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Uncertainty looms over who will run Gauri Lankesh’s tabloid

Gauri Lankesh Patrike’s editorial team, which is currently working on a commemorative issue, is unsure about who will run the paper after the journalist’s murder.

india Updated: Sep 09, 2017 07:37 IST
Vikram Gopal
Vikram Gopal
Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
Gauri Lankesh,Gauri Lankesh Patrike,Gauri Lankesh murder
At present, the Gauri Lankesh Patrike has seven employees who work out of the office in Bengaluru’s Basavanagudi area. (HT Photo)

The sight of policemen in a newsroom may seem strange but since the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh, this has become a reality in the office of the weekly tabloid she ran.

Lankesh, who ran Gauri Lankesh Patrike, was shot dead by unknown assailants when she was entering her house on Tuesday.

On Friday, the tabloid’s editorial team sat together at a desk in one corner, discussing the forthcoming issue of the paper.

There is uncertainty over the tabloid’s future and questions abound over who will run it. At present, the paper has seven employees who work out of the office in Basavanagudi area.

“We have decided to release a commemorative issue about ma’am,” said Girish Talikatte, the editor of a publication called Udyoga that was also published by the slain journalist.

The issue is set to be released at a protest meeting called “Naanu Gauri” (I am Gauri), which will be held at the Central College grounds in the city on September 12.

“We are extremely busy with the issue as we have only seven people here, two of whom are part-timers,” Talikatte said. “After that we will have to sit down with the family and take a call on the paper. But that is for another day.”

Satish, who only goes by one name, recalled his association with the family.

“I have been associated with this family from the time when I was working with Maeshtru (master, as poet and journalist P Lankesh was referred to).”

Satish has been a part of Gauri Lankesh Patrike since the family split in 2005, when Gauri fell out with her brother Indrajit who runs Lankesh Patrike.

“I met the family and they said they needed time as they were in shock,” Satish said.

“All the decisions will be taken after the commemorative issue,” he added.

At present, Satish is busy finalising the list of writers who will contribute to the 16-page issue. “We wanted the issue to be about how others viewed ma’am. We will have 500-word write-ups from writers, journalists, social activists and family members about their interactions with her,” he said.

Satish added that there were several people who wanted the paper to continue.

“A lot of well-wishers have asked us to keep publishing, but these decisions will have to wait for later,” he said.

However, Chandre Gowda, a columnist for the publication, said it was unlikely that the family would continue with the tabloid. “Even when [Gauri Lankesh] was running the tabloid, her sister [Kavita] had asked her why she was obsessed with continuing her father’s legacy,” he said.

Gowda said he was associated with the Lankesh family from 1980, when he used to write for Lankesh Patrike. “This paper eventually led to her death and I feel the family will not continue running it,” Gowda said. “I feel that sometimes the paper took an extreme position that even made me uncomfortable,” he added.

However, Shiva Sundar, a close associate of Lankesh, said the paper had to continue. “This paper was a weekly threat to Hindutva forces and they were a constant threat to her. It is just that they found an opportune time to kill her,” he said.

First Published: Sep 09, 2017 07:36 IST