Journalist Gauri Lankesh shot dead in Bengaluru: Here is how newspapers covered her killing
Gauri Lankesh, a senior Kannada journalist known for her criticism of Hindu extremism, was shot dead at her home on Tuesday evening.india Updated: Sep 06, 2017 11:06 IST
Newspapers across the country extensively covered senior journalist Gauri Lankesh’s murder on Wednesday. Nearly all of them cited a string of incidents in which the press has been targeted and journalists killed in the recent years.
Lankesh (55), the editor of Kannada tabloid Gauri Lankesh Patrike, was shot dead by three mean outside her house in Bengaluru on Tuesday.
She was a staunch critic of Hindu right-wing and supported bringing Maoists to the mainstream.
Here’s how the newspapers covered Lankesh’s death:
The Times of India
The Times’ front page called Lankesh’s death a “cold-blooded killing” and said the incident reminded of the murders of writer MM Kalburgi, Govind Pansare and Narendra Dabholkar.
“Her outspokenness put her in the limelight and in conflict with the authorities and rightwing conservative forces. Aligned with the Komu Sohar da Vedike, Lankesh was in the forefront of efforts to bring Naxals into the mainstream and at loggerheads with Hindutva forces, including RSS,” the article said.
The Indian Express
The Indian Express ran with a banner headline: ‘Journalist who spoke her mind is shot dead’.
In another article, titled ‘Gauri Lankesh on last day: Rohingya tragedy, gay rights, Gorakhpur deaths’, the Express listed the issues Lankesh spoke about on the day she was killed. It also cited Lankesh’s tribute to her late father on Teachers’ Day.
“In her Kannada weekly, Gauri Lankesh carried at least eight stories critical of the central government and its leaders over the last three months. In her last weekly column, the journalist wrote on the Gorakhpur Hospital tragedy.”
“Hours before she was shot dead, Lankesh posted a photograph of herself with her father, the late journalist P Lankesh. ‘An absentee father most times but a wonderful teacher of life — My Appa!! Happy teachers day,’ she wrote.”
The Hindu led with a strongly worded tribute to the journalist. The article’s headline described her as -- ‘Gauri Lankesh: A firebrand journalist who never minced words’.
“In recent years, 55-year-old Gauri Lankesh was among the strongest critics of Hindutva politics in Karnataka... There were threats, defamation cases and controversies galore, but she fought them with courage. Gauri called herself an “activist-journalist” without hesitation and took up issues that went beyond her calling as a journalist and hard-hitting stories she published.”
The front page of Kolkata-based The Tribute ran with a crisp headline: ‘Hindutva baiter shot dead’.
The report said Lankesh was a journalist known for “anti-establishment views” and some activists had blamed her murder on the same forces that had “killed rationalists such as Kalburgi and Narendra Dabholkar”.
The English daily in Karnataka dedicated nearly an entire page to cover Lankesh’s murder.
‘Yet another free voice silenced in Gauri’s murder’ -- was the headline of one of the article, some of which focused on her achievements and her life.
Two years after the killing of rationalist and writer Prof M M Kalburgi, the state received a shock on Tuesday as Gauri Lankesh, a journalist who was a vocal against Hindutva brigades, was shot dead at her house.
Within two months after she stepped into the shoes of P Lankesh, her father, Gauri had transformed from a regular reporter into an editor who was not afraid of continuing the legacy of her father who left behind ‘Lankesh Patrike’, a hard-hitting tabloid.
Kannada Prabha dedicated more than half of its First Page to cover the Lankesh murder. Its lead report was headlined, ‘Kalburgi style murder of Gauri Lankesh’, and it said she was a “progressive thinker” murdered at her Bengaluru house. There was a pictorial representation of how the assailants shot dead Lankesh.
Kannada daily Vijaya Karnataka dedicated a three column space for the main report of Lankesh’s murder. The article, ‘Gauri Lankesh murdered’, featured images of a crowd outside the journalists’ residence as an ambulance takes carries body.
Another daily, Prajavani, ran with a straight headline while the sub-head said Lankesh died on the spot after two scooter-borne assailants shot her.
An obituary of Gauri Lankesh written by KS Dakshina Murthy for Hindustan Times said: ‘She was attacked, roughed up but never gave in’. Murthy’s tribute spoke of Lankesh’s “spunky” nature and her bravery in standing up to the right wing.
“When one referred to Gauri as spunky, there was good reason. She took on right-wing activists belonging to the RSS, BJP and their various fringe organisations. There was no doubt she had made a considerable number of enemies. There were times when she became the target of verbal attacks from her political opponents. She was roughed up a few times. But she never seemed to give up.”
“One thing one can say with certainty — in recent years there has been no other journalist in Karnataka with the courage to speak her mind openly, publicly without mincing words.”