With utmost grief and profound fear, we bid farewell to one of India’s bravest journalist – Gauri Lankesh. Grief because she was the mouthpiece of several common people and fear because these are dark times.
It is incidents such as these, when we should compare ourselves with countries where religious fanaticism leads to the deaths of liberal thinkers. We need to stop smirking at others and set things right in our country first.
It is also tough for scribes like me who have just started walking on the path of journalism. It is difficult for us to concentrate on our career when such incidents occur and shake us up. But if death is imperative, I would like to repeat what Che Guevara had said about this – “I would rather die standing up than live life on my knees.”
We who have started our career in journalism, should not forget our motives and should always look for the silver lining in every cloud. Rather than curling back into our protective cocoons, it is time for even a young scribe to wield their pen against such atrocities. If it is Gauri Lankesh today, it could be us tomorrow.
It is now time for us to delve into a few realities of the industry. I would like to take up the opportunity to ask the readers, especially journalists, are you really free? Do you get to practice what you believe? Do you really have freedom of speech? Don’t spend much time on thinking about the answer, we all know it!
Thousands of Lankeshes and Kalburgis die in the country every year because of dissent; dissent from popular beliefs and propagated theories. They die because they are few in number. A handful who have the courage to call a spade a spade. And here most of us are the pack of wolves who nod at everything our editors say.
We call ourselves journalists and all we do is follow, preach and propagate what the majority thinks. We are so cautious that we even use our social media profiles carefully, keeping in mind to not hamper the reputation of the company. We are chained not physically but mentally because we fear to join the small group that is spearheaded by people who deserve to be called journalists.
But let us not forget, if we join in large numbers, we might have less food to eat and fewer clothes to wear but we will earn a lot of respect. Respect for bringing back true journalism and respect for being the mouthpiece of crores of people who are living the lives of slaves.