The entire journalistic and intellectual fraternity of India is shocked and anguished over the most brutal and gruesome murder of a fifty-year-old progressive and outspoken journalist Gauri Lankesh in Bengaluru by hardened criminals supposedly the right wing paranoid faith fanatics, as being talked about ,killing her from a close range of 3 to 5 feet, point blank range with four to five bullets fired on her chest and face. Gauri Lankesh represents the entire progressive media fraternity who counter and fight against right wing communalism, forces of reaction, division, acute fundamentalism of religion n faith and of bigotry n chauvinism.
A veteran journalist and a political activist too, apart from vociferously and eloquently countering intolerance of religious chauvinism and forces of bigotry, Gauri was also these days working to bring few misguided Naxal youths into mainstream politics in a democratic setup. The obnoxious and most shocking murder of Gauri reminds us of the recent unabated lynchings of several eminent progressive writers, thinkers and journalists of repute viz Narendra Dabolkar, M.M. Kulkarni and Govind Pansare whose entire life was devoted and dedicated to writings on communal harmony and protecting the secular traditions and values.
Gauri Kulkarni was an outspoken and firebrand journalist and a socio political activist too who had always been in the forefront to condemn and counter the arbitrary and communal actions and divisive utterances of fundamentalist forces and was therefore allegedly the most favored enemy of the right wing politics and their masters. Those who know Gauri from the close quarters, particularly her senior journalist friends say that Gauri was fearless, highly vociferous and die hard secularist who could go to any level to oppose and counter the forces of communalism, reaction, and division. It was finally her strong commitment to take head on collision course with the extreme right wing forces, that led her losing her precious life so brutally.
Highly dedicated to fearless journalism for the last three decades Gauri’ s father too was an eminent journalist and published a Kannada language journal called Gauri Lankesh Patrike from Bengaluru which the former was now editing. Gauri was always a soft target of the communalists and religious fundamentalists but never gave up raising her voice most emphatically against the high and mighty. In today’s world of materialism, extreme corruption, nepotism and favoritism one will seldom find a woman fighter of great courage and bravery as Gauri Lankesh was, who dedicated her entire career as a journalist and later on as a scribe turned socio political activist to relentlessly fight against the forces of communalism, reaction, division and fundamentalism, irrespective of religious or caste affiliations.
In the tragic murder of Gauri Lankesh while the AADHI AABAADI, the women community of the country has lost a brave and courageous fighter for the women’s rights and their dignity, the nation and media fraternity has devoid itself of an incessant n fearless journalist woman fighter and the true and transparent voice of the progressive thought and struggle. The gruesome lynching of Gauri Lankesh also reminds me of the most horrendous and diabolical murder of a journalist friend of Pauri Garhwal Uttarakhand who was mercilessly killed by the then ILLICIT LIQUOR MAFIA during the eighties, as he was exposing the illegal trade of the liquor mafia in league with the then political hierarchy and law enforcing agency through his articulations in a popular Hindi Daily AMAR UJALA where he worked then as a local correspondent.
The liquor mafia mutilated the journalist’s body into several pieces and dumped it into the GANG NAHAR OF UTTAR PRADESH. It is shocking to note that in India about 60 whistle blowers ( RTI ACTIVISTS) have been killed with six suicides and more than three hundred attempts to kill the RTI activists made during 2015 and 16. Sounds shocking and distressing. The last year’s murder of Rajiv Ranjan in Bihar by the mafia don Shahabuddin who is under trial in Tihar Jail is also an unambiguous testimony of increasing killings of journalists in our country.
The Karnataka government is also to be blamed as it is during their rule that a woman journalist gets killed so conveniently showing THENGA to the law and order machinery. The chief minister of the state too is fully answerable for this huge blunder of breaking law and order machinery of the state. Any violence, murder and too diabolically, whether of an RSS worker in Kerala or progressive Journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh is outrightly unacceptable and condemnable in strongest possible terms. Whether he is Rajiv Ranjan of Bihar or Umesh Dobhal of Pauri, Garhwal, both journalists or Dabolkar, Kulkarni or Pansare or others diabolical murders under the influence of any ideology, left or right are strictly unacceptable in a democracy. No constitution of any country of the world including ours give any right to any paranoid or fundamentalist of any caste, community, sect or religion any right to kill anybody and smother his or her precious life through lynching in order to smother their freedom of speech and expression verbal or in writing. We are living in a democratic free society where every left, right, centrist or free thinking person has the freedom to express according to his or her own free will. Law of land is there for punitive measures if anybody goes against the tenets of democracy and our Constitution but lynching in any form and physical assault and silence is no solution to.any problem. What do you say, friends? We unequivocally condemn any form of violence against anybody of any ideology in strongest possible terms and appeal to one and all to fight ideologically through pen and votes not blood bath or brutal killing