In a strongly worded statement issued on 09 September (Saturday), La Via Campesina’s South Asian members have condemned the murder of Gauri Lankesh, a senior journalist and editor of a progressive news outlet.
Members of Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha are also expected to attend in a solidarity event scheduled for September 12 in the city of Bengaluru.
Please come to Bangalore on the 12th of September. Lets defend our Right to Free Speech and dissent.
Full Statement below.
URGENT APPEAL FOR INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY!!
Those who fear the Power of the Pen took to the Gun. Again !
Right to dissent and free speech is under attack with journalists, writers and activists being killed.
Gauri Lankesh stood up for all of us. Let’s stand up for her and stand up to the terror that took her life.
We, La Via Campesina- South Asia, condemn the murder of Gauri Lankesh, one of the fearless journalists of Karnataka. Gauri Lankesh was shot dead outside her home in northern Bengaluru on the night of 5th September 2017. Those bullets aimed at Gauri have brutally pierced into the hearts of millions of people who, like Gauri, are working towards justice, equity and harmony and the values she stood for.
Gauri was widely known and loved across Karnataka and the country for her relentless writings, talks and campaigns in solidarity with the oppressed. Gauri openly and publicly questioned and challenged politicians, bureaucrats, judiciary, chauvinists and stood by the downtrodden. She was a fierce journalist and a vocal critic of communal forces in Karnataka and in India. She was committed till her last breath in her struggle against communalism, the fascist ideologies of Hindutva/Sangh Parivar and supported progressive forces in maintaining communal harmony in Karnataka. Gauri Lankesh was the editor of Gauri Lankesh Patrike, a Kannada fortnightly newspaper, and has authored several books. She was one the founding members of Karnataka Komu Souharda Vedike (KKSV), an organisation dedicated to maintaining communal harmony in Karnataka. She worked relentlessly to bring people together in the fight against class, caste and religious fundamentalism.
Her last post on social media on the inhuman denial of refuge to the persecuted Rohingyas by Indian Government speaks of her concern and compassion for the subjugated humanity. We salute the conviction and courageous life of Gauri and commit to joins hands with all progressive forces across the country to bring justice to her, her values and intensify our struggle against the undemocratic silencing of dissenting voices.
In the past we have witnessed the muzzling of free speech through violence and hatred by the fundamentalists. Dr. Narendra Dabholkar, Prof.M M Kalburgi and Govind Pansare were martyred by similar forces but such incidences only reaffirm our commitment against those who mistakenly think they silence us.
LVC South Asia demand the following:
1. State must declare that this is an act of terror.
2. Judicial committee to look into the activities of rightist fascist forces.
3. Special investigation team with judicially monitored probe.
4. We see a common thread in the murders of Dhabolkar, Pansare, Kalaburagi and Gauri Lankesh and assassinations carried out by a organised terror group which holds an ideology opposed to secular, Democratic and constitutional forces. We demand that the union government is responsible for taking appropriate steps to constitute a joint parliamentary committee to identify the terror group and bring them to book.
LVC South Asia also calls upon peoples’ movements, all progressive organisations and concerned citizens to stand up and fight this cowardly act and rise up to the defence of rights, freedom and the constitutional values which are under attack today from right wing fascist forces in a consistent manner. In this very crucial and important situation we urge you to hold a non-violent obituary protest, release solidarity statement and appraise media about this heinous crime and build international pressure to call upon the Government of India, Prime Minister of India, Chief Minister of Karnataka asking them to probe the cases of all the killings immediately and safeguard the lives of people who dissent with their voices and words.
What you can do?
1.Please share this solidarity call widely in your circles.
2. Forum Against Assassination of Gauri is holding a Solidarity public rally and resistance meeting on 12th September in Bengaluru. Pls send a copy of the solidairty letters and photos of protest (Pls use Gauri’s photo with a tag line “I am gauri“) to firstname.lastname@example.org. This will be used in the media to build up pressure on the Govt.
3. Write to Indian Government
Write to President of India
Secretary to President
Write to Prime Minister of India
click on the link and register your grievance http://pgportal.gov.in/pmocitizen/Grievancepmo.aspx
Write to Chief Minister Siddaramaiha