Assassination Of Gauri Lankesh: A Cowardly Attack On Human Freedom



The fad of ‘tolerance’ is fast getting exposed but this is particularly for those who have been crying that we have suddenly become intolerance. The brutal murder of Gauri Lankesh is a reminder of the changing times that we are living in India. That those who are 24X7 on their twitter talking about greatness of our civilisation, remain conspicuous on such incidents. In the past three year, our Ministers including Pradhan Sevak has rarely spoken on murders of humanists, rationalists, secular human rights defenders.

Whether you know a person or not, it does not matter. whether one has read her writing or not too does not matter even when we know this murder is basically an attempt to silence the voices of reasoning. I know others in Karnataka living in police protection. I am worried about others but I know many may be about me too. The situation is disturbing. What is more disturbing is the silence of the state apparatus. Not a single statement emerge from our honorable ministers in the past three years against this kind of terrorism trying to silence the voices of reason.

The state apparatus is silent but those who are being promoted by it silently come out with their hate mails. Immediately after the killing, we saw a woman, claiming to be an anchor in the channel promoting lies, part of the dirty trick department of the hate campaigners that she justified the killing. She wrote that Gauri Lankesh deserve this. Can you imagine what is happening today. Those who were touching the feets of Guru Ram Rahim and others like him just one day before his conviction and became çhampion’ of women’s right the next day, today remain shameless when they say that Gauri deserve it. Now my question is if she deserve it, who have right to kill her ? All those hate mongers are roaming free on twitter and other social media platform. You can do anything to anyone and not expect police and investigating agencies to probe you but if we counter then we know the goal post will change.

Right from Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare, Kalburgi to now Gauri Lankesh the list is growing. There are many others who have been slaughtered. The only difference is there are some people who are well organised or I can say a little privileged than many others so there will be voice of protest but I dont think these voices of protest will be able to do anything given the nature of media and intellectualism that we have today. Media will debate on the differences between brothers and sisters and find out that she was promoting Naxalism through her writing. If that was so then why should the Naxal kill her ?

Police should definitely investigate all the angles and they will do it but the way our media and the new age ignorant or corrupted and thoroughly brainwashed youngsters are joining the media houses is a signal that even the media fraternity would be divided. They will kill you and they will debate that you might have a difference with your brother, father or even wife. This is the new low that we see has happened. They never dared to peep into the secret caves of the thugs befooling thousands of people in the name of ‘spiritualism’ and ‘miracles’.

I know yesterday’s incident has jolted all of us. Many of the dear friends have written their frustrations and fears too. We stand together. As I said, we dont know whose number is first and whose last but we know all of us are being watched and observed. We have become a country where the thugs are observing. They have all your details and those who should have united are still fighting on egos, ideologies, identities and so many issues. We know well that political parties in the name of secularism are neither secular nor honest and hence expecting from them will be too much.

India was proud of its constitutional democracy despite all its weaknesses, communal riots, caste murders and corruption. We knew that constitutionally we provided protection. Even the politicians would at least comment in a saner way and talk about constitution but now the time is changed. It seems that the goons masquerading as ideologues seems to have to the conclusion that they have a final solution for India’s problem of ‘democracy, diversity and dissent’ through distortion of history, intimidation by the authorities and law and physical elimination the goons who have active support of the establishment.

What is our way out. Yes, the one way is that political movement must get strengthened and should not confine it to defeat the forces of Hindutva or any other right wing but also must come to accept a Common Minimum Programme of accepting the idea of India. Can any of the politicians sitting in the so called ‘secular’ camp promise to never compromise with his ideological position? I know those who occupied our platform of JNU, Kisan Andolan as well as Rohith Vemula episode today are waiting their turn to be called to take oath as central ministers. We cant do that.

Second, at the intellectual level the debate must continue about the whole idea of India, inclusion as well as the brahmanical manipulations that destroyed this country. The danger of religious dogmas and the contribution of each communities in our freedom movement beyond Sangh, Congress as well as left jargons. The history which has been wiped out or suppressed by the brahmanical intellectual elite of diverse variety.

Social movements must continue. They are playing their role. They may not come under one umbrella but must confederate at certain point of time. So should the student and youth leadership. I know they are aggressive and their minor differences at the moment have become bigger but they should also learn to live with differences and agree on basic issues of human dignity, human rights and participation.

And finally, social media. We know we don’t have access to national media. Gauri Lankesh is being çelebrated’ because still she was part of mainstream media and which will nevertheless stand for us but there are thousands unknown warriors who are not part of any organised campaign, political party or even elite secular structure, who are fighting every day with the thugs and goons of diverse variety, they too need our support and solidarity. Our secular platforms must become campaign for social justice and include those who are fighting their own battle. All those movements, who may not accept your leadership but still fighting against the brahmanical onslaught, must be included without offending their autonomy. We need to share and reshare, tweet and retweet our issues. My personal request is not to engage with those who come with hate agenda. You can push your block button. This tu tu main main will only leave us hurt and divert our attention and depress us further. It is time we build our coalition and do whatever we are doing but let us start sharing and coming together on issues on which we feel it is the cause of a citizen of India. We know some people will grab mike while others may not be, let us not think about those things too much. It is time to stand and be counted. Use all your platforms and initiate saner debate to build a coalition of ideas, of movements, of political parties and be part of it only then the whole idea of inclusive India could be protected. Remember, ideas can never be killed. If any body feel that they have a final solution by shutting dissent through murdering the dissenters, I am sure, he or she are living in a fool’s paradise. Ultimately people will realise what kind of society they wish to live. If India live in turmoil then the biggest loss will be of those who are enjoying its power and privileges. It is time those in power understand that the best thing for India to survive is to respectfully implement its constitution so laboriously built by the Constituent Assembly and drafted by Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar.

Vidya Bhushan Rawat is a social and human rights activist. He blogs at twitter  @freetohumanity  Email:

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Vidya Bhushan Rawat

Vidya Bhushan Rawat is a social and human rights activist. He blogs at twitter @freetohumanity Email:

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