Gauri Lankesh murder: Journalists must channelize anger to fight this terrorism


Jagtar Singh
Chandigarh, September 6: It is a murder that has outraged the media fraternity in particular and secular forces in general in entire India. Journalists at every level and in every city and town are up in anger against the brutal murder of a member of their fraternity Gauri Lankesh. The journalists must not allow this anger to subside but channelize to fight the ideology that has inspired the terrorists who have tried to terrorise the media into silence with this killing. No proof is needed about the ideology behind this murder as evidence is there on the social media. This ideology has now launched all-out assault war against the very idea of diverse India. It for the journalists to launch the counter attack with the only weapon they know to use best-the pen, to repulse this attack and contribute in the decimation of these forces of darkness.
None can deny that a major section of the media, particularly the TV, has been supporting this ideology openly and berating the opposition rather than questioning the establishment that is supposed to be the role, at least under classical school of journalism. It is normal for a journalist to follow any ideology but in this case, it is the role of the media houses that is questionable. The saffron brigade, like the secularists, always had its supporters in the media fraternity but they were never campaigners. Now they take pride in being on the Right side. One is free to have one’s views but is supposed to maintain professional standards honesty. But then professional standards too are changing under the concept of new normal.
This killing is a wakeup call not only for the media but all those people who subscribe to the idea of multicultural and diverse India that is Bharat, earlier known as Hindoostan going by the first maps after this region was enslaved by traders from England. The leaders from this ideology have the history of collaborating with the British rulers of India going by the letters written by VD Savarkar from cellular jail in Andaman and the role during entire freedom struggle.
The irony is that these forces of sectarianism and homogenisation have been provided space with the weakening of the ideology that represents diverse and multi-cultural India. These forces got weakened not due to attack from divisive forces but just collapsed for reasons that were subjective. Those factors continue to keep these forces divided.
The situation is going to the extreme and it is such situation that sometimes throws up alternative leadership. The present leadership of the secular spectrum is totally irrelevant and living in the past, including people like Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi. It is better not to talk of the Communist parties. It is the Left and secular forces that would have to come over their minor differences to confront the challenge to the idea of diversity itself.
It is the people from the Hindutva who have attacked Guru Lankesh after her murder, leaving nothing in doubt about the ideological inclinations of her killers.
This is a battle that would have to be fought in every street and corner in India, in every village. There has to be democratic counter attack against this terrorism. It is said democratic response is the best anti-dote to terrorism.
The scene of the crime is in Bengaluru, the capital of Karnataka that is associated with the IT revolution in the country. Karnataka is ruled by the Congress. It is for the Karnataka government to identify and arrest the perpetrators of this heinous crime. It is arrest of the killers of Gauri that would conclusively expose these forces in the eyes of the law too.
The journalists must remain united although every tactic would be used to divide them. The retreat would amount to the death of the pen.


Jagtar Singh


[email protected]

Related Editorials