Gauri Lankesh – Editor of “Gauri Lankesh Patrika” was a Fearless Lady

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Gauri Lankesh, was a fearless editor of “Gauri Lankesh Patrika”. She was murdered on 5th September 2017 when she was standing near to her house in Bangalore. The unidentified assailants opened fire shots outside her residence. The murderers were believed to be her stalkers who were following her. The case of her murder investigation is being handled by SIT, and the city was held on high alert the day after her death.

Gauri was a fearless lady who would never shy away from speaking her mind against caste system, communal politics as well as other things being happened in the society that would bother her usually.

Gauri Lankesh was born in 1962 to the famous journalist P. Lankesh who was a poet too. His father would run a weekly tabloid, Lankesh Patrike in Kannada-language.

Like her father, Gauri also aspired to become a journalist and started as a journalist with the Times of India in Bangalore. After marrying to Chidanand Rajghatta she moved to Delhi. But had to return to Bangalore very shortly and started working for the Sunday magazine as a correspondent.

When her father died in 2000, Gauri and her brother Indrajit wanted to cease the publication and for this they met the publisher of “Lankesh Patrike”, Mani. But Mani convinced them against this and insisted Gauri to become its editor. She agreed to this and her brother Indrajeet took the charge of publication’s business affairs.

Initially, everything went on smoothly but sooner the relationship between the siblings started arising. This began when she published a report in favor of Nexalite attack on policemen in February 2005. But Inderjit withdrew the report on 13 February as he was opposed to the favor of Naxals.

Inderjit also filed a case against Gauri and accused her of stealing a printer, computer and scanner from his publication office. To this, Gauri also accused Indrajit of threatening her with a revolver.

Both of them separately held press conferences where Indrajit accused Gauri of promoting Naxalism which is against the society; while Gauri in her conference also counter attacked him saying he was opposed to her social reformation and activism. The differences could not be sorted out and she later moved out of the publication and started her own Kannada weekly called, “Gauri Lankesh Patrike”.

The main feature of “Gauri Lankesh Patrike” was that it had only 50 people in the group and did not take any advertisements for earning. She always raised her voice against cast system, Hindutva politics and right-wing.

A senior journalist, Sudipto Mandal wrote, “Let’s not forget she could have landed any job she wanted; she was that good of a journalist. She could have been a senior editor at a mainstream English newspaper. But she chose not to do that.”

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