Bengaluru, (DHNS): A forum of progressive thinkers, writers, social activists, artistes and intellectuals has been formed to fight against the assassination of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh.
The forum named as ‘Gauri Lankesh Hathya Virodhi Horata Vedike’ comprises representatives from various walks of life from across the country.
The Vedike has decided to hold a national-level ‘resistance convention’ to condemn the murder, on September 12 at Central College grounds in Bengaluru. About 50,000 people, including religious heads of various sects and progressive seers will participate.
A procession would be taken out from Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna Railway Station, which will culminate into a rally at the Central College grounds.
P Sainath, Teesta Setalvad, Sagarika Ghose, Anand Patwardhan, Prashant Bhushan, Medha Patkar, Kavita Krishnan and Prakash Rai are among those who will take part in the rally.
There would be songs, street plays, screening of short films and paintings and music concerts expressing resistance against the assassination.
“We want to resist efforts to silence dissent in the country. We want to show that Gauri’s murder hasn’t shaken us and we are committed against communalism, fundamentalism, fascism and extremism,” writer Prof K Marulasiddappa told reporters here on Sunday.
Gauri’s assassination was similar to those of Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare and M M Kalburgi. She always opposed rightist ideology. The RSS regularly targeted all the four. In this context, needle of suspicion points towards communal forces, he said.
Prof Chandrashekhar Patil said the Vedike did not directly point fingers at any one individual or organisation. “Gauri was facing threats from communal organisations, which forces us to conclude that communal forces claimed her. However, the investigation should bring out the truth,” he said.
Regarding the ongoing investigation, they said they had faith in the SIT and were open for a Supreme Court-monitored probe at a later stage.
On Naxalite angle to the murder, Prof Patil said the Vedike members did not get any confirmation from any police source regarding involvement of naxals.
“Kalburgi’s murder did not get much publicity as it was the first such murder in the state. The government itself was shocked after Gauri’s murder and took up the issue with all seriousness,” he said.
Writer and former minister B T Lalitha Naik said, “Gauri’s father the late P Lankesh used extremely harsh words while criticising a person or an ideology. But, nobody dared to kill him. The British tolerated Mahatma Gandhi for about 50 years. It was extremely easy for them to eliminate him. Those who claimed Gauri are heinous than the British,” she said.
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