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A few days back while reading an article that pertained to the stringent rules being followed in Saudi Arabia, I was aghast at the minimal liberty granted to the citizens of such conservative countries. Seldom did someone raises his/her voice against the conservative forces for the fear of being killed? Ironically, I scoffed at the ill-treatment and the rigid rules that the conservative countries across the world had to suffer. The widely protested death of a journalist in our country leaves me speechless today.
The recent death of widely acclaimed journalist, Gauri Lankesh, trounced the notion of India being a secular country, yet again.
Shot at on the doorstep as she returned home from work, she is the latest voice to be silenced. Soon after her death, thousands came out on the streets to protest against the brutal murder of the highly respected journalist. It was but pertinent for her death to send shock waves across the country for reasons more than one. Only last year was rationalist M.M Kalburgi and CPI leader Govind Pansare killed in a similarly eerie fashion. Their death still stays shrouded under mysterious layers of investigations which have yielded no results as yet.
Lankesh was a feisty old woman who rigidly opposed communal politics of the BJP and its interpretation of Hinduism.
Since the inception of her career, she was regarded as a bold, upfront woman who was blunt and spoke her mind. She had, on many occasions been accused of being inordinately supportive of the Naxalites. Despite the controversial opinions she projected, she was a highly revered woman who pledged to bring forth a positive change through her writings.
The price that Lankesh had to pay for her outspoken nature and bluntness indeed raises questions over the secularism that India boasts of.
Offering condolences and support to the family, yet again will not offer any leads on the assailants. The central and state government have to work collaboratively in order to nab the assailants at the earliest and bring in the much-needed sense of security. The notion that freedom to express is a fundamental right of every citizen is losing steam as the recent deaths have projected a totally contradictory story. It is imperative for the government to start looking into these matters with utmost consideration else it won’t be too long before we hear of another Gauri Lankesh.
Shrishti Vatsa – Symbiosis Law School, Noida
Content Writer @ Legal Bites