“The courage in Journalism is sticking up for the unpopular, not the popular.”
What exactly happened?
Gauri a senior journalist was murdered in Bengaluru at her home. She worked as an editor in Lankesh Patrike a Kannada weekly started by her father P. Lankesh, and ran her own weekly called Gauri Lankesh Patrike.
She was known for being a critic of right-wing group. Gauri considered the activists Jignesh Mevani, Kanhiya Kumar, Umar Khalid, Shehla Rashid Shora as her “Adopted Children”.
Some politicians of Bhartiya Janta Party had filed a case against her for defamation and her ideology was very left-leaning and she had a very good relationship with the people of the same ideology.
She thought to bring Naxalites to the mainstream, took up the cause of Dalits and farmers wrote about Hindutva group and their rising influence. The followers of left-wing people think that the murder was condemned by several people and organizations, including the Bhartiya Janta Party and RSS. The accused of her murder are still not caught as they are not identified until now. Gauri Lankesh was basically a Rationalist.
Freedom of Press in India:-
In India freedom of the press has been treated as part of the freedom of speech and expression. Gauri Lankesh was murdered in a year when India already dropped by three places in the World Press Freedom Index compiled by reporters without borders from 133 to 136, guaranteed by Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution. However, as mentioned in Article 19(2) reasonable restrictions can be placed on this right, in the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the state, public order, decency or morality or in relation to contempt to court. Hence, freedom of media is not an absolute freedom.
In India, the media have played a historical role in providing information to the people about social and economic evils. The media have informed the people about poverty in the country, the suicide of farmers in various states, the so-called honour killings in many places by Khap panchayats, corruption and so on.
The media have a great responsibility to see that the news they present is accurate and serve the interest of the people. Gauri Lankesh is against Right-wing group. She always supporter left-wing ideology and the people of left-wing thought and spread rumours that she was killed by those people. She is the one who challenged patriarchy, casteism and inequality. She was also vocal in her criticism of the lingyat community social practice.
We appreciate all her works which she had done in the field of journalism. May her soul rest in peace.
By- Harshita Tripathi