Citizens of Udaipur staged a vibrant protest on 7th September against the brutal murder of rationalist journalist Gouri Lankesh in Bangalore. Journalists, writers, poets, trade union leaders, activists and students gathered at Sukhadia circle and raised slogans against the brutal murder of Gouri Lankesh. The citizens gathered at Sukhadia circle carrying placards, banner on which the photograph of Gouri Lankesh was printed.
On placards were slogans like ” Arrest the murderers of Gouri Lankesh”, “Communalism Down Down”, “We do not fear your bullets, you are afraid of our pen” . Addressing a meeting of the demonstrators a senior journalist Madan Modi said that Gouri Lankesh’s entire family was progressive. Her father P. Lankesh, the founder of Lankesh Patrike was a socialist who was inspired by the ideas of Dr Ram Manohar Lohia and was one of the three iconic writers of the ‘Navya’ school of Kannada literature. These writers from Shimoga — P. Lankesh, Poornachandra Tejaswi and U.R. Ananthamurthy — combined a strident anti-caste stance with the socialist brand of egalitarian politics and culturally rooted secularism.
Founder editor of Mahaveer Samta Sandesh Himmat Seth said that the murder of Gouri Lankesh was not just a murder of a journalist, it is an attack on freedom of thought and expression. He said that it is a sign of rising intolerance and the increasing strength of fascist forces. Prof. Sudha Chaudhary, State secretary of AIPWA and Professor and Head of the department of Philosophy of Mohan Lal Sukhadia University said that the murder of Gouri Lankesh is the result of a conspiracy of those forces which want to take the country back and re impose the varna system which is such a bondage . Her murder should be seen as a result of the nexus between religion, political authority and capital. Addressing the demonstrators Prof. Hemendra Chandalia , journalist and columnist said that it is not just a murder of a journalist, it is an attack of democracy. This is an attack of people’s right to independent thought and its expression. Gouri Lankesh represented an idea. It is reasonable to assume that her assassination is an attempt to shut down that idea.
After the meeting the demonstrators observed silence for two minutes in honour of Gouri Lankesh.The demonstrators included senior poet R.L.Chaufla, novelist Dr. Sarvat Khan, Dr. Farhat Bano, activist Usha Chaudhary, engineer Piyush Joshi, Sardar Luckinder Singh, trade union leader Shamsher Singh nandwani, D.S.PAliwal, advocate and president of People’s Union for Civil Liberties Ramesh Nandwana., advocate Arun Vyas, Comrade Birdi lal Chhanwal, former state secretary of DYFI Ashok Paliwal, Guman Singh Rao convener of Street Vendor’s Union, Mohammad Hussain Dayar, Himalaya Tehsin, and several activists. A delegation of Indian federation of Working journalists met the collector and submitted a memorandum in the leadership of Abbas Rizvi asking for the arrest of the murderers of the late journalist. On 9th September the Aam Aadmi Party, Udaipur also took out a rally to protest against the brutal killing of Gouri Lankesh.Contributed by: Dr H.S. Chandaliya