Gauri Lankesh should have been celebrating her 56th birthday today. Its almost five months after the murder of this prominent journalist, police have yet to make any arrests and the special investigative team (SIT) probing her murder continues to hit roadblocks.
Renowned Kannada journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh was shot dead outside her residence in Bengaluru on a Tuesday night. She was an outspoken critic of hindutva politics who is known for her left-wing activism, her courage, and speaking truth to power; she was the editor of Kannada tabloid Gauri Lankesh Patrike, besides owning some other publications.
She advocated against extremism and casteism and she chronicled these values in her weekly tabloid the Gauri Lankesh Patrike. She had written about the wrongdoings of the Indian National Congress leader, D. K. Shivakumar, a close associate of the former Chief Minister of Karnataka, S. M. Krishna. She was opposed to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and ended her 35-year old friendship with Prakash Belawadi when the latter became a media advisor to the BJP during the Indian general election, 2014.
In November 2014, the Congress-led Karnataka government appointed Gauri as a member of a committee aimed at convincing the Naxalites to give up violence and surrender. However, a delegation of BJP leaders accused her of being a Naxalite sympathizer and demanded her removal from the committee. The chief minister Siddaramaiah rejected the demand.
On 5 September 2017, three unidentified men shot Gauri to death at her house in Rajarajeshwari Nagar, Bangalore. The men fired at least seven bullets at her at around 8 p.m. while she was unlocking the main door of her house after returning from her office.
THE WAY I SEE IT: A Gauri Lankesh Reader Edited by Chandan Gowda is a selection from Gauri’s writings, spanning languages, publications and the length of her career is brought under one title for the readers to know her take on various topics relevant. It flags the unfinished work and uphill struggles that remain her legacy, but also preserves her companionable voice for us to cherish, a talisman and inspiration. She was taken away from us in the middle of life.