BENGALURU: “Gauri Lankesh was not provocative in her articles. She spoke for Dalits, Adivasis and the backward. She spoke against anti-secular ideals. Some people are against those who are speaking out against the cowardice of those in power,” said Medha Patkar. She was addressing the participants at the #IamGauri protest held in the city on Tuesday. The protest, that started with a rally in the morning, went on till evening at Central College Grounds here.“Gauri spoke out and they killed her. When Ramachandra Guha spoke out, they sent him a legal notice. Let them send 1.2 billion legal notices then. Where is Narendra Modi? Why hasn’t he spoken yet?,” she questioned.
Rural journalist and farmers’ rights activist P Sainath warned that there will be incredible provocation in the days ahead and we should not fall into the trap of escalating hatred. He said, “They have a clear plan, ideology and coherent strategy. Look at it in different parts of the country, the strategy of violence has been different. In BJP-ruled states, it is mob lynching and terror.” “What you are up against is the largest constructed machine of hatred and intolerance ever seen since the partition of the country and perhaps greater than that since it has spread to so many more states and regions,” he said.
Chandrashekar Patil, better known as writer ChamPa, read out a poem in memory of Gauri.
Sitaram Yechury, CPI leader, said, “I’m a foot soldier of Indian democracy and the idea of India. The idea of India is not abstract. It is concrete and the diversity of India along with the opportunity to speak, disagree and dissent is what makes this country. Gauri never eliminated ideas but the battle of ideas was fought with bullets.”Prominent Kannada writer Devanur Mahadeva said, “We have forgotten the dreams that we had envisioned while getting independence.”
I’m a foot soldier of Indian democracy. Those in power are creating a totalitarian state. We cannot be cowed down. It is the antithesis of India. We should remember that Mahatma Gandhi was a victim of those who wanted a Hindu Rashtra. Gauri never eliminated ideas but the battle of ideas was fought with bullets.Sitaram Yechury, CPI leader