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Why Outrage Only For Gauri ?
Sagarneel Sinha
Why Outrage Only For Gauri ?
PHOTO : TIWN File Photo

Gauri Lankesh, a firebrand journalist, also the editor of weekly Kannada magazine “Gauri Lankesh Patrike” was killed on 5th September outside her house in Bengaluru.

She was a leftist and a well known critic of the right wing Hindutva politics. It's for this reason the left and liberal wing intellectuals and politicians were quick to put the whole blame on RSS and its political wing, BJP. Since then many protests have been held across many cities of the country including Bengaluru, the city where Gauri used to stay.

Gauri's murder has passed more than a month but till now no culprits are arrested. But the intellectuals were very quick to blame the Sangh and BJP without any concrete evidence . Such things don't suit the people categorised as intellectuals in the society.

Given Gauri's strict criticism against Hindutva politics, there may be chances that she was murdered by some fringe Hindu right wing groups. But blaming the ideology of the country's ruling dispensation by some leftists and liberals is just a political game. She was killed in the state ruled by the Congress party. Two years back, rationalist MM Kalburgi was murdered in the same regime. These incidents definitely point to the poor law and order of the state.

Even after two years, Siddaramaiah's Congress government failed to arrest the culprits of Kalburgi murder. Seems that same is going to be repeated in Gauri's case too. The murder has passed more than four weeks yet the state government is completely blank on the case with no arrests till now. Since, BJP's rise to power in the centre, the Congress has been targeting the saffron party for the rise of fringe right wing Hindutva groups. But will the Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi (who too threw his hat to the blame game pointing RSS and BJP) answer why his party ruled government failed to give security to Gauri Lankesh? Will he answer why his party state government failed to arrest culprits of Gauri Lankesh till now? It seems he is very interested only to gain political momentum by attacking the BJP and Prime Minister for every issue. Also there are doubts on impartiality of the investigation ordered by Siddaramaiah's government given his party's icon Rahul Gandhi's quick blame on RSS before any investigation done.

The leftists and liberal intellectuals however don't see any wrong of the Karnataka's Congress government, rather they are attacking the RSS and BJP. Even if it is proved that she was killed by some fringe Hindu right groups does that mean it was executed on orders of RSS and BJP? Or if it is proved that she was killed by Naxals as she was a part of Karnataka government body responsible for rehabilitation of surrendered Naxals what will these intellectuals say? Will they apologize for misleading the nation? Or will they put the blame on the investigation team for making their allegations false?

The politics which continued after Gauri's murder has undermined her legacy of firebrand and couraged journalism who through her weekly Kannada magazine reached the common masses of the state. She was a voice of dissent and known for her criticism against the current establishment of the nation. Though at times she failed to differentiate between ideas expressed by some fringe Hindu fundamental groups with that of Hinduism. I don't subscribe to the views she expressed all her years of journalism but that doesn't mean she has to be killed. It's the spirit of Indian democracy where the voices of dissent are also given importance. Since ancient times, India has been a tolerant state allowing different ideologies to flourish together.

But the most disliking fact is turning her murder into a political battle of ideologies. According to a report, from 1992 to 2016 around 70 journalists were killed in India. Journalists like Ranjan Rajdeo of Bihar who worked for a leading national daily, Jagendra Singh of UP , Sai Reddy of Chattisgarh, Akhilesh Pratap of Jharkhand are some of the names who were also killed during the past years for their reports. But why there was no outrage for all those journalists? Most of the journalists killed didn't subscribe to any ideology- left or right. But as Gauri Lankesh belonged to the left spectrum so there will be outrage only for Gauri not for others?

In such political games of scoring points, the main issues get distracted.Gauri Lankesh belonged to which political ideology is not an important issue. The issue is of the security of journalists who are killed for their reports on sensitive topics of the area they belong to.Issue is to maintain the spirit of democracy, a system which also allows the dissent voices to live.

Murder of Lankesh is also a matter of law and order of Karnataka. Failure of maintenance of law and order by the state government is also an important issue. But unfortunately for some people the most important issue is to link this murder to Sangh and BJP and portray it as a growing intolerance in the country which is really disappointing. They should have spoken against the poor law and order of Karnataka government for its failure to protect voices like MM Kalburgi and Gauri Lankesh. Also celebration of Gauri’s murder by some twitter users is disgusting.

The intellectuals should contribute proper values to the society instead of indulging in unnecessary politics over killings. Only then the fringe elements living in our society who pollute it and also give a bad name to the country in the international media will be cornered. But if the so-called intellectuals continue such political blame games as seen in senior journalist Gauri's case, solution is far to be achieved!

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