• A Protest Letter for Gauri Lankesh’s Political Murder

    Ananya S Guha

    September 15, 2017

                                                                                                                    Image courtesy:republicworld


    I had not heard of Gauri Lankesh. But that does not matter. Much of cold, brutal murder is anonymous. In this case too, because we do not know who the murderers are. But we do know who are exulting over such a cowardly act. So it is not difficult to see, who they could be. Similarities with Kalburgi's death, could or could not be a pointer. However the matter lies in the striking similarity of the modus operandi.

    Now, to the basics. Who was Gauri Lankesh? She was a print media journalist, working first in the national print media in English, then going into local Kannada journalism, editing a small time newspaper. What could have been her crime? That she supported the poor, the Naxals, and had nothing to do with Rightist ideology? Perhaps. And she was watched and tracked perhaps for some time. She was as they say a rationalist like Kalburgi, Pansare and Dhabolkar. 

    Making murder – a broad daylight murder – inviolate, can only show not simply intolerance, but how society has turned into bestiality. That people are gloating over the death of this supposed anti-national is much bravado of things. We have turned death into crucible of right. It is a right to kill this anti national, anti army, anti ALL. What is this ALL? Is it patriotism? If so, how do we define it? By hating the other? 

    The parameters of discussion today are strictly limited. Either you belong, or do not. Dissent does not exist in the vocabulary. Servile assent does. We always have yes men, but having yes killers, is the high point of murder of democracy. People are complaining that these are dark times. No, they are not. They are bright times, because voices of protests cannot be snuffed out, or suppressed in such ruthless manner. A vicious cycle may let loose hell.We hear of more victims in the pipeline. Therefore, there are more protests in the pipeline. And these will get more and more vocal.

    Not in my name, but in the name of others, like Gauri Lankesh.


    Ananya S Guha is a writer based in Shillong. He works at Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) as a senior academic.

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