Statement against RSS attack on journalist Neha Dixit and press freedom

UPDATE: The statement now includes below, 31 endorsements received from Gujarat as of 19 August 2016

This statement is being posted with the hundred-plus signatures received between 1 pm and 8 pm today. Please endorse in the comments section if you wish to do so.

We, the undersigned journalists, activists and academics, condemn in the strongest terms, the brazen attack launched by RSS organizations and individuals on journalist Neha Dixit and Outlook magazine for a thorough investigative report by Dixit based on three months of field work. This report revealed how different Sangh outfits trafficked 31 tribal girls, some as young as three years, from tribal areas of Assam, to Punjab and Gujarat. Orders were issued to these organizations by the Assam State Commission for the Protection of Child Rights, the Child Welfare Committee (Kokrajhar), the State Child Protection Society, and Childline (Delhi and Patiala), to return the children to Assam. These orders were violated with impunity by Sangh-run institutions with the help of the Gujarat and Punjab governments.

On the publication of this report in Outlook, a police complaint was lodged at Latasil Police Station on grounds of inciting communal hatred, and the police registered an FIR against Indranil Roy (Publisher), Krishna Prasad (Editor) of Outlook and Neha Dixit, writer of the story. The complainants are Bijon Mahajan (BJP spokesperson and Gauhati High Court advocate), Mominul Awwal (BJP Minority Cell) and Subhash Chandra Kayal (Assistant Solicitor General).

Instead of launching an investigation into the trafficking, the police have chosen to act on a frivolous and motivated complaint against those who exposed the crime.  We demand that the police immediately file charges against those who conduct child trafficking.

In addition, RSS organizations have started a campaign targeting Neha Dixit and Outlook in social media, claiming “defamation”, and we can expect more trumped up police complaints and legal interventions. We are also aware that these Hindutva brigades often take the law into their own hands, unleashing violence with impunity, emboldened by the current regime.

RSS organizations and individuals have long used the law and police machinery to hound artists and intellectuals from MF Hussain to Ashis Nandy, invoking the legal section of “inciting communal hatred” to stifle freedom of expression, using it whenever their own communally violent and hate-inducing tactics and actions are revealed and made public. Journalists are particularly vulnerable, as their investigative reports that reveal RSS organizations’ strategies to attack minorities, Hinduise tribals and created hatred between communities, are themselves targeted as “inciting communal hatred”.We condemn these familiar and reprehensible tactics of the RSS machinery and appeal to our legal justice system to be alert to the misuse of courts and legal machinery by these forces.

We also demand that all criminal action against Neha Dixit and Outlook be dropped, as this is an intolerable attack on freedom of the press to publish thoroughly researched articles in the public interest.

Pamela Philipose

Siddharth Varadarajan

Vidya Subrahmaniam

Anuradha Bhasin Jamwal

Om Thanvi

Manoj Joshi

Jyoti Malhotra

Monobina Gupta

Akshaya Mukul

Ajoy Ashirwad

Vikhar Ahmed Sayeed

Abhimanyu Kumar

Pheroze L Vincent

Venkitesh Ramakrishnan

Ritwik Sharma

Sarthak Ray

Sevanti Ninan

Geeta Seshu

Swati Bhattacharjee

Mannika Chopra

Shuma Raha

Shruti Ganpatye

Raksha Kumar

Anam Mittra

Vinaya Deshpande

Indira Jaising

Shabnam Hashmi

Ilina Sen

Harsh Mander

Lalita Ramdas

Kavita Krishnan

Vrinda Grover

Kavita Srivastava

Deepti Sharma

Aditya Shrivastava

Mihira Sood

Pyoli Swatija

Achin Vanaik

Susie Tharu

Jayati Ghosh

J Devika


Gautam Bhan

Sunalini Kumar

Jyotirmaya Sharma

Janaki Nair

Rohini Hensman

Radhika Singha

Ritu Dewan

Bishnupriya Paul

V Sujatha

Kumkum Roy

Supriya Varma

Karthik Bittu

Anita Ghai

Sujata Patel

Satish Deshpande

Nivedita Menon

Baidik Bhattacharya

Aditya Nigam

Virginia Saldanha
Shilpa Phadke

Mary John

Urvashi Butalia

Ritu Menon

Aniket Alam

Shipra Nigam

Kalyani Menon-Sen

Ankita Anand

Amrita Nandy

Anuradha Banerji

Vineeta Bal

Japleen Pasricha

Meena Saraswati Seshu

Arundhati Duru

Sandhya Srinivasan

Monisha Behal

Abha Bhaiya

Aruna Burte


Jhuma Sen

Papori Bora

Dipa Sinha

G Arunima

Lata Singh

Ranjani Mazumdar

Rachana Johri

Kamayani Bali Mahabal

Rimple Mehta

Pramada Menon

Geetha Nambisan

Aarthi Pai

Virginia Saldanha

Vidya Reddy


Vasudha Mohanka

Urvashi Sarkar

Sarojini NB

Soma KP

Kavitha Muralidharan

Veena Poonacha

Deepa Venkatachalam

Ranjana Padhi

Shambhavi Prakash

Guneet Ahuja

Meena Menon

Moushumi Basu

T K Rajalakshmi

Endorsements received from Gujarat, 19 August

Azima Girach, Advocate, Ahmedabad
Persis Ginwalla,  Ahmedabad, Gujarat
Fahad Mohammad Khan, Advocate, Ahmedabad
Nita Mahadev, Social Activist, Gujarat Lok Samiti, Ahmedabad
Dr.Virendra vidrohi, Social Activist
Prasad Chacko, Social Worker, Ahmedabad
Sandesh Gonsalves, Prashant, Ahmedabad
Willi, Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF)
Xavier Manjooran,Sj, SAHYOG, SONGADH
Fr Cedric Prakash , Human Rights Activist
Neeta Hardikar, Social Activist, Gujarat
Usman Gani Sherisiya, Machimar Adhikar Sanghrsh Sangthan, Gujarat
Ashok Shrimali, Mines Minerals and People
Anand Mazgaonkar, Social Activist
Abdulhafiz lakhani. Journalist, Ahmedabad
Rohit shukla swayam, Social Scientist
Stalin K Padma, Film Maker
Jimmy dabhi, Social Activist
Rohit Prajapati, Activist, Gujarat.
D.N. Rath, Ahmedabad
Damini Shah, Writer, Ahmedabad
Waqar Qazi , Ahmedabad, Gujarat
Mahesh kumar Pandya, Environmentalist, Ahmedabad
Shakil Shaikh, Ahmedabad
Shehnaz, HDRC
Dinesh, Marag
Krishnakant, Vododara
Rajiv Shah, Journalist, Ahmedabad
Ashim Roy, Vice President, New Trade Union Initiative
Amrut Vaghela, Cultural Activist, Ahmedabad
Mujahid Nafees, Education Activist, Ahmedabad, Gujarat

532 thoughts on “Statement against RSS attack on journalist Neha Dixit and press freedom”

  1. INDIAN CIVIL SOCIETY is WAKING up now ( When it appears ALMOST to be TOO LATE in the DAY), to the DANGERS of FLIRTING WITH an AUTOCRATIC, MEGALOMANIACAL& PSYCHOPATHIC MASS MURDERER, that MANY members of this INDIAN SOCIETY DID in 2014 ( in all 31 PERCENT of THEM) knowing FULLY WELL that neither a TIGER ever CHANGES its STRIPE nor a LEOPARD its SPOTS and similarly,the fact remains that the FASCISTS will ALWAYS remain FASCISTS even if they WEAR a MASQUERADE of DEVELOPMENT to HOODWINK gullible MASSES during ELECTION CAMPAIGNS!


    1. The Kerala High Court intervened in a similar situation when thousands of young children were brought to Kerala by Muslim league’s Yatheem Khana. Why the OUTLOOK magazine avoided this story is baffling It was more than 10000 children trafficked by Muslin league in Kerala and that party was ruling Kerala with Congress at that time. So the Kerala Govt stonewalled any enquiry into the allegation. The Hon. Kerala High Court even ordered a CBI Probe.

      1. Dear Mr Nateshan,
        Please stick to his issue and this statement. Please do not divert attention like criminals usually do.

  2. Neha Dixit’s excellent article meets all the standards that we expect of scholarly work in its most productive sense. It must be bizarre times for democracy in this country that those who need to reconcile their humanity with the difficult questions raised in the article think that an FIR is the best way to respond to it. I fully endorse this statement.

  3. I agree with this statement. This was an investigative report which reveals the underbelly of the heinous crime n trying to throttle such actions of unmasking the culprits by intimidation is highly condemnable n unjust.

  4. मैं इस मुद्दे पर आपकी मांग और आपके वक्तव्य का समर्थन करता हूँ।

  5. such muzzling of courageous journos have been routine –no words enuf for condemnation –i join the protest

  6. I also demand that all criminal action against Neha Dixit and Outlook be dropped, as this is an intolerable attack on freedom of the press to publish thoroughly researched articles in the public interest.

  7. I endorse this statement. Kindly add my name in the list. Neha Dixit’s journalistic practice speaks for people. It should not be curbed by any powerful entity out there.

  8. Neha is a fearless journalist deeply committed to social justice. We need more like her. I fully support this statement.Vaiju Naravane.

  9. I endorse the statement. This is absolutely unacceptable and a thorough violation of fundamental rights of the citizens within the constitutional framework of India. Maidul Islam

  10. Endorsed. Solidarity with the movement to preserve a free press. Down with the trafficking practices of the Sangh.

  11. I endorsed the statement more investigations should be made against RSS in order to expose its heinous crimes This is an org of traitors add my name in the list
    lawyer,journalist,HRW activist – Kota – Rajasthan

  12. I endorse the statement : We also demand that all criminal action against Neha Dixit and Outlook be dropped, as this is an intolerable attack on freedom of the press to publish thoroughly researched articles in the public interest.

  13. Endorse the statement wholeheartedly. Using criminal laws to persecute journalists betrays a deeply authoritarian and hate-filled mindset. Such governments must be resisted.

  14. I demand that all criminal action against Neha Dixit and Outlook be dropped, as this is an intolerable attack on freedom of the press to publish thoroughly researched articles in the public interest.

  15. I endorse this statement.

    Sushmita Dev, the Congress Leader from Assam, brought this up in the parliament just last week. The govt must launch a probe into the matter right away. Violence against writers and journalists must be condemned. Freedom of Speech and Expression is being threatened everyday.

    It’s becoming more and more difficult to live somewhere in between unrealistic optimism and cynical pessimism, at Hope.

    Let’s unite and fight to protect the women, children and minority groups in the country.

    Alina Tiphagne
    Photojournalist, Broadcast News Editor

  16. I Strongly Endorse This Statement. This is just plain and wrong for RSS to target ppl who expose the truth. I hope courts take notice and throw cases in trash and file case against RSS for child trafficking.

  17. I hope, some day we would protect our mothers and sisters and not an animal, whom our beliefs had made an issue of.

  18. I strongly condemn this obscene attack on the freedom of the press. It’s shameful what they are doing, unable to refute such a well researched article. More power to brave and righteous journalists like Neha Dixit!

  19. Endorsed – resist attack by Hindutva thugs of RSS against journalists daring to expose their heinous crimes and conspiracies.

  20. I endorse this statement. I condemn the arbitrary police and legal section.

  21. Absolute endorsement. And infinite, wholehearted thanks to Neha Dixit, Krishna Prasad, and Indranil Roy.

  22. I endorse this. Even the child rights commission of Assam has stood by the claim of abuse but the police have not taken action the perpetrators of the crime. Instead they are shooting the messenger of bad news.

    Walter Fernandes

  23. This Government is against freedom of speech, specially if spken words are highlighting their fascist way of ruling and living. I support Neha dixit and outlook for their wondrful investigative story but i am hating that they we rewarded for their good deeds by filing FIR against them. I endorese the statement above and i stand for the freedom of Media and i stabd for freedom of speech.

  24. Wholeheartedly endorse this statement. Insist that charges be dropped against Neha and an apology issued by the Central Government.

  25. In solidarity.
    Amita Dhanda, Professor of Law, NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad.

  26. As IHRO Chairman of journalists fraternity of Chinab Valley,, and Bhaderwah journalist association president, I strongly condemned the act of Police and RSS for harassing the journalist.
    Please add the following names of Chinab Valley journalists,,,,,,,,

  27. Neha needs to be commended for exposing the hitherto dark side of the RSS, unknown to most, and one that’s shadowy and opaque in nature.
    The fact that the RSS’ activities have the tacit sanction of the bigwigs in the BJP and the NDA must be brought out in greater detail, and must be made known to the world at large.

  28. The following endorsements have come in:
    Shukla Sawant
    Susan Visvanathan
    Nandini Rao
    Uma Chandru
    Sumi Krishna
    Samantha Agarwal

  29. Some more:
    Albertina Almeida
    Chayanika Shah
    Anuradha Kapoor
    Madhu Bhushan
    Rina Mukherji
    Neeta (npdh)
    A. Mani
    Manisha Kande
    Ujwala Kadrekar
    Uma Chakravarti
    Nandita Shah
    Purwa Bharadwaj
    Shoba Ghosh
    Niti Saxena

  30. I endorse the plea to the courts, police and governments to uphold decent democratic values in India and defeat the communal elements.

  31. Nisaar main teri galiyon peh ai watan, keh jahan
    Chali hai rasm keh koi na sar utha keh chale..

    Recently the Outlook magazine ran a story exposing child trafficking of adivasi girls by RSS affiliates like Sewa Bharati and Rashtra Sevika Samiti in Assam. The story was based on solid investigation and documentary evidence tracing the trafficking trail from Assam to Gujarat and Punjab. Today we have received shocking information that an FIR has been lodged against the reporter, the editor and the publisher of the Outlook magazine. This is a clear case of witch hunt and unjust persecution when the RSS is unable to counter the story with credible facts. The DSF strongly condemns the attack on free speech and the media and views this as an attempt to coerce and silence those who are daring to speak truth to power. We appeal to all progressive and democratic sections to provide full solidarity and support to those who are being victimised and resist such onslaughts on democratic spaces.
    Sd/- Ishan Anand, Secretary, DSF
    Sonam Goyal, President, DSF

  32. I fully endorse the statement and let’s all be united in this fight against fascism where’s called fringe elements are fully supported by state machinery, with the support of ruling party.

  33. In solidarity. With reference to the longer post of Shahabudeen Nadeem, a defence by us (make no mistake, we are all under attack in this dispensation, all who think sanely), a defence by means of a frontal attack would succeed only with allies and striking at the right moment.

  34. Endorsed. Fight against criminal elements. Stiop human trafficking and targeting whistle-blowers.

    Nirjhar Mukherjee

  35. I fully endorse the statement. Journalists should unite against attacks. Prime Minister should act like he speaks and leash RSS

  36. This is what they do to people who raise questions, are we still in a democracy?

  37. Endorsed. Please add my signature to the list. Anna M.M. Vetticad

    (The message is clear: we won’t stop the trafficking, we will stop the journalists who told you it’s happening.)

  38. I endorse the statement. Action should be taken against RSS as per report published in the Outlook

  39. Endorsed. It was a stunning piece of journalism after a very long time! #StandWithNehaDixit

  40. I endorse the petition. RSS has the audacity of levying false charges when it is itself implicated in several cases of inciting communal hatred.

  41. Wholeheartedly endorse the statement and stand in solidarity with Neha. The Govt must investigate the crime instead of shooting the messenger. At least some journalists and media outlets are still doing their job honestly and sincerely. We must defend them.
    Rakhi Sehgal

  42. I stand in solidarity with Neha Dixit and her courageous journalism. Each one of us should!

  43. A country growing in the lines of a fascist one. It’s showing all its arrogance against students, writers, dalits, workers, minorities, artists and journalists. What’s left to be attacked? If 4 th estate is getting targeted at the time of paid journalism sponsored by the state we will be under a complete fascist regime in the near future.

  44. I strongly endorse this petition and demand the authorities not to flout the rules and act to protect hooligans of its own ilk.

  45. I endorse my statement against RSS attack on journalist Neha Dixit and Outlook Express.

  46. V r with outlook magazine and Neha Dixit,
    RSS SHOULD Kindly stop the witch hunt,
    Fight fair ,

  47. The Tribals are the soft target to spread hatred and to make sure that their real tradition of community living May be broken and that fight with each other. Hope the people understand that they are not going to gain anything except loosing peace and livelihood.

  48. Endorsed. Govt has forgotten what investigation means and when someone painstakingly does it they (govt/police/rss) file false cases

  49. Endorsed. Media too should act against nefarious elements and expose them. Media houses are divided on the ideological points of political parties.

  50. More endorsements:
    Bachi Karkaria
    Anita Katyal
    Sheetal Sharma
    Vahida Nainar
    Mujahid Nafees
    Priya John
    Laxmi Murthy
    Chhaya Datar
    Sejal Dave
    Gabriele Dietrich
    Janaki Srinivasan
    Dr Amar Jesani
    Pallavi Gupta
    Rachna Dhingra and Satinath Sarangi
    Renu Khanna, SAHAJ
    Jashodhara DasGupta
    Nimisha Desai
    Sagari R Ramdas
    Charanya R
    Krupa R

  51. AIDWA Press release

    The All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) strongly condemns the manner in which the police have lodged false criminal cases against the Publisher and Editor of Outlook magazine, and the author of one of its recent stories, Neha Dixit, at the behest of certain members connected with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. This is one more example of how the police and law enforcement machinery is being used to curb the freedom of expression and hound media persons speaking up against communal strategies of the Sangh Parivar. AIDWA demands that these cases be withdrawn immediately, and police protection provided to all of them avoid any possible physical attacks from goons owing allegiance to Hindutva forces.

    In a statement issued on 2nd of August 2016, the AIDWA has conveyed its strong protest about the trafficking of 31 young tribal girls from Assam in order to indoctrinate them in RSS camps, as reported in Outlook. We reiterate our demand that since this amounts to a violation of national and international child trafficking laws, cases should be filed against the traffickers, alleged to be RSS workers from Punjab and Gujarat.

  52. Endorsed by:

    Mujahid Nafees
    Sophy Joseph
    Komal Ganotra
    Radha Holla
    Sandipan Paul
    Sudeshna Sengupta
    Chirashree Ghosh
    Elizabeth Khumallambam

  53. I endorse the statement wholeheartedly and strongly denounce RSS as one fascist force.

  54. I endorse this statement. Neha Dixit – we need more brave and professional journalists like you. Kudos to the Outlook Team for having the courage to investigate and report on a theme like child trafficking within the country – for speaking of truths that many of us in this country don’t like or want to hear.

  55. I strongly condemn the attacks made on Neha. There should be proper investigation before targeting her.

  56. If this is not a state of emergency then what is? If this is not fascism, then what is? I strongly condemn the attack and fully endorse this statement.

  57. Nita Mahadev
    Gujarat Loksamiti
    Prasad Chacko
    Manisha Kande
    Preetha Nair
    Anannya Bhattacharjee
    Persis Ginwalla
    Runu Chakraborty

  58. Trafficking anyone, let alone helpless Tribal children is abhorrent. Why punish the brave woman who has raised concerns.? Please show your goodwill and release her.

  59. Strongly condemn RSS / VHP Hindu brigade and their unlawful acts…
    Endorse the statement

  60. I endorse this statement. We need to stand up and be counted.. as supporters of freedom, against all forms of repression

  61. If this the Rss idea of India’s laws and of the rule of law in India then they seem to be “nationalists” of some some extra terrestrial fictional nation just as in the fiction so well shown in BR Ambedkar’s “Riddles in Hinduism”.

    I strongly endorse and support the statement.

    Col Anil Kumar Chawla(Retd)

  62. These fringe elements are unfortunately getting tacit approval from the Govt and need condemnation

  63. I support Freedom of Expression. An independent press is a sign of healthy society. I endorse the statement

  64. The sanghis are now hellbent to throttle the democratic voices. Though, a difficult struggle ahead but we have to fight it unitedly.

  65. Endorsed the statement.

    In full support within the revolutionary fight on fascists from Telangana.

  66. Whoever dare to expose the real face of sangh parivar should be targeted as in the case of Khalburgy and many more. A wider union of journalists, activists and all other secular forces is essential to assure freedom for all.
    The current activities of parivar outfits are highly objectionable. I express my solidarity with Ms.Neha Dixit and outlook team.

  67. Please add my name. I endorse the Statement against RSS attack on journalist Neha Dixit and press freedom. – Nitin Basrur. Pune.

  68. Please add my name. Fully support the statement. In solidarity with Neha Dixit (& Indranil Roy, Krishna Prasad).

  69. Endorsements from
    Padma Velaskar
    Tanushree Gangopadhyay
    Niveditha Menon, Bangalore

    and the following from Medico Friends Circle:
    Savitri Ray
    Dr. Abhay Shukla, Pune
    Dr Shakeel
    Indranil Mukhopadhyay
    Isfaqur Rahman
    Amitava Guha
    Samir Dass, Ranchi
    Thelma Narayan
    Dhruv Mankad
    Jagdish Patel

  70. Hats off to Neha for her commendable job in exposing the Indian Stolen generation episode by the Sanghis.Its nothing surprise to see the action by the Sanghis for the expose.Morover they are in power in Assam n will do everything to fix Neha.We have to stand by this brave woman.I am signing now.

  71. Endorsements from the Food Sovereignty Alliance

    Sagari R Ramdas
    Charanya R
    Krupa R

  72. At any cost, the freedom of speech should be safeguarded.
    No agency,o r organizations , should have the power to curb it.

  73. The worst thing is that the law enforcing authority play into the hands of these fringe elements eho take law unto themselves.

  74. This shows Neha’s story has hit home. I strongly condemn this action by RSS and endorse the above statement

  75. I stand with this group for Neha Dixit and other journalists fighting the Hindutva attack.

  76. For how long this cruel organization is involved in such a heinous crime? Need to dig out more in the past.

    I too endorse the above statement

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