Home Minister Haren Pandya’s murder in 2003.
They had referred to Ayyub’s book Gujarat Files: Anatomy of a Cover-up saying: “The Book by Rana Ayyub is of no utility. It is based upon surmises, conjectures, and suppositions and has no evidentiary value.”
The court observed: “In our opinion on merits in view of the material that has been placed on record including that of Azam Khan's statement and book by Rana Ayyub, no case is made out on the basis of material placed on record so as to direct further investigation or re- investigation. There is absolutely no material for that purpose.”
"The opinion of a person is not in the realm of the evidence. There is a likelihood of the same being politically motivated, cannot be ruled out. The way in which the things have moved in Gujarat post-Godhra incident, such allegations and counter-allegations are not uncommon and had been raised a number of times and have been found to be untenable and afterthought," it said.