In a video that has surfaced on Twitter, three women belonging to the Anti-CAA lobby can be seen heckling journalist Mahesh Vikram Hegde at an airport. The women have been identified as Kavitha Reddy, Najma Nazeer and Amulya Leona.
Will the supporters continue to be appreciative about this when the tables turn? pic.twitter.com/71fjOzZbKJ
— Maya (@Sharanyashettyy) January 31, 2020
They coerced Hegde to sing “Vande Mataram” and prove his patriotism “for the country”. One of the women called him the member of “nationalist gang”. The one with the camera, Kavitha Reddy, asked the journalist in an absurd manner whether he knew the time when Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi.
In another video, the supposed “women activists” told the journalist that he was getting an opportunity to become “hero” from “zero” by singing Vande Mataram and “Sara Jaha se Aacha.” The hecklers were unmoved in their pursuit but Hegde maintained his composure and often smiled at their immaturity.
Kavita Reddy went on to label those who disagree with her as “cowards”, “guttersnipes” and “Godse’s children”. She proudly called her act of heckling as a “trailer” and warned that more such episodes of harassment are going to come in the upcoming days.
On 24th January, journalist Deepak Chaurasia was manhandled at Shaheen Bagh, the new Mecca for Anti-CAA protests. He was shoved and stopped from reporting. The camera was broken as well.
Another female video journalist associated with News Nation was beaten by three unknown assailants on January 27 when she had gone to cover Anti-CAA protests in South Mumbai’s Nagapada. Sudhir Chaudhary, the Editor-in-Chief of Zee News, was also stopped from crossing the police barricade to cover the Anti-CAA agitation.
On January 28, comedian Kunal Kamra tried to intimidate Republic TV media baron, Arnab Goswami on an Indigo flight to Lucknow. The mentally unstable comedian was later put on a no-flying list by several airlines.
On January 30, a team of Zee News reporters were assaulted near Sukhdev Vihar metro by Anti-CAA protestors. The video equipment was damaged. Mobile phones and personal belongings of the reporters were snatched as well. The journalist Mahesh Vikram Hegde now happens to be the latest victim of the onslaught.
The Anti-CAA lobby has now taken to harassment against those who question their malicious agenda. These hecklers have the backing of some of India’s prominent left-leaning journalists. Their morale is bolstered when these journalists-cum-spinmasters twist stories to whitewash their rogue behaviour.
It is now evident that physical assault, intimidation and public harassment is being weaponised to deride the dissenters. The Left which claims to be the champions of “right to free speech” happen to be the frontrunners in curbing others’ freedom of expression.
While it is perfectly fine to disagree with someone, but harassing a journalist and dubbing it as “trailer” sets a dangerous precedent of fascism.