Gauri Lankesh’s Murder Deserves More Than Just A Hashtag Campaign

We might be 15 or 27 or 50-years-old but we all share this same stretch of land, abide by the same set of rules, and have the same rights. A violation of any of these rights is a violation of our own existence.

The costume Priyanka Chopra wore at the gala event or talk of Salman Khan getting married or GTA 6 being released invites a hell of a lot of attention. But, the murder of a senior female journalist who spoke for the protection of rights gathers no attention. Why? Because it has nothing to do with you, and you can call it the modern human syndrome, but the more I think about it the more I feel that this concept of feigning ignorance should not even be considered humane.

Keeping shut on someone’s unjustified murder, who spoke up for a cause, is not what humans do. What is the use of having a voice if you can’t even use it when it is required?

Gauri Lankesh.

After September 5, 2017, the day when Gauri Lankesh was assassinated, I noticed how we are surrounded by a plethora of murderers. Everywhere on social media, whether it was our Twitter timeline or Facebook newsfeed, posts from people who were likely to be murderers or shared extremist ideologies were shamelessly shared without an ounce of hesitation or some sort of rational thinking.

To be precise, people with no boundaries whatsoever were framing this murder as “fair “. Surprised? Yes! they added all sorts of irrational links to this murder to justify it. They would push the Kashmir issue or link it up to the Rohingya crisis or even drag this way back to some misinterpreted historical events, causing chaos and disturbance before giving a damn to the unjustified murder of Gauri Lankesh.

It has been almost three years since this murder and we still have no answer to the question, “Who killed Gauri?” The then-chief minister Siddaramaiah did nothing about the murder of Kalburgi and did nothing even in Gauri’s case. It does not mean that the Maharashtra government did something to solve the Pansare or Dabholkar cases.

(L-R): Narendra Dabholkar, MM Kalburgi, Gauri Lankesh,Govind Pansare.

Those who push the majoritarian idea of India would like to build an uncomplicated, false, and unitary notion of the country. If you oppose a majoritarian India, you are simply not an Indian they argue. Kalburgi, Pansare, and Dabholkar represented the defiant voices that hit hard on that idea. In their death, they gave several people the language to spell out their opposition to this majoritarian idea.

I don’t think that this has ever happened, that people are trying by hook-or-by-crook to justify murder. Seriously? A murder.

I am ashamed and humiliated by the fact that a man who is loved and supported by the Indian masses is following a guy who, after the murder of the senior journalist tweeted “kuttiya“.

Nikhil Dadhich tweeted, “It took a bitch to die a dog’s death, for all dogs to howl at the same time“. His statement may have been ignored as the ramblings of an apathetic, media-hating, left-hating fan, but for a tiny detail, that our respected public hero reads all his toxic tweets. According to the propaganda team, he is so busy serving the nation that he barely has time to sleep, then how come he has so much time to follow guys like him?

image credit: AltNews

What crime did Gauri Lankesh commit to deserve such an unjustified death? The last article she was writing about was about fake news. It was about those well-dressed people who come up on T.V right at 9 PM who, for the sake of TRP, propose baseless facts. It was about people who, every evening, misguide the common people about the age-old Hindu-Muslim controversies and keep dividing the nation’s unity.

Ok, so was this article wrong or something? If not this, did she do something wrong in supporting Dalits and people from the so-called low castes? Or was it when she acclaimed that she supported writers S.L.Bhrappa and Perumal Murugan and questioned why the upper-caste groups were offended by Murugan (an author from a so-called low- caste) and not by Bhyrappa though they presented the same facts?

So, why have I written this article?

I wrote this because of the message that has been spread by the murder of ‘a Gauri’; About how one should remain silent even if one loses their job or if the school’s fee is unbearably high or whatever the case may be. One needs to keep shut or they will have the same fate as Gauri. Even society is molded in such a manner that even if you are killed for speaking the truth, society will do nothing but mock you at your funeral.

But, this is not our system. The educated, highly honored morons in our society who, only through slogans and hashtags, ask for beti bachao and beti padhao are doing nothing over the murder of a female journalist. And yes, it did require a hell of a lot of efforts and accomplishments for her to turn into such an influential figure.

Gauri Lankesh stood for truth, the power of words, and the constant fight against oppressive regimes. She may have had Left leanings, and she may have been “convicted” in a criminal defamation case (though she was of the opinion that criminal defamation laws should be scrapped), she was above all, a fearless journalist, ruthless editor and a wonderful mentor to several journalists.

Those trying to besmirch her should understand that her death will only make the press more determined to do its job better. It was finally seven bullets that silenced the fearless Gauri Lankesh, the 55-year-old editor of Gauri Lankesh Patrike. The vocal opponent of Hindutva oppression was murdered in cold-blood by multiple (unidentified) assailants, who shot her at point-blank range just outside her home in the Raja Rajeshwari Nagar neighbourhood of Bangalore.

Even after all this, people have been celebrating this murder in groups and even as individuals, showing the ultimate death of the human mentality. Imagine this force being created all over the country: they will crush you every time you come forward, as an individual or as a group.

Now, this fight isn’t just for your own safety, but for all those people who have been fighting for their daily issues, who have their expectations that prime time will someday discuss their issues as well and fight for their cause.

But, to crush these aspirations, well-dressed gentlemen keep on generating fake ideologies and facts and create a new hot discussion leaving behind the problems which have actual relevance. Gauri was a victim of this terrible setup. Let her murder not end with it just being turned into a hashtag.

Instead of following the old ragged concept of asking just the youth to come forward or ending this article in a slogan or starting a set of hashtags, I simply want to put forward this question, “Till when are we going to remain ignorant, till when are we going to let ourselves be oppressed and not speak up, and how exactly are we going to deal with it if we end up becoming the next Gauri?

Featured image credit: Getty Images
Similar Posts

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below