Members of Indians Abroad for Pluralist India (IAPI) came together on Saturday January 30,to mark the birth anniversary of a slain journalist, outside the Indian visa and passport center in Surrey.

Gauri Lankesh was a critic of the current right wing Hindu nationalist government.

Born on January 29, 1962, she was assassinated in 2017 by suspected Hindu extremists. Her murder was rejoiced by supporters of the ruling party.

The IAPI members held placards and signs carrying her picture, and raised slogans against the fascist regime and the Godi Media (lapdog media) that continues to feed false narratives set by the Indian government to suppress any voice of dissent. They were outraged by the recent events in which the Godi Media tried to paint a distorted image of the agitating farmers, who are seeking the rollback of controversial farming laws that threaten their livelihood. The media has frequently branded the protesting farmers as extremists and anti-nationals.

IAPI believes that Lankesh’s legacy of courageous journalism has become even more relevant under these dark times, when a large section of the mainstream media in India is toeing the line of an intolerant government, under which attacks on religious minorities and political opponents have grown.

They also broke the piñata of Godi Media on the occasion, blaming it for giving legitimacy to majoritarian extremism, unlike Lankesh, who laid down her life in the line of her duty as a journalist.

The Saturday event coincided with the death anniversary of M.K. Gandh, who was shot to death by a Hindu supremacist in 1948. Gandhi was the leader of the passive resistance movement against the British occupation of India. He was killed because of his opposition to Hindu theocracy and solidarity with minority Muslim community. The silence of the media over the constant threat of Hindu fanaticism has enabled ultranationalist groups to become much more emboldened over the years. Lankesh’s murder was the culmination of this, as similar forces silenced her voice with a gun.

The event was started with a moment of silence in memory of six Muslim worshippers killed by a white nationalist in a Quebec City mosque on January 29, 2017. The Hindu nationalists are driven by the same ideology that inspires white supremacists.

A poem dedicated to Lankesh by IAPI member Amrit Diwana was recited by him at the beginning of the demonstration, that was kept small due to COVID 19 restrictions.

Among those in attendance were IAPI President Parshotam Dosanjh, Treasurer Navtej Johal, and IAPI spokesman Gurpreet Singh.


IF YOU LIKED THE ARTICLE SUPPORT PEOPLE’S JOURNALISM


 

Comments are closed.