With protests organised all over the country, thousands took to the streets on September 6 to condemn the brutal killing of senior journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh on Tuesday. In many parts of the country including Chennai, Bengaluru, Mysuru, Mangaluru, Hyderabad, and Thiruvananthapuram protests and prayer meetings were held. Press Club of India, IWPC and Press Association jointly organized a protest meeting in Delhi on Wednesday in the wake of the journalist’s murder.
In Bengaluru, journalists had already gathered near Town Hall to protest against the killing of the journalist after the news of her death broke out in the media. People were seen holding banners and posters reading: “I am also Gauri”, “Gauri Lankesh lives on!”, and “We won’t shut up”. The official protest timing in Bengaluru was 8:45 am on Wednesday. Many members of the press also visited Ravindra Kalakshetra where Gauri’s body was kept for people to pay their last respects.
exchange4media spoke to several professionals from the media fraternity. This is what they had to say:
HR Ranganath, Founder & Editor-in-chief of Public TV, said, “Gauri’s death shouldn’t be an incident like that of a flood or a natural disaster. This has happened in the past and is still happening. Action must be taken here. Whether right wing, left wing or center, violence is not a solution to everything that happens. She wrote and was outspoken, but she was never violent.”
Hariprakash Konemane, Editor – VRL Media, said, “This shouldn’t have happened. Firstly, it’s a failure of law and order. The government should provide safety. The culprits should be identified instead of people assuming and blaming one another. The investigation must happen quickly and people involved in the shooting and killing of such a senior journalist must be arrested. This is not the first incident. It was Kalburgi before this. It shouldn’t have happened!”
Sunil Rajshekhar, CEO, Independent and Public Spirited Media Foundation (IPSMF), said, “The silencing of Gauri Lankesh is cowardly and only goes to show how much hate has seeped into our society. I only hope that her death does not deter other journalists from speaking up. Instead, they need to realize the power of their pens and use it to build a society where hatred, violence, and exclusion have no place.”
Sanchayeeta Verma, Managing Partner, Maxus South India & South Asia, said, “I am shocked by this incident. We all have to watch out in the future. Anybody who is talking the right things is being silenced like this. Gauri Lankesh is not the first one who was murdered like this. We as a fraternity should do something about this. Gauri Lankesh was just speaking out her opinions against a lot of things. To me, this is very disturbing. We all should work together instead of just standing by and watching. The media shouldn’t gradually stop covering the advancements happening in such cases. They should keep covering it in the form of a report card till justice is served to her.”
Gauri Lankesh was shot dead at her residence on Tuesday evening by two unidentified men on bikes. According to the police, seven bullets were fired at her out of which the three shot at close range caused her death. She was the editor of Lankesh Patrike, a weekly published out of Bangalore.