Rana Ayyub is one of India’s most high-profile critics of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In 2016 she published Gujurat Files, a controversial book that alleged India’s government was implicated in the 2002 riots in which around 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed in Gujarat. Ayyub’s book and subsequent investigations into religious violence in India have placed her in hot water with the authorities. In 2022 her bank accounts were frozen and she was prevented from boarding a flight to the United States from Mumbai airport due to an investigation into tax fraud which she claims was politically motivated.
In September 2022, Ayyub came to Intelligence Squared for the first installment of our new series ‘India at 75’ ,which will examine the future of the country 75 years after its independence. In conversation with author and broadcaster Kavita Puri, Ayyub discussed how she believes secularism has been eroded in India and how it can be defended from rising Hindu Nationalism.