Illiberal India: Gauri Lankesh and the Age of Unreason
5 September 2017: journalist Gauri Lankesh was shot to death. Following in the method of previous murders of rationalists M.M. Kalburgi, Govind Pansare and Narendra Dabholkar, Lankesh's murder chilled the nation, sparking off protests across India. Even as the police unravels the plot behind her murder and connects it to the others, the larger forces that killed these four activists continue to grow.
A fierce critic of the burgeoning Hindutva faction in Karnataka and elsewhere in India, and a strident supporter of separate-religion status for Lingayats, Lankesh's activism had made her many foes. Fluent in Kannada and English, she was a particular threat to her ideological enemies – able to reach the influencers through a language of power and a wider audience at the grassroots through her mother tongue.
In this personal-is-political narrative, senior journalist and analyst Chidanand Rajghatta examines the lives of two people against the volatile backdrop of an increasingly fractious and intolerant India. The two strands come together in the gutting death of a courageous woman who took on these forces and fought for a more equitable society, a better India.
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