Gauri Lankesh, an outspoken dauntless Indian journalist, a fearless publisher and a blunt critic who stood for truth and never feared to write down her views on various sensitive topics was silenced by bullets on September 5, 2017; guns can kill a person but not their work, not their ideas – they will sustain till eternity.
They say that without a free and independent press media, democracy dies; so media must be allowed to reveal truth, even if it involves ‘exposing’ anyone. But overhauling fear among passionate writers somehow buries the whole essence of ‘media’, yet, not all writers are bound by the chains of fear. Some are born to speak up, they follow their ideologies, the stand for truth to be fair, be liberal, be just and be courageous – Gauri Lankesh was one of them. And she had it in here genes – as the daughter of P Lankesh, the editor of the eponymous weekly, Lankesh Patrike. The private publication just had one simple formula – tell the truth.
Gauri was a former columnist at Bangalore Mirror, Times of India and later she started her own weekly publication, Gauri Lankesh Patrike (GLP). She could have got the topmost position in any news publication because she was that good of a journalist, but she chose to stand up for truth by letting her voice be heard. Known for her blunt, outspoken critic of the right-wing political groups, including BJP and the central government on key issues and had fearlessly expressed her views in the newspaper she edited, as well as in other forums. She wrote against child abuse, insulting women, neglecting the poor, unaccountability of the government and communalism. But above all, she was a voice worth to be heard.
Sadly, the media today, is much maligned – for reasons known and unknown, said and unsaid. The 55-year old journalist was gunned down by unknown assassins on Tuesday evening 8:20 PM, when Gauri was returning to her home from a regular day at work. Hours before being killed, she had posted a message on her Facebook page condemning the planned deportation of Rohingya refugees by the Indian government. The entire shooting occurred just in 15 seconds and she did not get time to defend herself as the executioner peppered her with bullets, or it would be the killer I’d be writing about – because she was one hell of a women. Gauri Lankesh have passed away, but the spirit of media will be much stronger as long as torch-bearers like her sustain – keeping the democracy alive. Peace be upon her.