“We had UR Ananthamurthy, Kalburgi, my own father P Lankesh, Purna Chandra Tejaswi, all these people. They were all trenchant critics of Jawaharlal Nehru, of Indira Gandhi, of Rajiv Gandhi. But none of them were ever physically attacked, let alone [receiving] death threats.”
In one of her last public talks, journalist Gauri Lankesh, who was shot dead outside her home in Bengaluru on Tuesday evening, talked about the growing instances of violence threatened and perpetrated by different individuals who claimed that their religion, Hinduism, was being insulted.
Tracing the history of how Karnakata has, in her words, moved from secularism to communalism, Lankesh said it was “an interesting and crippling trajectory.”
A vocal critic of both the Congress, which is in power in Karnataka, and right wing forces including the BJP, Lankesh denounced both sides in this talk. Citing numerous examples of attacks against Muslims and Dalits, she said she was worried for the future of the state. “We have no dearth of Yogi Adityanaths in Karnataka,” she declared.
“Abnormality has become the new normal in Karnataka,” Lankesh concluded. And ominous and tragic observation, in the light of her murder on September 5.