"Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech" – Benjamin Franklin.
A country's democratic structure is determined by the strength, the power, and freedom of media. No doubt media is one of the essential pillars upon which lies the development and growth of the country.
One of the brightest and most critically acclaimed journalist and social activist, who was allegedly shot dead outside her house was – Gauri Lankesh.
Gauri Lankesh was well known for her outspoken and outright attitude, all her life she advocated for press freedom. She also had many times, voiced her opinions and criticism for communal politics and the caste system.
Gauri Lankesh was born on 29th January 1982, in a Kannad Lingayat family. Palya Lankesh, her father, was a poet journalist, who was also the founder of the famous "Lankesh Patrike” a Kannad weekly and Gauri started working as the editor here. After her father's death in 2000, she started her own weekly “Gauri Lankesh Patrike."
She believed that freedom of the press was essential for building a free and modern India. Gauri Lankesh started as her career as a journalist for The Times Of India, Banglore.
During the 2014 general elections when her excellent friend Prakash Belawadi joined the Bhartiya Janata Patry (BJP) as the official media advisor, Gauri Lankesh was so against it that she broke her 35-year-old friendship with him.
In November 2016, in a defamation case, she was fined Rs10,000 and sentenced a prison term for six months. The case had been filled by Umesh Dushi and Pralahad Joshi, BJP leaders under defamation for an article which she wrote on 23rd January 2008, where she had accused them of cheating a jeweler for Rs 100,000 although brail was granted for her.
In March 2017, she had reported that she had been receiving death threats due to her open critics for the right-winged forces, and it was on 5Th September 2017 that she was shot outside her house by unknown assailants. Just a few hours before her death, she had tweeted and had raised some issues regarding the fake news propaganda that had been engulfing the mass population of our country.
After her death, in October 2017 she was bestowed honor with Anna Politkovskaya Award for her efforts for woman's rights, the campaign against the caste system discrimination and her voice against the right-wing Hindu extremist.
“I will do what I can and say what I should. These intolerant voices find strength in our silence. Let them learn to argue using words instead of threats.” – Gauri Laneksh