She unzipped her lips,
You zipped them back,
Her thoughts clustered,
In a corner they were stacked.
If silence was all that you looked for,
Then Why call it Freedom of Speech?
If you never liked hearing the truth,
Then why is it that you preach?
And when one decided to stand up,
When she stepped out of the lot,
Her voice was muffled, her opinions killed,
Gauri Lankesh was shot.
What the hell is wrong with India??
Gauri Lankesh, an Indian journalist-turned-activist, was assassinated by three unidentified men at her house. Why?? Just because she was a staunch supporter of secular and liberal values and a staunch critic of the right-wing Hindutva politics. She wasn’t happy with the religion because it promotes caste-based politics and recognizes women as a second-class creature. Where was she wrong?
Haven’t we all studied about caste system (the four-varna system), or the sati pratha , or the child marriage in our history classes? Weren’t these practices anti-humanity or anti-feminist?
How could the rich Hindus like Brahmins treat the poor people as second or third or fourth class citizens?? There used to be a notion that the positions in the Varna system were supposedly determined by birth.
Who told Brahmins about this notion? They themselves devised this shit.
So Gauri didn’t do anything wrong in not supporting the right-wing Hindutva politics.
And also that our Constitution guarantees the freedom of speech and expression in its Article 19, as one of its six freedoms, with some restrictions that your speech shouldn’t disturb the integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, and also that it should be decent, and should preserve morality, shouldn’t defame and should not be incitement to an offence.
Gauri didn’t do any of these, but still, she was killed because we weren’t tolerant enough.
It’s high time that we stand together to protect the freedom of speech and expression, of not only of journalists but of ourselves too.
May her soul rest in peace.
“The danger to India, mark you, is not communism. It is Hindu right-wing communalism.”
– PANDIT Jawahar Lal Nehru
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