Assassinated Journo Gauri Lankesh Mourned

Assassinated Journo Gauri Lankesh Mourned

Senior journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh, who was shot dead at her house in Rajarajeshwari Nagar on September 5, was laid to rest at the T.R. Mill Grounds in Chamarajpet in Bangalore. 

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has ordered a Special Investigation Team to be formed to conduct a probe into the killing. Meanwhile, the police are going through CCTV footage to identify the assailants. Protests and condolence meeting were held across the country, condemning the murder.

Gauri Lankesh

Amidst chants of “Amar Rahe Amar Rahe, Gauri Lankesh Amar Rahe,” body of the slain activist-journalist lowered into the grave. Emotional scenes at the burial ground, where teary-eyed friends and family are singing songs.

Friends and family say no religious rituals will be performed.

Gun salute as part of police honours performed.

(It was reported earlier as state honours. It has been corrected to police honours after confirmation from the Chief Minister’s office)

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, accompanied by Ministers Ramalinga Reddy, K.R. Ramesh Kumar and Umashree, arrived at the crematorium, lays wreath on the body.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy expected to arrive at the T.R. Mills Grounds in Chamarajpet shortly.

Uttam Sengupta, Editor  says:

I never met Gauri Lankesh but have been familiar with her writing and ever since I first visited Bangalore in 1978, have known of Lankesh Patrika and the respect the paper and her father commanded. What I did not know was that in 37 years the paper did not accept a single advertisement and survived on readers’ subscription. That says something about the quality, dedication and the credibility the paper enjoyed. The best tribute her friends and admirers can pay is to ensure that the paper survives and carries on the work she was doing. We need a Lankesh Patrika in every state and in every language.

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Manoje Nath writes on social media:

Yet another journalist, a woman, famed to be independent and anti establishment has fallen to an assassin’s bullet. There can be no controversy in the face of death; the killing of a defenceless Gauri Lankesh is an act of utter cowardice and brutality and needs to be condemned without reserve.

But let us look at the reaction of the media fraternity itself. Jagrati Shukla, Ex-ZEE Media, Network18, Nationalist, Journalist MUFC fan, Atheist tweeted “So commi Gauri lankesh has been murdered mercilessly. Your deeds always come back to haunt you, as they say. Amen.” It is insensitive in the extreme. To speak about anyone’s death, whatever the circumstances is reprehensible enough but to speak of a colleague who was so well thought of by the community and who died in such circumstances is an insult to our human ways. Twitterati has described Jagriti as an arch right winger and right wingers, by the nature of their existence are alleged to be stupid with little mental agility or imagination and incapacity to think in a sophisticated way.

Let us now listen to Rana Ayuub, another journalist, the current polar star of the secular, progressive, left, virtuous brigade. Rana Ayuub mourns the death of her ‘friend’ but does not forget to exploit the universal nature of concern and attention to the issue to plug in some advertisement for her book as well. “My friend Gauri Lankesh WHO RECENTLY PUBLISHED THE KANNADA EDITION OF GUJRAT FILES. (Capitalization mine) shot dead. Cowards, bigots. You disgusting people.” As I can understand the killing of the Gauri Lankesh is the subtext. The murder only serves to illustrate the disturbing fact that her book Gujarat Files is such a bomb that anyone who dares translate it risks death. She insinuates , “Cowards, bigots. You disgusting people.” Who are these cowards, who are these bigots? She should have named them making the job of police easier. But she does not.

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She goes on, “You disgusting people.”What better opportunity than this to condemn and tar a whole group. “You disgusting people!”

She has already decided that fanatical right wing elements are responsible for her murder. This may very well turn out to be the case, but the condemnation should have come after it had been established as a fact.( Is this how she has written Gujrat Files?) As a responsible media person she ought to know it but that would not have fit in the narrative.( I guess sticking to facts has become old fashioned !) Bringing in Guajarat which cannot but be deliberate, because using Gujrat as a never fading frame of reference has become the standard form of one school of media reporting.

The two samples of freewheeling opinions of media personnel, each provides a fitting complement to the other. The jubilation of the right wingers is without reason; Lankesh may have been murdered for other reasons.

The insinuation of the left wingers may turn out to be equally baseless; she may have been killed for one of the infinite reasons that one can get killed, except the one they suspect. But together they help fuel the divide between the communities, to inflame passions and make police investigation all the more difficult.

And yet one of them is progressive, secular, left and the other regressive, reactionary, right. If I had my way I would pack them off both on gardening leave and live in an uninformed state of bliss

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Prof Shanker Dutt wrote:

Dabholkar, Kalburgi, Panesar, Gauri Lankesh…..
the murder of the idea of India as a rational, just and equal space mandated by the Constitution. Is it going to be logged as Just Another Death?