Gauri Lankesh murder: Voices of dissent being silenced, rue scribes
NEW DELHI: 'Ideas are bulletproof', read one of the posters at Press Club of India on Wednesday, where hundreds of journalists gathered to pay homage to journalist Gauri Lankesh and protest against her brutal murder which took place on Tuesday evening.
Journalists, both from print and electronic media, demanded a judicial probe and immediate justice for the veteran Bengaluru-based scribe.
Jolted by her assassination, some journalists warned fellow media persons that the Chalta hai attitude is not a feasible option anymore and the time for concrete action has come.
Ravish Kumar of NDTV India said: "My well-wishers from across the country have written 'You should stop speaking out like this, you will face the same consequences, (so) write to the Home Minister, the Prime Minister demanding security.'
"But if they couldn't give security to all their sycophants - only one or two have got SPG cover - then where will people like me get security? And in any case, how many journalists will walk around with SPG?"
Kumar also dared the Prime Minister to unfollow some of the people from Twitter, who have written derogatory remarks about the deceased journalist.
Siddharth Varadarajan, founding editor of The Wire said, "We have lost her as a friend. Connect the dots, see who were the people against her, and who was she against. We have seen right wing activists celebrating her killing on social media who are also followed by eminent politicians.
"In many parts of the country, like Chhattisgarh, north-east and Kashmir, we have seen our fellow journalist friends have not been able to do their job freely. Gauri was killed because she raised questions."
Also present at the occasion was Barkha Dutt, who occasion said that after Gauri's murder one should take threats on social media very seriously.
"It is not a time now to ignore these comments, which are outrageous and threaten you with consequences. It is not a time to stay silent," said Dutt.
Prominent Hindi journalist Mrinal Pandey said the journalist fraternity should not be divided on various sentiments, language or religion, and one should love the basic rules of journalism and stay united across all lines.
The protest was also attended by student political leaders Kanhaiya Kumar and Shehla Rashid.
Prominent politicians, like D Raja, Annie Raja, Yogendra Yadav, Aam Aadmi Party leaders Ashutosh and Sanjay Singh also attended the protest.