What is murder? Murder can be defined as “the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another”. But is that all it is? Murder is a word very commonly used today. We read it in newspapers and hear it on the news almost everyday. We have been using it so carelessly that we have forgotten it’s true meaning. Of what it means beneath the mere obliteration of life.

Recently we Indians have all come to know about the savage murder of the acclaimed journalist Gauri Lankesh which managed to shock the country itself. It evoked widespread protests and outrage but also turned into a feast for the bloodthirsty news media.

Why was Gauri Lankesh killed? Just because she dared to voice her opinions? Because she had the guts to stand for what was right and to point out the faults and injustices of the society? Is this what our country has come to these days? Murder for daring to speak the truth, for pointing out what was glaringly obvious.

Her murder does not simply signify the death of a person. It shows the extent to which our country has ‘progressed’ in the recent years. It shows us how we will be treated if we dare to stand for what is right.

What was the crime that Gauri had done? That she raised her voice and stood for what she believed in? That she protested against injustice and corrupt politics? The right to express our opinions is one of the most basic human rights. And today our country has reached a stage where people are being killed for exercising their rights.

The murder also points out the heavy hand that religion has in politics and how we have arrived at a stage where we have to fear our rulers. Gauri compared our current political climate to Nazi Germany and the killers who are said to be Hindu Extremists have managed to prove her right with her death. But that is the state we have come to. Her point which was so accurate could only be proved with her death

Gauri Lankesh’s murder has managed to capture our attention but for how long? Hasn’t it turned into just another ‘sensational news’ that will soon fade from the interests of the news media and eventually from our minds too? There has been a news story doing the rounds for quite a few months which we Keralites have been following meticulously, the Dileep case. The news story of an actor who is charged with planning and executing a molestation attack against a fellow actress.  That story is considered as one of the top news these days by the media and the people alike. But doesn’t the Gauri Lankesh murder have the same graveness, if not more, that the other case has?

We have come to the point where it is not news that the media broadcasts. It is simply a story that can be sold. The story of the murder of an innocent woman which will soon enough be replaced by the next story that can be sold to greater extents.

But even amongst all the controversies and conspiracy theories, Gauri Lankesh’s murder has indeed managed to rouse the  people from their stupor. Her death has rekindled the fire that was long dead in our society. The death of the woman who stood for the common folk has prised the people from their shells. We can see widespread protests in various parts of the country. In educational institutions, in workplaces, in public venues, among the young and old alike.

It is indeed a sad fact that only such a gruesome murder could unite the people of India. But let us be heartened by the fact that the masses have awakened and we, the country as a whole, has started to realize its true potential and and what we are truly capable of.

~Sithara ⭐



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