A few years ago, journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh – who was shot dead in September 2017 – made a speech uncannily foreshadowing the current campaign by right wing forces using the term “urban Naxal.”
In the speech (video above), Lankesh presciently explained who was likely to be branded a Naxalite by the police, government and the media, and even told them to be cautious. This warning was directed at minority – especially Dalit – activists.
“…if I resist violence and counter- violence and say Karnataka should not take the path of Andhra Pradesh, I too will be a Naxalite in their eyes,” Gauri said. The journalist was instrumental in forming and running the Citizens’ Initiative for Peace (CIP), a civil society group that negotiated for peace between the police and Naxals.