Cynical reaction from the Right to Gauri Lankesh’s murder
The cowardly killing of Gauri Lankesh has left sections of the right-wing troll army unmoved. Some seem to be even justifying the assassination
Within hours of her assassination on Tuesday evening at Bengaluru, right-wing TV channels and trolls on social media began hinting at property disputes as motive for the murder of journalist, editor and activist Gauri Lankesh. Others in ill-concealed glee indicated that Maoists and liberals might have done her in.
BJP Member of the Rajya Sabha Swapan Dasgupta tweeted, “Tragic death of Gauri Lankesh. Did politics lead to murder or murder led to politics?”
A former Zee News producer —who has been accused in the past of bigotry, casteism, Islamophobia and communalism, on Tuesday wrote on twitter: “Commie Gauri Lankesh has been murdered mercilessly. Your deeds always come back to haunt you, they say. Amen.”
In a series of tweets, reacting to the killing, she described the late editor and activist as Naxal supporter and anti-Hindu in sarcastic tones. Even more curiously, she tweeted that there wasn’t much difference between followers of Ram Rahim, who are mostly BJP ministers and the Prime Minister, and followers of Gauri Lankesh.
She was not the only one who seemed to derive sadistic satisfaction over the killing. Several right wing tweets mocked and jeered at the deceased and even more disturbingly, seemed to rejoice at the planned and cold blooded murder.
An outspoken critic of Hindutva, Gauri Lankesh edited a Kannada tabloid 'Gauri Lankesh Patrike' besides owning some other publications. She was counted among the most courageous anti-establishment voices in the country and never hesitated in taking uncompromising positions on social and political issues, which brought her in direct confrontation with the political establishment, individuals and even the judiciary. But while she was admired by a large section in the media and civil society, an equally large number of her critics compared her with Burhan Muzaffar Wani, a Kashmiri militant and the commander of militant group Hizbul Mujahideen who was killed in an encounter by security forces last year.
Another twitter user whose twitter profile picture is a selfie with Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis and is followed by Prime Minister Modi on Twitter, and some others in their tweets mocked that the slain scribe was associated with JNU student leaders Kanhaiya Kumar and Umar Khalid. Gauri Lankesh treated Kanhaiya Kumar and Dalit leader and lawyer from Gujarat Jignesh Mevani as her adopted sons.
In other tweets, possibly because of her surname ‘Lankesh’, she was described as Ravana—who in the Hindu epic Ramayana is the demonic king of Lanka.
Several right wing conspiracy theorists have also jumped in to mock at the protest demonstrations being held across the country on Wednesday against the murder. Some of them indirectly accused the “people she believed in and worked with” of her killing.
Aghast at such brazen display of hate, several people have been asking for legal action against these hate mongers and cyber bullies. But is the government listening?