The cold-blooded murder of Gauri Lankesh, the 55-year-old editor who was seen as a vocal opponent of Hindutva oppression has been deeply resented by all factions of the society who see this gruesome act as a telling example of rising intolerance for dissent in our country.
The incident has triggered a war of words on social media and escalated to the extent of blocking PM Narendra Modi on Twitter, on the pretext that he follows, protects and encourages trolls and abusers who should be blocked by all at the first place. PM Modi who otherwise is pretty active on social media has been subject to harshest possible criticism over him remaining silent on issues which strike a deep chord among citizens. There were reports stating that some of the Twitter users who have been abusing Gauri Lankesh are followed by Narendra Modi (personal account).
As the nation is coming to terms with this horrid reality of yet another journalist, who met an undesirable end, there were those who seemed to openly express their delight over the death of a “commie”.
Nikhil Dadhich, a garments manufacturer/Hindu nationalist from Surat, wasted no time in declaring sans any shame the following distasteful words: “Ek kuttiya kutte ki maut kya mari, saare pille ek sur mein bilbila rahe hain (It took a bitch to die a dog’s death, for all pups to howl in the same tune). Nikhil’s statement may have been easily ignored as the ramblings of an apathetic, media-hating, Left-hating, Narendra Modi fan, but for a tiny detail. Prime Minister Narendra Modi reads his toxic tweets.
Dadhich was not the only one of the “amazing” band of people who the PM follows from his Twitter handle, who has tweeted disgusting things about Lankesh post her death. Ashish Singh, an IIT Bombay and IIMP alumnus, a supposed “political strategist and cartoonist” and a Hindu Narendra Modi supporter, tweeted, “Jaisi karni, waisi bharni (you reap what you sow)”, quoting a tweet about the murder, and “After Burhan Wani Gauri lankesh also killed how sad” from his account that is followed not just by the prime minister but also by Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Union minister for law and justice, and Vijay Goel, the former minister of state (MoS) for sports and the present MoS for parliamentary affairs, reported Alt News
Jagrati Shukla, a journalist herself who has been called out in the past for derogatory tweets against Dalits, seemed apathetic to the death of a colleague as she tweeted, “So, Commy Gauri Lankesh has been murdered mercilessly. Your deeds always come back to haunt you, they say. Amen.”
Yet another person happily justifying the murder of Lankesh. As it turns out, Shukla was not the only journalist who channelled this apathy. Vishweshwar Bhat, the editor-in-chief of Vishwavani Daily and former officer on special duty (OSD) to BJP MP Ananth Kumar called Lankesh a “Naxal sympathiser” while tweeting about her death.