Senior Kannada Journalist Gauri Lankesh, who was well known for her unapologetic view was shot outside her home in Bengaluru yesterday night. Gauri Lankesh had founded her own weekly tabloid magazine named Gaur Lankesh Patirke in 2005.
As per reports, the magazine now employed 50 people and accepted no advertisements from government or otherwise. The organization survived entirely on the subscriptions as well as from funds coming through Gauri Lankesh’s other endeavours, all in literature domain.
She wasn’t that well-known in North India except for journalistic circle. The court of Judicial Magistrates of First Class had convicted her in a legal defamation case and she was fined with INR 10,000 and six month jail term. She was currently out on a bail.
The horrifying murder of this brave eminent journalist is just an addition to the increasing instances of killing the journalists from Bihar to Karnataka.
The oppressors fail to understand or acknowledge that slaughter can shock but can never silence the pen. The voice of dissent will always be there till there are issues and problems. Anti-establishment journalism has to go on for the simple reason of being pro-people.
It is very sad to note that silencing has crossed the paradigms of censorship or veiled threats and have reached to the level of assassination. It is equally horrifying to note the shrinking space of dissent in new India.
One of the people celebrating the killing of Gauri Lankesh on twitter was found to be followed by none other than our honourable Prime Minister. The Prime Minister who has received an overwhelming majority has thereafter become the Prime Minister of India, a nation that has blend of several ideologies, umpteen thoughts and innumerable castes. A coherent government needs to take all stakeholders of society together. And these stake holders also include those who might oppose you with tooth and nail at instances. However that under no circumstance absolves anyone from any responsibility. The PM must explain as to how and why does he follow people who celebrate and encourage un-judicial killings. A silence from him at this juncture would only serve as a catalyst to ever increasing forces who want to wipe away all dissent from the nation.
There can be agreements and disagreements, debates and counters, acquisitions, probes, investigations among other formats of a healthy discussion but killing the messenger isn’t acceptable.
Everyone who thinks otherwise must know that you can silence a voice but never the thought. The thought will go on, propagate, multiply and influence.