Commemorating the death of Indian journalist Gauri Lankesh, who was assassinated for being an outspoken writer, the Mayor of the City of Burnaby in Canada has declared September 5th of every year to be celebrated as ‘Gauri Lankesh Day.’
The proclamation hails Lankesh as “a courageous Indian journalist who stood up for truth and justice” and that she encouraged her readers to “reject religious fanaticism and caste-based discrimination and bigotry”. Gauri Lankesh was shot dead at point-blank range by three assailants outside her home on September 5th, 2017. Many motives were suggested, but eventually, the investigation pointed to the involvement of radical Hindu groups.
Her sister shared the news on her social media.
It’s humbling, to say the least, that when her own countrymen shunned her for speaking the truth and standing for what is right, Burnaby has decided to honor her. In April 2020, the city of Burnaby proclaimed April 14 as ‘Dr. BR Ambedkar Day of Equality’. Also, the city has declared a day dedicated to civil rights activist Jaswant Singh Khalra.
Recent incidents are time and again showing the lack of freedom of people in India. Religion, caste, and even thought discriminations continue to haunt people living in a so-called democratic country. We have been seeing increasing protests against the Indian government in the US, London, and Canada in the past year. From international support to the farmer’s protest to calling out the inaction of the government against the perpetrators of hate, voices are being raised all over the world.
Perhaps acts like this will force the radical elements in India and other South Asian countries, who look at any comment on the government as a sign of anti-nationalism, to realize that thoughts cannot be jailed. The truth will not stay buried.
There will always be voices across the world that will stand on the side of truth and make sure that the right to freedom of speech is not throttled by fasicism.
Not competent enough to sit idle and stare as the world goes by, Pallavi is optimistic to a fault and believes in building her world on her own rather than depending on others to make things right.