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Separating fact from fiction on Gauri Lankesh

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Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare, MM Kalburgi and now Gauri Lankesh. Out of the 4 of these, 3 were killed in Congress-ruled States.

But as soon as the news of Gauri Lankesh’s very unfortunate killing started trickling in, a vitriolic campaign by many including her “comrades” began, instantaneously, attributing her murder to the BJP/Hindutva, possibly deriving political mileage out of her death like vultures devouring a carcass. In their coordinated campaign, hardly anyone questioned the Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah on complete disarray of law and order situation in his State.

In fact, her last tweet (excluding retweets) on the day of her death pointed towards a discord between her and her ideological partners. What the reason for the differences could be and whether it played a part in her murder is a matter of investigation.

In one of the articles published by Swarajya on the dismal law and order situation in Karnataka governed by Congress CM Siddaramaiah, the author has pointed out that the list of high profile people getting killed or dying in suspicious circumstances in Karnataka ranges from journalists to IPS and opposition leaders.

A mark of suspicion on state investigation agencies possibly not doing justice to Gauri Lankesh’s murder has been put forth by the deceased’s brother Indrajit Lankesh:

Contrast this with how Gauri Lankesh herself had seemingly shown confidence in Karnataka CM’s statement on expediting Kalburgi’s murder investigation on the second anniversary of his murder, in one of her tweets:

In fact, a staunch critic of Prime Minister Modi and BJP, Gauri Lankesh was remarkably supportive of Siddaramaiah and Congress, often retweeting his tweets showing a particular closeness to the party. Journalists who are calling her ‘independent’ or ‘anti-establishment’ may want to note this:

This might lead some to insinuate that Lankesh didn’t have much regard for the BJP. This hate may explain her disengagement with the cause of Muslim women (endorsed by Prime Minister Modi) who were fighting the archaic and unjust practice of triple talaq:

Though she welcomed the Supreme Court judgment banning the practice, she was seen drawing false equivalence of it with Narendra Modi rebelling against forced child marriage during his teenage years.

She was also seen strongly defending reports of thin crowds at Lalu’s Patna rally or making a case for his innocence. Her open support to corrupt and morally defunct politicians shouldn’t be ignored and a skewed picture of hers shouldn’t be painted:

Again, her support for Dr. Kafeel Khan in Gorakhpur tragedy may have been based more on opposition to Yogi Adityanath rather than facts:

Gauri Lankesh has neither been free from agendas nor been free from controversies. She was sentenced to six months in prison and ordered to pay a penalty of Rs 10,000 on November 28 2016 due to a conviction in two defamation cases filed after she slandered two BJP leaders – MP Pralhad Joshi and Umesh Dushi.

Her brother and publisher of Lankesh Patrike accused her of backing naxals. She filed a counter complaint charging her brother of holding her at gun point:

In one of her last tweets before her death, Gauri Lankesh made light of circulation of fake posts, calling it a “mistake”:

Her scuttling of the issue of fake news here is in contrast to her earlier stand on the topic especially when the perpetrator is from the other side of ideological spectrum:

In the end though NOTHING can justify Gauri Lankesh’s brutal killing. It was a very heinous crime and the perpetrators must be brought to justice.

However, her obituaries should be a real tribute to her and show her true political self, of which she was openly proud, rather than trying to portray her as a neutral journalist, an independent voice or an anti-establishment warrior.

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