A sad day in the history of independent India. A black day. A democracy kills its own children. Just like Gujarat 2002. Hunting down people for their self-constructed fears. For the hate they harbour. For the way they despise the little Indians. For the sheer helplessness of seeing women, dalits, tribals, minorities, and people with different opinions shining. An envy that refuses to accept differences.
Guari Lankesh was a bold daughter of India. The late daughter of the rebel writer, dramatist, poet, and journalist P. Lankesh started her journalistic career in English print media. After working a while in the erstwhile Sunday magazine of the Anand Bazar Patrika group, after the death of her father, she took over the reigns of Lankesh Patrike.
Like her father, she did not forget to fight for justice, for women’s emancipation, for dalits, for tribals, and for minorities. In doing so, she had to take head on some of the rabid orthodoxy, fundamental forces who were shaken up. They could not digest the fact that in India, a woman could sow fear in their hearts!
She was threatened for her courageous journalism and activism. But she pooh-poohed it. But the Indian right wing meant serious threat – to eliminate her.
On 05 September at around 8.00pm, as she returned home in her car, opened the gate, and then walked the gate to close it, a helmet-wearing coward fired at her mercilessly. Initially she missed the shots, and ran inside the gate to hide herself; but the helmet-covered coward had a gun; in all, he fired seven rounds, which took Gauri’s life.
The insecure fundamentalist succeeded in silencing one voice of dissent; but in doing so, his gang has opened a can of worms: it has strengthened the debate over democracy and violence – louder than in Guari’s lifetime. It has focused the world’s attention on the incompetent, hate-mongering government which came to power in 2014 in the name of development, but has failed miserably to fulfil even a single promise. Tragic events like cold-blooded murders of thinkers, writers, journalists serve to distract people’s attention from the government’s failures. But, a thousand Gauri’s will be born, a thousand M.M. Kalburgis will be awakened. We shall overcome… someday!