Back in Time is ED’s newspaper-like column that reports an incident from the past as though it has happened just yesterday. It allows the reader to re-live it several years later, on the date it had occurred.

5th September 2017, Bengaluru:

The news of famous journalist Gauri Lankesh’s assassination shook the nation to the core. She was a fierce, vocal, and ardent woman with her own beliefs and who was known for her vehement anti-Hindu views. She was a courageous 55-year-old writer who never minced her words.

Who Was Gauri Lankesh?

Gauri was an Indian journalist and progressive activist from Bangalore, Karnataka. She was known for being a critic of right-wing Hindu extremism (saffron terror). She ran her own weekly called “Gauri Lankesh Patrike”. She was an activist who always stood against saffron terror, campaigned for women’s rights, and resisted caste-based discrimination.

She took an active part in organizations such as Komu Sauharda Vedike which fights the right-wing group. She was audacious enough to call out the bigotry and misogyny of religious extremists.

What Happened?

Gauri was shot dead by three assassins when she was returning home from the office. One of them approached her and fired a pistol as she ran towards her house in Raja Rajeshwari Nagar but she collapsed before she could get inside while unlocking the main door.

One of the killers was waiting for her near her house while the rest followed her from the workplace and joined the initial assassin thereafter. They shot at least seven bullets at her among which three bullets penetrated Gauri’s head, neck, and chest. The assassins were wearing helmets and immediately fled on their two-wheeler after they shot Gauri.

War Of Words Among The Nation

Gauri Lankesh’s assassination is being condemned by several people. Even organizations, including the Bhartiya Janata Party, Indian National Congress, and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, are slamming the assassination of the activist. 

This murder has prompted a debate in India and the murder is being compared to M.M. Kalburgi, who was shot dead in similar circumstances.

Even protestors have started gathering in the streets of Karnataka to express their grief and ferocity at the murder. 

This murder has again caused turmoil amongst the masses. Just like Lankesh, other activists like Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare, and M.M. Kalburgi have been assassinated for their fierceness. People are raising questions against the authorities.

Aren’t we allowed to express our thoughts and opinions in a democratic country? Will Gauri get justice? Is being a rational thinker and a fearless journalist a mistake? How many people have to sacrifice their lives for promoting logic over blind faith?

These questions have not been answered yet. But somewhere, we all know the answers that may never be brought to light.

Also read: My Parents Got Married 2 Days After The Tragic Rajiv Gandhi Assassination In 1991

Post Scriptum

Gauri’s assassination evoked outrage in the entire nation. Only a week after her funeral, massive protests took place all over India. Rallies were carried out by more than 25,000 people in Bengaluru. 

She was given a state funeral with a gun salute on 6th September and was buried according to Lingayatism. Gauri’s murder is regarded as the most high-profile journalist murder in recent years.

Naxals Behind The Assassination?

Soon after her death, many theories behind the murder came to the foreground. According to a report by Indian Express, “one of the theories that swirled around was one that said Naxals were behind the attack. While there is little to substantiate any of these theories, Gauri’s efforts towards bringing Naxals into the mainstream were well known”.

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) detained two suspects in 2018, who were also suspected of being involved in Kalburgi and Dabholkar’s murder case. And later in June 2018, Parashuram Waghmore, the one who fired a pistol at her, confessed to the murder claiming that he was told to kill her to save his religion, and he didn’t know who the victim was.

The masterminds who outlined the whole assassination are still behind the curtains. The SIT filed a 9,325-page charge sheet that accused 18 people of being involved. And most of them are still hidden from the justice seekers. 

Third Death Anniversary Of Gauri Lankesh: A Day Of Resistance

Today is the third death anniversary of Gauri Lankesh. Several organizations have planned a “day of resistance” on both online and offline forums on the occasion.

A nationwide campaign, “Hum agar uthe nahi toh (if we do not rise)” has been organized by nearly 500 women’s groups, human rights organizations, and LGBTQIA communities in the honour of Gauri Lankesh. It aims at “safeguarding the Indian constitution and its values”.

They have planned to have a Twitter Storm with #ifwedonotrise and also urged people to actively participate in the campaign to address the affairs that affect the society.

Kanhaiya Kumar (candidate of the Communist Party of India) rightly said, “Gauri will not get justice by putting some people in jail. She will get justice when the idea of justice and equality has been prompted”.

Image credits: Google Images

Source: WikipediaThe New York TimesLivemint and more

Find the blogger: @dikks09

This post is tagged under: Gauri Lankesh, MM Kalburgi, Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare, rationalist, journalist, assassination, murder, acivist, protest, if you do not rise, Gauri Lankesh’s assassination, Kanhayia kumar, justice, extremists, saffron terror, right wing extremists, equality, right wing Hindu extremists, Gauri Lankesh Patrike, hum agar uthe nahi toh, naxals, Lingayatism, death anniversary, 3 years to death, assassination 

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