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Gauri Lankesh murder: Another day, another life







By Chris Emmanuel D'Souza

Sep 9: On September 5, at about 8 in the night, three unidentified gunmen shot seven rounds of bullets killing the noted writer-poet, activist and a fierce journalist Gauri lankesh, sending shock waves across the country. These kinds of organized and cowardly assassination of thinkers, writes, intellectuals, academicians, rationalists and the voices of reason, seems like a strong beginning of a growing trend in the modified India. Post Independence, India with Nehru's secular and pluralistic ideals, that shaped the nation’s ethos for the next sixty odd years, there was never a time, where lives of journalists and the intellectual community was deemed to be as seriously in danger.

We do not have to look at Pakistan and Bangladesh anymore, and cringe reading about the treatment of minorities, murder of activists and journalists and the spate of violence, when all this mirrors in our own country right before our noses. Gauri Lankesh has made fiery speeches and statements against communal forces nationwide, some of her remarks were made in a bad taste, and I mostly disagreed with her, her words were sharp as a spade, her rage was filled with passion, at times very hard to digest. Her father P Lankesh too was an outspoken activist and relentlessly opposed castiesm in the country, many of his friends feared for his life.

But then, we are living in an open, free democracy. We are free to express our thoughts, opinions and ideas, and have the right to oppose and argue. As French ideologue Voltaire said, 'I may not agree with what you say, but I would defend to death, your right to say it'! The Constitution gives us the right to hold our views, to share it and the freedom of conscience, the sacred commandment that has nurtured the country over the years.

Over the last few years, when such ghastly acts of slaughter and murder in broad daylight have taken place around the country, the Indian media has chosen to be a silent spectator and some have shed their shame and moral values and have appointed themselves to be the cheerleaders of the Prime Minister, his high-energy right hand man and his colourful cabinet.

What may have caused the spate of such threats and murders on the intellectual community in the recent times?
There is considerable poisoning on the internet, social media and in the local evening papers. But then, unlike the previous decades, a large section of the people in the country have developed a substantial dosage of barbarism and sadism in their blood; a kind of blood that blots out their humanity and drugs them to slaughter an innocent soul merely to derive pleasure and to thump their chest of nationalism; and the blood that has given them the confidence in our new impotent media, sneaky politicians, degenerate Police department and the contaminated judiciary, that will eventually shield their evil deeds.

Since 2013 there has been a systematic and an organised strategy to eliminate voices of sanity and reason in the country. And among all those murders and the attempts, no assailant has neither been captured nor accused. TV media seemed to have made some noises initially, but then to keep their ratings in tact, decided to look the other way. A few moths ago eminent rationalist Narendra Nayak had an attempted attack.

Has anyone questioned the lack of efforts taken by the Karnataka government in nabbing these murderers? The Congress party is supposed to be secular and should have been in the forefront in curbing these crimes and safeguarding intellectuals of the state. But then, what will the government achieve? Nothing. Are the lives of precious writers, poets, novelists, academicians, activists and journalists worth a Vote in the upcoming elections? Thus, investigations get prolonged, as the clueless police keep performing Animal sacrifices to gather leads, as they yawn, scratch their heads and prickle their noses on their way to hunt down criminals.

It is very hard to see a political party daring to take a chance, by doing the right thing, as the whole country is polarised on religious and sectarian differences. After all, why do the right thing? For a better saner rationale society? is that what a political party desires? No, not at all. Will Siddaramaiah go after Gauri Lankesh's assassins? Let us pretend and keep waiting.

The murder of Gauri Lankesh will further push back those brave voices in vehemently opposing and criticizing communal and anti-social elements in the country and would discourage many writers and thinkers from opposing undemocratic and exclusive government policies that may harm the unity of the nation. The space for freedom of expression is shrinking, as most prominent journalists are in the payroll of the government and those that are not are being finished at gun point. As the Indian dream starts melting, the constitution gets ripped into pieces and the democracy explodes into ashes, we may then be left with an only hope to save our country – hope itself!

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the above article are solely those of the author

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Comment on this article

  • vincent rodrigues, Bangaluru/Katapadi

    Tue, Sep 12 2017

    The citizens need to know their fundamental rights enshrined in our constitution and should protest those who come on the way of their fundamental rights

    DisAgree Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Aravind, Blr

    Sat, Sep 9 2017

    Every hardliners align with some ideology. Just because they are leftists and naxal sympathizers and Hindu bashers, does not make them any less hardliners. Author seems to take a moral high ground and pass judgement on which is the way soceity should progress. Soceity progresses in the direction of what majority think. For eg. Arab Spring, overthrow of Shah of Iran. Just because some one indulges in leftist ideology and Hindu bashing does not mean they are the torch bearers of soceity. We have congress government in state, why has kalburgi murder not been solved? In the states where these free thinking leftists are ruling, there has been killing like never before of people who don't believe in their ideology. WB and Kerala are shining examples which author conveniently ignores to suit his point and show right wing in bad light.

    DisAgree Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Vincent Rodrigues, Bengaluru/Katapadi

    Sat, Sep 9 2017

    Very bad incident indeed and anyone who had done this shameless act will repent for their life

    DisAgree [3] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Thomas Cutinho, Mangalore/Dubai

    Sat, Sep 9 2017

    "Truth always tastes the bitter"---------------

    DisAgree [5] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Nagesh Prabhu, Mangalore /abudhabi

    Sat, Sep 9 2017

    Democracy is not the proper word to be used for talking ill about others. Freedom of speech is there but when you comment on others, one need to think twice and shouldn't hurt others just to vent out anger and settle scores; especially when you are in public life and being a profession. Especially, by hurting someone's feeling one can not win the minds or become popular. We have lot of intellectuals but most of us try to create disharmony, widen the rift, try to get cheap publicity and popularity, that is the problem with us. We go after dirty politicians. It is not that other developed or developing nations do not have these kind of problems. But most of the think tanks, intellectuals come forward to bring in consensus and work for the development of the region, state or country rather than creating differences and widening the gap. Probably, we are getting carried away and we aim to get rapid publicity or popularity. In fact, we need to set aside political or religious or regional differences aside and need to think of contributing to the development for the sake of our next generation. We are rich not only with natural resources but also with intellectuals but we are not focusing on developmental activities. Please set aside differences and stop mud slinging or else these type of happenings continue. Why hurt the sentiments of others? Our people are known for tolerance and we lead a fantastic life away from motherland. In every foreign country, people admit that Indians are most tolerant and friendly people. Wish we keep aside differences and try to contribute our might to the mainstream in developing the nation for the betterment of generations to come.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • Krishna, Karkala

    Sat, Sep 9 2017

    Police are not going to catch the killer.
    Police know very well that she was not killed by RSS/BJP/Some Hindu group.
    If the killer is other than RSS/ BJP, Siddu or Congress are not going to get any political mileage out of it.
    On the contrary if they do not catch the killer they can always blame BJP or RSS.
    It is surprise that Siddu government is least interested in Kalburgi's murder case.
    Perhaps they know the killer is some one close to Congress Neta

    DisAgree [10] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • sri_elder, Karkala

    Sat, Sep 9 2017

    In this world every human being has their own ending...

    DisAgree [3] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Sat, Sep 9 2017

    Even I am scared to use harsh words on BJP ...

    DisAgree [24] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Shankar, Mangalore

    Sat, Sep 9 2017

    You have become more responsible in enjoying your freedom now.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • Thelapuratha Chacko M, Mangalore

    Sat, Sep 9 2017

    Mr, Chris,, lease stop this running commentary on this subject. she is not a warrier against Hinduism and I don't think anyone from RSS ideology would bother to kill her, she is not worth it. she must have been killed by khangress men because may be she knew some of their secrets or may be killed for some family or property disputes. The cops should probe the 'love ' angle as well. She was a heavy smoker and drinking as well. In any case the police are not going to catch the killers. so don't waste your time on this now.

    DisAgree [11] Agree [17] Reply Report Abuse

  • Vijay Benedict, Mlore/Mumbai

    Sat, Sep 9 2017

    There is nothing called as a 'perfect crime'. It is stupid to believe that with all the Police and intelligence at its disposal they can't arrest a Murderer. Karnataka Police knows who the Culprits are but don't want to arrest them since they are not from BJP or RSS. Karnataka Govt will neither hand over the case to CBI because truth will come out which will not be to the liking of Congress party and want to keep the issue hanging with suspicion of doubt on BJP and RSS since she was a RSS hater.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • leslie, udupi

    Sat, Sep 9 2017

    With 2 millimeter thick skin and 70% water human being is nothing but a filled balloon. One prick and it is over.
    If a person has to be hunted there can be hardly any stopping unless he or she stays in Bal Thackeray style.
    Unfortunate killings like this one will continue to happen.
    We will be forced to witness haplessly until we go from this wretched world.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ramesh S, MANGALORE

    Sat, Sep 9 2017

    ..prominent 3 murders happened in Congress ruled state..Parsekar,Kalburghi, now Gauri lankesh..no one protested against Congress govt for failing to nab culprits..if there is slightest clue about Sangh parivaar, i am sure Congress Govt would have caught & jailed them by now..only right wings organisations & their activists bashed by writers/intellectuals/media..but since independence, leftist organisation are responsible for more death than any terrorist attacks in India..there are around 70 banned organisation in India which is compiled by Govt , most of the time its Congress but not a single right wing organisation figured in list..media is either missing something or deliberately blind eye..

    DisAgree [6] Agree [21] Reply Report Abuse

  • chris, Mumbai

    Sat, Sep 9 2017

    It is same old story nothing will change as how many case have been solved till date in India. The show will go on whether it is congress or BJP. We keep on writing RIP only and comments . Today Gauri Lankesh tomorrow it will be or you .

    In India security is only for corrupt politician and film star and celebrity

    DisAgree [3] Agree [18] Reply Report Abuse

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