Gauri Lankesh, a journalist of spine and mettle was killed on the streets of the cosmopolitan city of Bengaluru. This cold-blooded murder is an evidence of how fundamentalism has overtaken the ethos of democracy. Freedom of speech is embedded in India’s constitution, but this incident highlights how a rogue government pumped with a mandate can be insensitive to such hateful crimes. Left-leaning intellectuals, thinkers, and writers have often voiced their opinions peacefully in every democratic nation. However, India is witnessing a paradigm shift from a secular republicanism to parochial majoritarianism. Mainstream media has already begun taking sides, and social media like always is flooded with protests as well as insensitive comments. The political hotbed is already sensationalised. Although comments poured in from all political quarters and even the United States embassy, not a word of denouncement was out from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
— K. Chandrakumar (@kurup62) September 6, 2017
Forget condemnation, there are few who celebrated her murder. Few such Twitter profiles that trolled Gauri Lankesh’s death are followed by Narendra Modi himself and other BJP leaders. This has led to outrage and massive condemnation. Twitter is trending with #BlockNarendraModi. The matter has taken an ugly shape as many Indians who hitherto loved their supreme leader, have started blocking Narendra Modi’s Twitter profile. Few propagators of violence did not shy in making derogatory and disdainful comments such as jaisi karni vaisi bharni (you reap what you sow). In fact, a right-wing enthusiast even commented words that translate to “It took a bitch to die a dog’s death, for all pups to howl in the same tune”.
India’s political opposition is weak, tattered, and has no substance. Their bickering is inconsequential and places no significant pressure on the government. It’s the people’s reaction that is startling and revolutionary. Indians have registered their anger against this abuse.
Meanwhile, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) have demanded a transparent and vigorous investigation. This pressure from all national and international quarters are inevitable so that her death doesn’t face the same fate as other journalists such as MM Kalburgi, Narendra Dabholkar, and Govind Pansare. All of the deceased rational thinkers were against bigotry, superstition, Hindutva forces of brute majority, suppression of minority, and religious evils. Gauri Lankesh’s death is a depredation of fundamental ethos of our democracy, secularism, and liberal thoughts. #BlockNarendraModi is an attack on those dogmatic and Orthodox forces, and rightly so. It’s not just a show of livid protest, but an alarming reminder of the fact that India will resist against such illiberal government, intolerance, and murder of dissent.
Article by Mausam