Indian journalist Rana Ayyub, author of Gujarat Files- Anatomy of a Cover Up, was prevented from speaking at an event organised by the Indian Association of Bihar and Jharkhand in Doha, Qatar, to mark the 85th birth anniversary of former president APJ Abdul Kalam.
Ayyub was told by the IABJ organisers that they were instructed to either drop her or the event on 22 October, The Wire reported on Wednesday. IABJ works with the Indian Cultural Centre, which, in turn, operates under the "aegis of the Embassy of India, Doha."
Ayyub, who was to speak on "Kalam, empowerment of minorities, Dalits and on the findings of her book," told The Wire, "The moment I tweeted that I will be speaking at the event, I got a call from the organisers who told me that the ICC will not give them permission to use the venue if Ayyub speaks there and that they were asked to look for an alternate venue."
One of the event's organisers who spoke to The Wire on the condition of anonymity, said, "We were doing a programme on A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. So, we invited her to speak. But the ICC objected to her speaking at the event. It did not ask us to cancel the event but asked us to drop Ayyub's name."
Citing government sources, The Wire reported that instructions to drop Ayyub came from the Modi government in New Delhi.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, an organiser told The Wire, that IABJ had no choice but to cancel the event. "You must understand that we are migrants and do not want to get into trouble. Our Muslim names will only add fuel to the fire in the present circumstances."
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