Gauri Lankesh, senior journalist and editor of “Lankesh Patrike” was shot dead at the entrance of her home in Bengaluru on Tuesday. The murder of a journalist who was known for speaking fearlessly against the government incited anger and annoyance in the minds of the media fraternity and left wing followers. The right wing also expressed their shock and sorrow on her demise.
However, those who label themselves as ‘bhakts’ or ‘proud Hindu’, etc blatantly celebrated the murder on social media. Many newspapers and news channels also highlighted the fact that Gauri was against Hindutva politics. But the portrayal was such, that it seemed as if the major reason behind her murder was her anti-RSS, anti-Hindutva stand. While this may just be the reason, it is erroneous on our part to assume.
I believe that the pivotal reason is simple. Maybe Gauri was killed not because she spoke against the ideology of a certain party, but because she stood against the working of an established system. We can draw parallels to the murders of M.M Kalburgi who was a teacher or of Narendra Dabholkar, a rationalist. All of them challenged the system through their words and actions. They had the power to change. We have to understand that the system runs on a fundamental that states that the ones ruling are right and absolute. When anyone opposes the fundamental, they are often threatened.
If a political party is removed from power, the killers are prosecuted and the organisation banned, will such murders stop? The answer is no. There will be a new ruling party with new ideologies which will continue the legacy of murdering the fearless. John Perkins describes in his book “Confession Of An Economic Hitman” that the face of the leader changes but the work remains the same. There are negotiations to suppress voices with bribes. And if they fail, the jackals are ready for action.
Changing the fundamental of the system is a lengthy and a strenuous process. The one in power can of course do it. If not entirely, then at least to some extent. However, they fall prey to the ongoing political avarice, become gluttonous and start safeguarding the fundamental and stoop extremely low in the process. It is here that these activists who promoted rationality come into the picture. Their intellect grasps not only the flawed tools of the rulers, but also the flawed mechanisms.
When we talk about justice for Gauri Lankesh and others like her, we must know that justice is not just about prosecuting the people who shot them. Justice is when we understand and fight not only against some social and political groups but against the system on which they work. When we say that for every voice that is silenced there shall be a hundred voices, we have to make it very clear that those voices are not a chorus, but individual voices that comprehend the visible ideology as well as the invisible one working underneath the system.Only then can we hope to prevent the power mongers from killing the voices that are meant to be heard.