By Amit Kumar, TwoCircles.net
For the past six months, Bhopal-based freelance journalist Anam Ibrahim keeps a look over his shoulder. And for good reason too: his car was rammed into by a truck, twice: it was then burnt right outside his house, and a person once walked into the office he was working with a cleaver in hand, threatening to kill him. And all this, because he has written “against right-wing Hindu organisations”.
The latest threat came a couple of days ago, when an unknown caller, claiming to be from the RSS, promised to eliminate him unless he stopped writing. “Listen to me carefully…you have committed a grave mistake by writing against the Hindu Sangh…you have got yourself into a big trouble…you better take responsibility and apologise, or you will lose your life this week…” said the caller, who went on to abuse Ibrahim at length for “writing against Hindus”.
Speaking with Twocircles.net, Ibrahim, who has been working as a reporter since his late teenage years, clears the idea that his reporting is only against Hindus. “Of course, people eye it with suspicion every time I, a Muslim reporter, write against a right-wing organisation. But no one can ever say that I am biased,” he explains. “As a journalist for the past 15 years, I have written on issues that impact everyone. I wrote against Jamat-e-Islami and Asaduddin Owaisi also. Does that mean I am anti-Muslim?” he asks. “You cannot be against anyone when you work as a journalist. I have always worked against issues, not personalities,” he adds.
After he received the threat call, Ibrahim rushed to the local police station-Shahjahanabad-to register a complaint. “This is my third complaint in the same police station…when the DIG got to know of the case, he offered to give me police protection, but I refused. I only wish to work as a journalist and cannot work with police cover. Plus, what have I done to deserve police protection? I am merely doing my job,” a worried Ibrahim said over phone.
“Journalism is all I know. This is all I have done in my life. What am I supposed to do? Quit and open a pan shop?” he asks.