The woman was shot three times on her way home. She had denounced a local leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party. A Maoist sympathizer, she believed in the "Constitution that teaches me to be a secular, non-sectarian citizen".
Bangalore (AsiaNews / Agencies) - A well-known Indian journalist, who has repeatedly expressed critical views on Bharatiya Janata Party nationalist policies, was assassinated in Bangalore, Karnataka.
Gauri Lankesh, 55, was killed last night while returning home after work. Unknown criminals shot her three times on her doorstep. The journalist died shortly after, immersed in a puddle of blood. Her murder was condemned by various political figures. Secretary of State, Siddaramaiah, wrote on Twitter: "I'm shocked [...] I have no words to condemn this stupid crime. It is a murder of democracy. "
Gauri was famous for her criticisms of Hindutva's politics, while sympathizing with the Naxalite, the Maoist rebels who carried out a latent guerilla war in various parts of the country and asked for their reintegration into society. She worked for the Times of India, one of the most famous newspapers in the country, until she took over the reins of Lankesh Patrike in 2000, inherited from her father. She went on to found her own newspaper, Gauri Lankesh Patrike, and it became a vehicle for her to express her support for democracy, secularism and free thinking.
Last year she was sentenced to six months in prison for defamation, after denouncing a local Bjp leader. The sentence was suspended and she was given bail. In an interview released shortly after the sentence she said: "The Bjp policies are fascist and sectarian. My Constitution teaches me to be a secular, non-sectarian citizen. It is my right to fight against these elements. "
Among longtime friends and political leaders who commented in these hours, Rahul Gandhi, vice president of the Congress. "The truth will never be silenced," he wrote on social media. Journalist Shekhar Gupta said: "Journalism is nothing without courage. Democracy is nothing without dissent. "
Gauri is not the first intellectual killed. In recent years, other secular and rational thinkers, including the writer MM Kalburgi, have become victims of the widespread climate of intolerance of Hindu nationalist policies.
Gauri Lankesh was killed on September 5 and her assassins are still at large. The intellectual was known for her criticisms of the Hindu nationalist party in the government. Fr. Prakash: "Hers was an unstoppable crusade for the freedom of thought and expression."
The editor of Lankesh Patrike was assassinated yesterday on her doorstep. She was a famous critic of Hindu nationalist politics. "We salute her for the courage with which she wrote, the conviction with which she lived her life and the boldness with which she fought the forces of evil, hatred and corruption."
Ram Puniyani is the president of the Center for Study of Society and Secularism in Mumbai. He writes about the ongoing university student protest in favour of freedom of thought who are accused of anti-nationalism by Hindu radicals. Modi has targeted Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University because it reflects a “democratic spirit, freedom of thought, and progressive values”.