New Delhi, Sep 6: Gauri Lankesh, a senior journalist known for her outspoken views was shot dead on Tuesday evening at residence
in Raja Rajeshwari Nagar, Bengaluru.
Gauri stepped into journalism in early 1980s with Times of India and later she also worked with Sunday Gaurdian
Eenadu Television in Delhi.
She was the daughter of a prominent writer, translator and journalist P Lankesh. Her father was the founder of Lankesh Patrike, a Kannada language weekly tabloid.
After her father death in 2000, she joined Lankesh Patrike and continued her father’s legacy.
Later, she ran her own Kannada tabloid ‘Gauri Lankesh Patrike’ in 2005 after quitting as editor of Lankesh Patrike following differences with her brother.
Renowned theatre artist Prakash Belawadi was the childhood friend of Lankesh.
Gauri was married to the senior journalist Chidanand Rajghatta. Gauri Lankesh’s husband Chidanand Rajghatta is an Indian opinion columnist who presently lives in Washington D.C. He also works as a liberal blogger for the Times of India. However, the couple got divorced later, they were married for an unknown period of time.
Lankesh is a perfect example of fearlessness as she was infamous for critcising right-wing and Hindutva politics.
Last year in November, She was convicted by a magisterial court in Hubballi in connection with a criminal defamation case filed by BJP MP Pralhad Joshi and party office bearer Umesh Doshi who raised objections against an article publsihed on January 23, 2008.
She also worked for the rehabilitation of Naxals who wanted to return to the social mainstream and was one among those involved in the founding of Citizens Initiative for Peace (CiP) in Karnataka.
As she was a firebrand journalist, When asked about the possibility of facing physical threats in an interview in 2000, Lankesh said “I am not afraid of physical attacks at all. I used to come home at 3 am alone many nights until a fortnight ago. I only stopped when I saw a man wrapped in a saree lying in the middle of the road on one such occasion. Now I keep my driver with me until I reach home. Apart from that, I have not even got any blank calls. I have received a couple of calls trying to blackmail me about my personal life in taluk level `blackmail’ newspapers. Those too stopped when I said, go ahead, write whatever you want about me. I have done nothing wrong to fear exposure”, The News Minute reported.
With her courageous attitude, she taught a lesson to showcase truth to the common people of our country. It is indeed a sad incident that such a journalistic pioneer paid her life due to hatred and freedom of speech.