Courage and fearlessness are two characteristics that almost every journalist wants to inculcate. Now, journalists in India will give a second thought to whether ‘Journalism with courage’ is what they strive to achieve. The nation and journalism fraternity is in deep shock over the cold-blooded killing of Kannada journalist Gauri Lankesh, who was shot dead at her residence in Bengaluru, on Tuesday night. The assailants are yet to be identified.
The incident, that is being tagged as the fourth killing, following the connection between the murder of three journalists in the past- Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare and MM Kalburgi, has sparked widespread outrage, questioning the degree of political influence being executed over journalistic practices and the price of unveiling the faces of political parties in India that journalists have to pay, which can also be their own life! Gauri Lankesh, who was the editor of Gauri Lankesh Patrike, a local tabloid, was known for being a vocal critic of the right-wing politics. She openly criticized BJP-RSS personalities and actions in her statements and columns, which were perceived as a dissent to the parties in power. She was convicted by a court for defaming two Bharatiya Janata Party politicians in November 2016.
In an interview with Newslaundry in 2016, Gauri said “In Karnataka today, we are living in such times that Modi Bhakts and the Hindutva brigade welcome the killings (as in the case of Dr M M Kalburgi) and celebrate the deaths (as in the case of Dr U R Ananthamurthy) of those who oppose their ideology, their political party and their supreme leader Narendra Modi. In one of her last public talks she spoke about the issue of how journalists receive death threats and the growing events of violence against them by people in power.”
The bold and fearless journalist that Gauri was, she used social media to slam BJP and Modi government voiced her opinions about them. Here are some of the bold statements she’s made on her social media platforms –