Gauri Lankesh, a defiant journalist was murdered on the evening of September 5th by unknown assailants at the entrance of her home in Bengaluru. This murder as P. Sainath rightly said was “a message” to all those with dissent voices that we’ve a prepared a list and you will be next.
In a debate #WhoKIlledGauri on Republic TV the Prince Charming of Indian media Arnab Goswami lashes out on those who were making charges on the right wing or Bhartiya Janta Party or Rashtriya Swamsewak Sangh for the killing of Gauri but right on that very debate he urges GVL Narsimha Rao national spokesperson of BJP,a panelist in that debate, to make charges on congress and Rao made it by saying,” I am making a very serious charge” then Arnab said,” make it” “go on” then Rao said,” are these killing are part of conspiracy by the congress or their goons to give a bad name to BJP.”
Throughout the show Arnab demanded proof from one section of the panelist on what ground Rahul Gandhi and Sitaram Yechury were making allegation but not once he confronted Rao who was making allegation on congress right in front of him.
He continuously demanded an apology from Rahul Gandhi and SRY and the other demand of prince charming was, he wanted Prakash Ambedkar, one of the panelist and national leader of Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh to condemn RG and SRY however Arnab never condemn the killing of Gauri Lankesh in the show. In the entire show Arnab shouted on panelist not once he condemned the killers.
He mentions the naxal sympathizer angle in the murder because Gauri was receiving threat from them but he refrained from mentioning the right wing or Hindutva forces of which Gauri Lankesh was a fiery critic.
In November 2016 Amit Malviya, head of BJP IT cell, tweeted,“ Prahlad Joshi, BJP MP gets Gauri convicted in a defamation case, hope other journos take notice.”
Ashish Mishra Pune social media advisor for the ministry of information and technology had tweeted after the murder,“ Jaisi karni waisi bharni”.
Not only politician but media persons also spread fake news or derogatory comments like NDA MP Rajeev Chandrashekhar’s Republic TV had tweeted “ “Will probe maoist link to murder.” Said Karnataka Home Minister Reddy.” But in fact Mr. Reddy never said that.
A former news producer who worked for Zee News, Jagrati Shukla had tweeted,” So, Commy Gauri Lankesh has been murdered mercilessly. Your deeds always come back to haunt you, they say. Amen.”
Vishweshwar Bhat editor-in-chief of Vishwavani Daily tweeted “Naxal sympathizer and senior journalist Gauri Lankesh shot dead at her residence in Bengaluru.”
The most derogatory tweet about the murder came from a guy who has Prime Minister as one of his followers on twitter. Tweet says,“ A bitch has died a dog’s death and now all the pups are whining in one voice.”
Foreign media covered the murder extensively and almost all the major media network condemned the murder.
The New York Times in its editorial titled ‘The Murder of an Indian Journalist’ spoke of a “climate of mob rule” prevailing in India currently.
In another piece, titled ‘In India, Another Government Critic Is Silenced by Bullets’, The NYT pointed out series of killings of rationalist and journalist in India, bringing to light the deaths of rationalist MM Kalburgi, Narendra Dabholkar, and communist Govind Pansare in the last three years.
Al Jazeera carried a piece titled ‘Gauri Lankesh: A `fearless’ Indian journalist silenced’, Al Jazeera spoke to colleagues of Gauri Lankesh like Ganesh Devy. Devy told Al Jazeera,” There have been attacks on writers and thinkers in the recent past, particularly since the ascendancy of Mr. Modi. There has been murder of rationalist [Narendra] Dabholkar in Pune, [Govind] Pansare, a left party worker in south Maharashtra, Dr. Kalburgi in Karnataka’s Dharwad, where I currently live.”
The BBC carried an obituary for Lankesh, titled ‘The Fearless Journalist-Activist Gauri Lankesh’.
The Guardian published an opinion piece titled ‘The Murder of Journalist Gauri Lankesh Shows India Descending into Violence’, in this piece The Guardian highlighted the recent violence which are taking place in India over beef by Hindu extremist.
There have been 40 murders of journalist since 1992 of which 27 can be clearly linked to their writing and work. Gauri would be 28th , according to Committee to Protect Journalist.
Meanwhile CPJ has condemned Gauri’s murder in harshest possible way.
Steven Butler, CPJ Asia program coordinator told Al-Jazeera,” We urge police in Karnataka to thoroughly investigate the murder of Gauri Lankesh, including whether journalism was a motive. India needs to address the problem of impunity in journalist murders and ensure the press can work freely.”