Curbing dissent

Gauri Lankesh murder: Left parties demand ban on outfits like the Sanatan Sanstha

The CPI(M) said the journalist’s murder fit into a pattern of ending those who speak up against the BJP and RSS, referring to Pansare and Dabholkar’s killings.

The Communist Party of India on Wednesday demanded a ban on outfits such as the Sanatan Sanstha, which is suspected to be behind the murder of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar and senior CPI (Marxist) leader Govind Pansare. The CPI(M) said senior journalist Gauri Lankesh’s murder fit into a pattern of ending those who dare to raise their voice against “the climate of hate and intolerance” spread by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the Bharatiya Janata Party, The Indian Express reported.

“The killings of Pansare, Dabholkar, MM Kalburgi and now Gauri Lankesh are all interconnected,” CPI said. “All of them were vociferous in their opposition to superstition, obscurantism and perpetuation of communal agenda by right-wing Hindutva forces.”

“Members of right-wing Hindu outfit Sanatan Sanstha were arrested, but are now on bail,” CPI General Secretary Sudhakar Reddy said. “It is not accidental that all [these] murders are meticulously planned and organised the same way. It is time such terrorist organisations are banned.”

The teams investigating Pansare and Dabholkar’s assassination had both charged members of the Sanatan Sanstha with murder. However, official spokesperson of the group Chetan Rajhans on Wednesday refuted allegations of any involvement with Lankesh’s murder.

“The conversation around Gauri Lankesh’s murder is happening in a targeted and prejudiced manner,” he told CNN-News18, claiming that she was an “extortionist with Naxalite links” and had a dispute with her brother Indrajit Lankesh, as well. “We were targeted for eight years, but did they find anything against us? These investigating agencies also found that a small outfit like us cannot do anything illegal.”

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Watch Ruchir's journey: A story that captures the impact of accessible technology

Accessible technology has the potential to change lives.

“Technology can be a great leveller”, affirms Ruchir Falodia, Social Media Manager, TATA CLiQ. Out of the many qualities that define Ruchir as a person, one that stands out is that he is an autodidact – a self-taught coder and lover of technology.

Ruchir’s story is one that humanises technology - it has always played the role of a supportive friend who would look beyond his visual impairment. A top ranker through school and college, Ruchir would scan course books and convert them to a format which could be read out to him (in the absence of e-books for school). He also developed a lot of his work ethos on the philosophy of Open Source software, having contributed to various open source projects. The access provided by Open Source, where users could take a source code, modify it and distribute their own versions of the program, attracted him because of the even footing it gave everyone.

That is why I like being in programming. Nobody cares if you are in a wheelchair. Whatever be your physical disability, you are equal with every other developer. If your code works, good. If it doesn’t, you’ll be told so.

— Ruchir.

Motivated by the objectivity that technology provided, Ruchir made it his career. Despite having earned degree in computer engineering and an MBA, friends and family feared his visual impairment would prove difficult to overcome in a work setting. But Ruchir, who doesn’t like quotas or the ‘special’ tag he is often labelled with, used technology to prove that differently abled persons can work on an equal footing.

As he delved deeper into the tech space, Ruchir realised that he sought to explore the human side of technology. A fan of Agatha Christie and other crime novels, he wanted to express himself through storytelling and steered his career towards branding and marketing – which he sees as another way to tell stories.

Ruchir, then, migrated to Mumbai for the next phase in his career. It was in the Maximum City that his belief in technology being the great leveller was reinforced. “The city’s infrastructure is a challenging one, Uber helped me navigate the city” says Ruchir. By using the VoiceOver features, Ruchir could call an Uber wherever he was and move around easily. He reached out to Uber to see if together they could spread the message of accessible technology. This partnership resulted in a video that captures the essence of Ruchir’s story: The World in Voices.

Play

It was important for Ruchir to get rid of the sympathetic lens through which others saw him. His story serves as a message of reassurance to other differently abled persons and abolishes some of the fears, doubts and prejudices present in families, friends, employers or colleagues.

To know more about Ruchir’s journey, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Uber and not by the Scroll editorial team.