Statement on the Brutal Murder of Gauri Lankesh.

Statement from the ICWM on the Brutal Killing of Gauri Lankesh.

The Indian Christian Women’s Movement strongly condemns the cowardly killing of a courageous woman journalist who dared to challenge the right wing forces in our country. We salute Gauri’s courage and commitment to the democratic and secular values of our constitution. She went to the extent of putting her life on the line to speak out against those who tried to tear apart the democratic and secular fabric of the country.

Hers was a powerful voice which threatened the fascist forces in India. The defamation cases filed against her did not rattle or cower her indomitable spirit even though the cases were used as a tool to give a strong message to other journalists who dared to question or speak out against corruption within the ranks of the communalists. She was also theatre person and a film maker, an artist who used her talent to expose truth and injustice.

In an interview to Narada in December 2016, she boldly proclaimed, “As a citizen of India, I oppose the BJP’s fascist and communal politics. I oppose its misinterpretation of ‘Hindu Dharma’ ideals. I oppose the caste system of the ‘Hindu Dharma’, which is unfair, unjust and gender-biased.”

“My Constitution teaches me to be a secular citizen, not communal. It is my right to fight against these communal elements,” she said.

Gauri’s murder is eerily similar to the way in which Kanataka rationalist MM Kalburgi, the former Vice Chancellor of Kannada University, Hampi, -well known for his outspoken criticism of the right wing- who was also shot at his residence two years ago.

We call upon the State Government law enforcement machinery in Karnataka to bring to justice those who committed this horrific crime. We call upon our Prime Minister Narendra Modi to keep to his promise that he will not tolerate any kind of violence in India, and therefore rein in all the forces that use violence as a means for promoting their communal ideology.

We hereby express our admiration and appreciation for the fearless Gauri Lankesh, and declare our solidarity with those who uphold secular values, freedom and truth. Gauri, your voice will continue to live on and will not be silenced.