‘…when the time came and not face them with a gun in hand.’
‘Gauri was a bold journalist in her life and death.’
Kumar Buradikatti, who worked with Gauri Lankesh from 2007 to 2009, remembers the fearless journalist who was murdered on September 5:
Gauri Lankesh did not have any known enemies, apart from those from right wing goondas; she did not have any property disputes; she doesn’t own any property (external link) except a small office.
She was friendly with everybody.
Only one set of people consistently opposed and hated her because she challenged and exposed their right wing goondaism.
She was in the forefront of the fight against communalism and was part of the Communal Harmony Forum for more than a decade now.
Soon after extremists killed M M Kalburgi, she had told me, ‘They could kill me also’.
She knew that intellectuals and rationalists like her and Bhagwan, and many others were on these extremists’ radar after Kalburgi’s assassination and feared for their lives.
After Kalburgi’s murder she had started believing that anybody having views opposite to right wing fundamentalists could be targetted and eliminated.
She had this premonition, yet she chose to speak out fearlessly against these very people.
Gauri strongly believed that only right wing fundamentalists from Karnataka could harm her.
All other stories that are now surfacing about her brother (Indrajit Lankesh) holding a gun on to her or that Naxals being behind her murder for bringing some Naxals from Karnataka into the mainstream are cock-and-bull stories.
These stories are floated now to divert the attention from fingers pointing towards right wing goons.
Time and again there were threats to her life. But she chose to lead boldly and fearlessly against fundamentalists.
Like many of her counterparts who run tabloids in Karnataka, she refused to keep a gun for her protection.
She wanted to look her murderers in the eye when the time came and not face them with a gun in hand.
Gauri was a bold journalist in her life and death. She chose to speak out rather than keep quiet.
She wanted to face the consequences of her writings fearlessly.
As told to Rediff.com’s Prasanna D Zore
IMAGE: A ‘Not In My Name’ protest at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, September 7, 2017. Photograph: PTI Photo