The Catholic Church of India on Wednesday strongly condemned the murder of a noted Kannada journalist, on Tuesday in Bengaluru who fought the forces of evil, hatred and corruption.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) the Karnataka Region Catholic Bishops’ Conference (KRCBC) and Karnataka United Christian Forum for Human Rights (KUCFHR) have denounced the murder of Gauri Lankesh, the editor of Lankesh Patrike , at her Raja Rajeshwari Nagar residence in Bengaluru. She was also an activist, thinker and writer. Gauri was the eldest daughter of the well-known Kannada poet-turned-journalist P Lankesh.
Reports claimed that two of the three assailants were bike-borne and followed her car to the house, while another attacker was lying in wait near her house. All three escaped from the spot.
Gauri stood up for the voiceless and even signed the petition demanding the release of the seven innocent Christians who are languishing in jail in Odisha after the 2008 riots. She believed in secular principles and actively engaged herself in the task of bringing Naxals to the mainstream.
Similarities were observed with the 2015 murder of renowned scholar MM Kalburgi, who was shot dead by two bikers who knocked on his door in Dharwad, around 400 km from Bengaluru. That killing has remained unsolved to date.
One of the slogans at — 'Yesterday it was Kalburgi, today it is Gauri, tomorrow who?' — pierced through the night sky.
Below are the full texts of the Press Release of the CBCI as well as KRCBC
6th September, 2017
Condemnation of the killing of Senior Woman Journalist, Ms. Gauri Lankesh
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India condemns strongly and unequivocally the dastardly, brutal and cowardly murder of the Senior Woman Journalist, Ms. Gauri Lankesh, Editor of the Kannada weekly, Lankesh Patrike. We salute her for the courage with which she wrote, the conviction with which she lived her life and the boldness with which she fought the forces of evil, hatred and corruption.
The murder of this versatile and brave journalist follows other crimes of hatred of recent times: the murders of Sahitya Academy Award Winner and Writer M M Kalburgi in Dharwad, thinker Govind Pansare in in Kohlapur, thinker Narendra Dabholkar in Pune, the mob lynchings by Gau Rakshaks in the name of protecting cows, political killings in Kerala and other such hate crimes.
This hatred cannot build a New India. We need love, peace and harmony and we appeal to all leaders, peoples, communities and persons in our beloved India to shun the ideologies of hatred. Let our traditional values of peace, harmony, brotherhood and tolerance prevail at all cost. Let us isolate the forces of hatred and cutting across the political, social and religious spectrum unite to build a free, democratic, secular and progressive India.
This murder comes even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi had told the nation in his Independence day speech, “Violence has no place in free India.” We join our voices to his and to the voice of Civil Society and we unify our hearts to the hearts of all those fighting hatred, caste, regional or religious bigotry and fundamentalism.
Let us remember for our New India what the father of our Nation wrote in Young India in 1925:
“By a long course of prayerful discipline, I have ceased for over forty years to hate anybody. I know that this is a big claim. Nevertheless, I make it in all humility. But I can and I do hate evil wherever it exists. My non-co-operation has its root not in hatred, but in love. My personal religion peremptorily forbids me to hate anybody. I learnt this simple yet grand doctrine when I was twelve years old through a school book, and the conviction has persisted up to now. It is daily growing on me. It is a burning passion with me.” (YI, 6-8-1925, p. 272)
The Catholic Church in India prays for peace, harmony and the victory of light over darkness, love over hatred, good over evil.
God bless India.
Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, SFX
Secretary General, CBCI
Condemnation of the killing of Ms Gauri Lankesh – Senior woman journalist
The Karnataka Region Catholic Bishops’ Conference strongly condemns the brutal and cowardly murder of Ms Gauri Lankesh, editor of the Kannada weekly Lankesh Patrike. She was a person brave and courageous , ready to express her views regarding the social situations. She wrote convincingly risking her life for the truth she held as proper and just. She joins the stalwarts like Narendra the dhabolkar, Govind Pansare, M M Kalburgi. She will be remembered forever for the courage she manifested.
Human hatred does not have any special place in new India. We need love, peace and harmony in the country and we appeal all our leaders and people to project this ideology. We stand with our Prime Minster Narendra Modi who in his Independence Day speech said “ violence has no place in free India.” Let us join together to advocate this peace and non violence in our beloved country India.
The Catholic Church along with the Archbishop and the Bishops prays for peace , harmony and non violence. We pray that the Divine Light may have its victory over the darkness prevailing. We express our deep condolences to the family of Ms Gauri Lankesh and pray that the Lord of peace may shower his plentiful blessings on them and on our beloved country India.
Most Rev. Dr. Bernard Moras,
Archbishop of Bangalore
President, Karnataka United Christian Forum for Human Rights (KUCFHR),
President, Karnataka Region Catholic Bishops’ Council (KRCBC),