Hundreds show support at the #IAmGauri Protests in Bangalore

Hundreds of supporters including activists, thinkers, writers and citizens came together in protest of the recent murder of senior journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh in Bangalore on Tuesday, September 12, 2017.

Prominent personalities participating in the protest included CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, well known social activist Medha Patkar, noted journalists P. Sainath and Sagarika Ghose, Swaraj India leaders Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav, documentary producers Anand Patwardhan and Rakesh Sharma, and civil rights activists Teesta Setalvad, Kavitha Krishnan and Jignesh Mevani and film producer Prakash Rai.

Wearing badges that said ‘#IAmGauri’, the protestors began a rally from Sangolli Rayanna Railway Station to the Central College grounds where a meeting was held. More than 300 policemen were deployed in and around the surrounding areas of Central College.

An emotional Indira Lankesh, mother of Gauri Lankesh said, “She [Gauri] fought with every fibre of her body. For me, all of you are my Gauris.”

Many protestors marching at the protest shouted slogans such as ‘Gauri Lankesh Amar Rahe’ and the demand of the protest was to book the assailants who committed the murder.

Sources: The Hindu, Firstpost

The big joke – Indian Democracy

“The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it” – George Orwell

Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare, MM Kalburgi, Gauri Lankesh; they all spoke the truth and paid the price for it with their lives. Their only crime was to show the mirror to a society used to living in a system poisoned by caste divides, hate crimes and communal violence.

Gauri was a Kannada journalist known for fiercely voicing out her opinions against the increasing violence by the extremist Hindutva groups and overall majoritarianism practiced by the Hindu organisations in the country. Like Dabholkar, Pansare and Kalburgi, Lankesh also never backed out of speaking up for the exploited and underprivileged sections of the society.

And then, this voice was silenced on September 5 when unknown assailants murdered the bold and courageous journalist in cold blood. Sadly, the list doesn’t end with Lankesh. At present, the Indian democracy is going through a crisis. The sole right to express dissent with the policies and ideologies of our political leaders is being snatched away from the common man.

Not only does criticism invite shaming and hatred from online bullies, things have gone as far as people simply being killed as if equality and freedom are just words meant to mock the largest democracy in the world.

But, it seems that the ones living in their high rise offices and travelling in their luxurious flights seem to have forgotten the power that lies with the Indian public. The massive outrage after Gauri’s death makes one believe that all is not lost yet; in-deed times have become dangerous for any voice that dares to disagree but these threats are only going to strengthen our resolve in protecting our country.

As long our people don’t let these threats silence our freedom and expression, they can’t take away the soul of our nation for which Gauri and many others laid their lives. Long Live Indian Democracy.

Source – The Guardian

Image Source – PTI

 

Bihar based journalist attacked

Two days after Gauri Lankesh was brutally murdered in front of her house, a journalist from the Arwal district of Bihar suffered the same fate.

Pankaj Mishra, a journalist who works at the newspaper named “Rashtriya Sahara” was shot by two bike borne assailants. It is believed that Mishra, who was leaving a bank with Rs 1 lakh was waylaid at a place of Banshi Block and attacked by two of his fellow villagers. The motive behind the heinous act is being considered to be personal enmity between the perpetrators of violence and the victim. The victim was initially taken to a Primary Health Centre before being shifted to Arwal Sadar Hospital due to the adverse nature of his injury. Meanwhile, Only one of the two assailants have been arrested, as the police are currently on the hunt for the second person. The Indian freedom of speech is being challenged as in the last three days the country has witnessed the death of two journalists, in repeated succession. Though, Arwal Superintendent of Police Dilip Kumar Mishra assured that Pankaj Mishra is out of danger as per medical reports, the condition for jounalists in the country is atrocious to say the least.

The Indian freedom of speech is being challenged as in the last three days the country has witnessed the death of two journalists, in repeated succession. Though Arwal Superintendent of Police Dilip Kumar Mishra assured that Pankaj Mishra is out of danger as per medical reports, the condition for journalists in the country is vulnerable, to say the least.

 

Sources-

  1. ANI- http://www.aninews.in/newsdetail-Mg/MzMzNjU5/bihar-another-journalist-shot-one-accused-arrested.html

2.The Hindu- http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/journalist-shot-at-robbed-in-bihars-arwal-district/article19637682.ece

Image Sourc- ANI

Another Voice stifled: Senior Journalist Gauri Lankesh Shot dead at Bengaluru residence

Prominent Journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh was shot dead by  three unidentified assailants while she was entering her house in Rajarajeshwari Nagar around 8pm on September 5.

According to M.N. Anucheth, DCP (West), her body was found on the verandah of her house. The neighbours said that they heard multiple shots being fired at her after which she collapsed and died on the spot.

Lankesh was the editor of weekly Kannada bulletin- Lankesh Patrike. She is well-known for her critical acclaimed work that often lambasted Hindutva extremism, caste system and the current government. She had come under fire previously for her criticism against Sangh parivar.

The Press club has strongly condemned the murder and thousands of people including prominent journalists like Sagarika Ghose, Rajdeep Sardesai etc have gathered to protest the rise in violence against journalists for speaking their minds.

Several politicians have to social media to express their shock and angst over the killing. BJP State Chief BS Yeddyurappa, terming the murder ‘inhuman’ and ‘barbaric’ tweeted that the law and order situation in the state has completely collapsed.

Investigations are on but the police is yet to check the footage from CCTV installed on her porch. Her funeral will be conducted as per the Lingayat customs.

Lankesh, an agnostic, was a fiesty, independent voice of journalism that has been silenced with bullets.

Sources: The Hindu, The Wire

Image Source: Facebook- Official page of Gauri Lankesh