Gauri Lankesh Murder: It’s time to protest

MUMBAI:On an expected note, Mumbaikars joined the country to denounce the murder of senior journalist Gauri Lankesh in Bangalore on Tuesday.

According to the sources, at the sea-facing amphitheatre near the Carter Road Promenade in Bandra, a group of peace and human rights activists assembled to protest the murder which they said was an attempt to silence dissent. “You cannot silence the truth by silencing voices of dissent,” pointed out activist Geeta Menon. “How many voices can you silence?” she defiantly asked.

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Holding placards and chanting slogans such as “We want azaadi from Hindutva and RSS”, the activists slammed the Modi-led government at the Centre for failing to punish the alleged murderers of rationalists such as Govind Pansare and author Kalburgi, which has encouraged Hindutva fanatics to kill those who oppose their ideology .

On the other side of the coin, actor and activist Shabana Azmi, holding a placard carrying a couplet of her Urdu poet father Kaifi Azmi articulating the feelings of those who are silenced, said there was a pattern to the Gauri Lankesh murder.”These people are being silenced because of their ideology and progressive thinking. But we will not be cowed down. We will keep speaking out. We are proud of our country and this will not be allowed for long. Yeh ab bardasht se bahar hai (this cannot be tolerated),” she said.

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Meanwhile, activist Teesta Setalvad said since the fanatics cannot respond to words of criticism with words, they use violence as a method to silence. “But we have resolved to fight these forces of fanaticism and fascism and will not be silenced,” she said.
Then there was former principal of Burhani College, Farrukh Waris, who said it was a sad day for democracy .”After Kalburgi, Pansare, Dabholkar, it is Gauri. We don’t know who else are on the fanatics’ hitlist,” she said. She refused to address the killers as Hindus. “These are a bunch of lunatics who have nothing to do with Hinduism. The sad thing is the Centre is not cracking down on these lunatics,” she added.



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