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Gauri Lankesh was murdered

She was a target of Hindutva forces. She had spoken about this before. Yet, supporters of the government would like us to believe anything except the obvious suspects could be responsible.

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Let us say it loud and clear. Hindu terror units killed Gauri Lankesh. She opposed the RSS, the BJP and these hindutva forces and this killing is the silencing of that voice against hate politics.
B T Venkatesh
Gauri's lawyer

She was the fourth rationalist to be murdered in this manner

She was murdered at point blank range by two assassins who came on a motorcycle in a style similar to other rationalists before her. A professional hit by masked men who knew her routine enough to intercept it, came on motorcycles and fired shots and left.

The killers skills and weapon were good enough to shoot her 4 times in 15 seconds. Like the others, assassins aimed for her chest and head (Govind Pansare was hit in the chest and neck). Like the others before her, she didn't stand a chance. They were stalking her and it was a matter of time before they found her.

Additional striking similarities with murder of Prof Kalburgi

In addition to the similarties in the murders of all four rationalists, there are even more similarities between the murder of Gauri Lankesh and Prof. Kalburgi.

They were both attacked by assassins who came to their homes and attacked them there. (Dabholkar and Pansare were attacked on morning walks).

Like Kalburgi, Gauri Lankesh also was of the view that the Lingayat community was distinct from Hinduism and merited a minority status and was vocal about it. She had also written about the Lingayats in English media.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgaQv3Jmt-Yhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FF_Vx3mAFQM

So far, there is no clearly referenced Naxal threat to Gauri described other than the BJP troll factory's accusations, which are now being published in their echo chambers waiting for mainstream media to treat it "equally" with known facts.

Death threats have become a common factor

Gauri Lankesh had described the communalised atmosphere of Karnataka and threats and attacks by Hindutva forces, compared it with her father criticizing Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi.

She had come up with a list of who likely Hindutva targets were based on threats and put her own name as fourth on the list. Gauri's lawyer is categorical that she was killed by Hindutva forces.

BJP MLA Jeevaraj openly said in public that Gauri Lankesh would be alive if she hadn't written about the RSS.

What dweshbhakts want you to believe

The troll factory wants you to ignore everything above and believe that Naxals are "equally" suspect. Why? No one has an answer. No doubt, this is laying the groundwork for producing a "Naxal" somewhere. Who just happened to attack Gauri in the same manner as other rationalists.

This is a strategy they have performed successfully before too, when they trolled and bombarded a lazy media with enough invented facts that convinced them to look at the Gujarat riots in a "neutral" manner - as in, ignore direct testimonies and facts on record, BJP or Modi is no more responsible than anyone else.

The goal of dweshbhakts is to either discredit Gauri Lankesh to the point where people will not make too much noise about justice for her or to discredit those deamnding justice in order to create a perception that their demand is inconsequential and should be ignored.

Accordingly, they have come up with a lot of bullshit that is being propagated through usual troll networks

Gauri Lankesh was a "criminal"

The party that specializes in slander and organized slander as a method of attacking dissent now sees defamation - something journalists routinely get sued with - as a statement of her character as a "Criminal" - why? Probably because they already have a script for shooting criminals dead being a good thing.
She was already a target of Hindutva's favorite tactic of filing cases in various places to punish the target by being forced to travel constantly to attend them. The one case she lost, she was out on bail under appeal.

Gauri Lankesh's last name was Patrick

This, of course is an out and out justification of killing Christians as "deceptive". Minor problem with that. Either through sheer illiteracy or malice, the name of her newspaper - Gauri Lankesh Patrike, meaning Gauri Lankesh's journal has been misrepresented as "Gauri Lankesh Patrick" being her full name that she concealed in order to appear Hindu. Actually she is from the Lingayat community and BJP only is desperate to claim them as Hindus - they want minority religion status distinct from Hindus.

Gauri was a Naxal sympathizer - they kill their own

Objective of this is easy. They already have followers well trained in making accusations of being Naxal sympathizers. If this one sticks, they are on the home stretch of the propaganda war.
Well, decide. Was she a Naxal sympathizer and useful for their cause or a Naxal target? There is considerable evidence of her being a Hindu target,This appears to be copied accusations from the recent murder of an RSS activist where RSS-BJP held statewide strikes and then one of them was found to be the murderer.

Gauri Lankesh had a feud with her brother

The implication being that he must have killed her. This, to the best of anyone's knowledge is a longstanding ideological difference. Incidentally, her brother is joining BJP. So how does this rumor even let the Hindutva criminals off the hook if she was killed due to ideological differences with a brother with Hindutva leanings?
This brother is now parroting everything BJP prompts - give case to CBI, Naxal threat after saying no Naxal threat and what not.

Gauri was buried, not cremated

The fault for this actually lies solidly with the RSS and its Hindutva brainwashing that their followers have so little knowledge of Indian religions and traditions, that they don't know there are many Hindu communities that bury their dead. This would include Lingayats - the religion Gauri belonged to. But this is deliberate malicious propaganda aimed at exploiting the ignorance they nurture to trigger instant hate for her. Unless of course BJP wants to ask for Lingayat votes after saying those who bury their deads are Christians/Muslims.

Journalists didn't protest for other slain reporters

The objective is so transparent. You don't ask for justice every single time, therefore you can't expect justice in this murder. This piece of bullshit is actually from an alleged journalist examining five handles and deciding that they did not demand justice for previous cases.This is basically gibberish in the name of statistics.This was immediately and abundantly debunked using everything from proofs to education on statistics. No point adding a few hundred words here.

So, dweshbhakts, what is your damage?

How is it that unknown assailants have at their disposal the entire BJP propaganda machinery? Claims of innocence would have been so much easier to prove with simply demanding an investigation and asking killers to be punished. So why not?


What do you know that we only suspect?

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Nationwide protests

The killing of Gauri Lankesh brought about a wave of anger around the country as journalists and other citizens alike spontaneously declared protests and condelences events in over 75 locations in the country



Dozens of organizations, political parties and citizen groups have condemned the killing

Protest at Press Club, Delhi

Journalists protest at the Press Club, New Delhi. One person holds up a sign that says "Ideas are bulletproof". Many such protests have happened nationwide.

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DYFI protest at Vashi
DYFI protest at Powai against the murder of Gauri Lankesh

DYFI protested in several locations

The Democratic Youth Federation of India, who have already been protesting 4 years of lack of justice for the murder of Narendra Dabholkar took to the streets in several locations in Mumbai and Maharashtra as a whole.

Ravish Kumar at Press Club

Ravish Kumar spoke powerfully about the role of supporters of the government in justifying the murder of Gauri Lankesh and vile tweets by those followed by the Prime Minister.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tMi3F2Vj0M

Where to from here?

This is a question that must remain in our minds. Can we afford to protest a few days and be complacent? Is this not what murderers count on?

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Can we afford this?

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I am often challenged about my political views, because I am "anti-BJP". So naturally, BJP trolls imagine that I am a Congressi, or Commie or Aaptard depending on what day of the week it is, I suppose. I don't support any political party. I don't have a preference for any political ideology. I don't have any preference for economic policy - as long as it is fair and does not disadvantage citizens by class. I see India as a shared space for all citizens, but I don't insist that you must obey me. I support and oppose all political parties depending on what they are up to - with one seeming exception - the BJP. This is because I don't see BJP as a political party at all. I see it as a cartel of opportunists at best and criminals at worst depending on what is going on. In my view, they have amassed power by hook or crook, telling blatant lies and faking their way to the top and have no regard for the well being of the country whatsoever. Here are further observations toward this.

Incompetence being a virtue with Modi sarkar

Ever since the election win to now, all the appointments by Modi sarkar have had one overwhelming common factor - the people appointed are spectacularly bad for the roles they are appointed. And this is not because of a lack of good people, but because to be appointed, an important requirement is that the people do not have any particular ambition for excellence that could get in the way of compromises that would be made for profit. Even a right wing Modi supporting professional would find it necessary to object if blatant wrongs were done - it is easier for the profiteers to have incompetent people there.

The list is endless and mentioned well here, but for a quick gist - the RBI governor who would face NPAs as among his hardest challenges is Urjit Patel, who has more experience governing the GSPC defaulting on loans than paying them. With a galaxy of outstanding actors kowtowing before the government in public and even making the sort of bigotted statements that appeal to the BJP crowd, the choice for FTII was Gajendra Chauhan. Gajendra who? Exactly. Ankit Fadia, absolutely sneered at among serious hacking/coding circles for being a "script kiddie" at best - was appointed as Digital India's brand ambassador - BJP with its legions of trolls and endless website launches hardly lacked good coders. Smriti Irani who could have served the FTII better than Gajendra Chauhan at least, was chosen to be the Minister of HRD - the biggest wrongdoing by her that was attracting attention was her faking educational qualifications. As HRD Minister, she would also be overseeing education. Including that of those far more educated than her.

The list goes on and on and on, but the basic point is this, deliberately putting incompetent people in key positions is an act that harms India and it is consistently done by the BJP government to the point that there is no doubt that it is deliberate. It is an intentional undermining of India. And there is a reason. A professional who takes pride in his work is likely to take pride in governing to high standards. Also a person who is authoritative about their subject is unlikely to have the kind of blackmail triggers that BJP likely uses to create puppets for its corrupt purposes - more on that later. That makes the blatant perversion of quality in the country going on harder. For example, would an excellent professional simply nod and agree if cronies were allowed to profit from every sector they could? Would a professional agree to favor incompetent and unlicenced cronies on critical things that could result in dead people? This, I see as a direct attack on India. BJP is an absolute enemy of India in my eyes. It is not a political party merely ideologically differing with others on how India should be governed, it is an entity that has absolutely no priority of excellence for the country or even preservation.

Denial of the achievements of India

In their process of ideologically wiping out their much hated Congress, the BJP consistently defames the country. Over and over. Relentlessly. There isn't much to say here, because it is an outright falsehood, so I simply quote a disgruntled Congress supporter "If the Congress hadn't brought India from a struggling colony to the tech age, this blight (Modi-BJP) would not be inflicted on the country with their false propaganda."

Inhumanity

BJP operates through a process of dehumanization. Dehumanization is necessary in order to make people hate. No one likes to think of themselves as malicious to another human being. When they are reduced to hollow symbols of evil and stripped of all identity beyond that, it becomes possible to absolutely want the extinction of a "concept" you have been taught as harmful. The crazy buggers spewing hate on a daily basis can do that, because they have been conditioned to see anyone not BJP through various lenses that they have been taught. No one independently comes up with identical labels for any entity, because independent minds operate in diverse ways. Even all critics of BJP and Modi will have their own reasons and methods and they may even vary from subject to subject, mood or time. In contrast, those spewing hate will have very specific reasons for very specific categories of people - this is because the information provided to convince them what "reality" is, is the same.

Those who see Muslims hunting Hindu girls when a government action fails massively don't realize that they are being used to leverage nuisance value and misdirect attention from issues important to the well being of the country. It is not possible that thousands of supporters of one party alone actually have seen Muslims target women and others haven't. But they have been told so many times and in such convincing ways, that the stories they are told become real to them. Then all it takes is for whoever is controlling the propaganda to trigger the outrage when needed. Earlier it used to be subtle. Private groups and whatsapp and such. Now it is in the open, with most news channels discussing the demonetisation and other news of importance to the country, the Republic was busy broadcasting a victimhood narrative. Hindu khatare mein hai! The programmed trigger for bhakts to start attacking people who are not BJP for whatever latest threat has been announced.

With BJP getting less than a third of the votes, this basically targets the vast majority of the country for bullying with various labels and insults. This is basically creating a culture of cruelty and the only people benefitting are the leaders and cronies of BJP - even the supporters will actually lead less satisfying relationships because their minds are constantly bombarded with behavioral triggers to be intolerant. Such a mind finds the world divided into two types of people - those in agreement and those not. And it does not stop with the online world of politics. Once conditioned to be inhuman to those who disagree, the mind will tend to react in such a manner to all disagreement. Quality of life and relationships will be considerably undermined, unless they manage to live among people who always agree with them.

The profiteering cartel that is BJP

It is hard to find a single large group of people - particularly people with criminal leaders or members that is not affiliated with the BJP. This is not an accident. BJP has gone around collecting people - regardless of political ideology - to support them electorally. It appears that being a criminal is actually preferred - possibly so BJP has CBI investigation blackmail leash. There are businesses exploiting the resources of the country with no checks and balances in sight. Various godmen are undercutting established manufacturers on prices and cornering markets - not because their quality is better, but because their business being religion, is tax free - even inferior quality FMCG products. Entire monopolies are being created. Crazy godmen are sheltered from law in return for votes from their massive followings. Even a "corrupt Congressi" like Nilekani has been able to impose his globalist scam of Aadhaar with far more impunity with this cartel than he ever could with the Congress in rule and acting on public demands for committees and such (even though the Congress is no innocent). Politicians accused of crimes and corruption by BJP have switched parties to join the BJP and in many instances contest on seats and win. It is a cartel of criminals and profiteers becoming a monolith and giving each other impunity. And this too has been dishonest. Economically disadvantaged groups were exploited for electoral profit and discarded after winning. Bharatiya Majdoor Sangh - the labour wing of the RSS has suffered like all other labourers in the country and protested and objected and complained with no interest from the government whatsoever in improving the conditions of workers.

The Swabhimani Shetkari Sangh representing farmers in Maharashtra has withdrawn support for the BJP after three years of farmers being betrayed by them after being elected. They had vigorously protested the cattle slaughter ban as well. To no avail. The rapist godman Ram Rahim who was affiliated with the BJP, whose supporters were allowed to amass and intimidate the High Court prior to his verdict were dumped once he was convicted and became a political liability. Other rapists are still enjoying protection as long as they hand the votes over to BJP. Today after fifty kinds of "reasons for demonetisation" dodges, Arun Jaitley admitted, as this blog had immediately pointed out among many others, that the demonetisation was done to encourage the country to move to digital payments. Yes, you hear that right. The finance minister of the country had absolutely no problem with an economic assault on the country that devastated lives and livelihoods - to promote payment products.

There is no resemblance to a political party. There is no attempt whatsoever to represent the interests of the people. This is why I say I am politically completely neutral. I am anti-BJP because I am anti-criminal cartels. I don't see them as a party. It doesn't walk, talk or act like a party, therefore to me it isn't one.

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Big moral question these days, this business of who a legitimate citizen of India is. As fate would have it, as the super-Hindu government fucks up over and over, Muslims are among those who shine. Given the kind of publicity they get, one would imagine that Muslims are the sole saviors of India - almost as a corollary to the Hindutva government in the state being its current biggest clusterfuck. Of course, it isn't true. How a person responds when they see another in a moment of need is more about them as people than their religion. Of course, when callous disregard for human life is the norm, it seems like a dramatic flourish to show the actions of the biggest targets as worthier than those targeting them.

A few days ago, we saw the ruling party's considerable voice be misused to persecute a doctor who did his best to contain the damage of a massive crisis born of criminal negligence in Gorakhpur's Baba Raghav Das medical college. It is hardly the case that he was the only staff the hospital had, but he acted well under pressure and was appreciated by the distraught parents. Yesterday, in the aftermath of yet another clusterfuck emerging from the sheer incompetence and negligence of the Hindutva government in the center, saints injured in the Utkal Express accident managed to tell media that if it were not for Muslims, they would have died. One wonders at the saints who managed to notice the religion of their saviors even in the face of death.

In many ways, what is happening is clear. Uncomfortable with the unfair attitudes toward Muslims, those who see them for the hate speech that they are, are trying to shame the Hindutva supremacists into seeing that those they support are responsible for deaths due to incompetence and neglect over and over, while the Muslims they like to find fault with are saving lives within those tragedies too. There is a catch. Hindutva extremists do not feel shame if it is pointed out that they made false accusations about Muslims. They make false accusations about Muslims routinely and on purpose. One would imagine that this works toward acknowledging the "other side" of Muslims, but in reality, it elevates absurd nonsense to the respect of an argument made in a logical debate that requires answering.

Now here is the problem. In acknowledging the "other side", you end up legitimizing the nonsensical and rabid first side. This is a mirror of the technique that was used to whitewash Modi from the "butcher of Gujarat" to "Vikas purush". Tenders on Gujarat government funds for reporting "news" that showcased the "development" in Gujarat - public funds openly used for paid news, while ignoring its ongoing horrendous human development aspects. Then trolls were unleashed to target individual journalists and dissenting voices with these pieces of propaganda in hand to "prove" that critics of Modi were showing only "one side" of the picture. Cornered over and over, the journalists started exerting caution about what they said on social media. They started being carefully "neutral" and "including the other side" of the story to avoid being called out in public by angry e-mobs.

Of course, it is a head fake. There is no "other side" to hatred being wrong. There is no "other side" to crimes being wrong. There is no such thing as "putting your finger in an electrical socket is bad, but you can do it on Tuesdays and it won't harm". The Hindutva right invents these "other sides" out of thin air at convenience.

But faced with a barrage of propaganda, many were fooled into thinking Modi was innocent and targeted by vested interests. Surely all his desperate pleas to show Gujarat's prosperity were the signs of a man sincerely into development? Well, we saw the sincerity about development over the last three years first hand. Random people were put up to promise grand "deals" in Vibrant Gujarat summits and the lack of the deals materializing wasn't reported. Carefully concerted media efforts ensured that the fake news plants out-shouted the expose and prevailed.

Today, we have the opposite. Where that was an effort to cover up reality, after this government came to power, what we see is an effort to invent a reality - where only those loyal to the BJP have a right to live in India. Everyone else can go to Pakistan. Intoxicated on dreams of disenfranchising people they dislike, bhakts couldn't care less if nothing useful is actually delivered to them. The intoxication of power over another's safety means they are important people, right? Supporting the right man, so they are important people. They decide who has permission to live in India and who doesn't.

Every day the Muslims prove themselves worthy of belonging to the country they were born. "Jeene do becharon ko, kisi ki jaan bachayenge kal." Hindutva's biggest supremacist achievement. A default of half the country as being unworthy of belonging in the country for some reason or the other. If detesting the ruling party were enough to strip someone of citizenship, India would have become Hindutva free in the 60 years of Congress rule they keep harping about. It is fine to detest the government and you are still an Indian with complete right to being in this country. What is going on is basically thugs trying to attack people and make them flee.

"Muslims are a threat to Hindus!"

Strive to show how they save lives and establish the norm by submitting exceptions to scrutinize.

"Dalits are unworthy"

Showcase their achievements or competence and prove it by providing exceptions to the rule.

The TV channels that served by looking the other way are now serving by scrutinizing the targets of one political party that has never ruled India for any significant period and pretending it is the whole of India.

This too is a head fake. And the more you engage with it, the more you feed it, the more it grows. There is no such thing as Muslims being inherently criminal. There is no such thing as dalits being inherently unclean. It is all the propaganda of supremacists trying to disenfranchise everyone except themselves to become the biggest bullies on the block. The answer to this isn't posting links about individual Muslims for them to peer at and go, "ok, this one may be all right, but most Muslims are criminals". The answer isn't posting links about dalit achievements so that they can go "ok, this one may be clever, but otherwise they are too stupid to achieve anything on merit". There is no actual argument here that you are refuting. It is the chest thumping of bullies forcing you to play by their rules.

Sure, admire Muslims if they do something good, just like you'd admire Hindus or anyone else, but admire them for their deeds, not an accident of birth for being born into a specific religion and thus serving as a convenient example to answer a fictitious requirement. Admire the work of dalits for its own sake. There is no need to "prove" their worthiness. There is nothing inherently unworthy about them. I'll tell you why.

When you point out individual examples like rare gems, you're seeing the gems, but it is also an unintended "rare" being conveyed. There is nothing rare about Muslims being nice people or dalits achieving something. They are people, just like everyone else. They have their good, bad, achievers, good-for-nothings and everything in between. Don't fall for this nonsense and start proving that they have good qualities, as though if they didn't, their dienfranchisement was right.

Get this straight. There is no quality control test for remaining a legitimate citizen. A citizen is a legitimate citizen no superior or inferior to other citizens unless there is a formal procedure revoking the citizenship. Just look at the chest thumping monuments to proud refusal to coexist - would they qualify as good members of any place that wanted to stay whole? If they are citizens without a problem, why would people minding their own business not be?

No one has to deserve being a citizen. Just look at all the privileged idiots proudly showcasing ignorance and bigotry and still citizens. It isn't only meritorious dalits or life-saving Muslims who need respect. All citizens are equal under law and they all have same value.

Don't let anyone fool you into thinking otherwise. There is nothing to prove here.

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Where is the secular and liberal voice of India being lost? Why is India increasingly being toward paranoid insecurity over coexistence?

This trip to Delhi is turning out to be interesting. For that matter this whole past week has been interesting. The has been yet another flutter of panic in our oh so refined conscience about the appalling rise of BJP.

These moments come and go, I have seen. They are quite entertaining for the opportunity to make sarcastic tweets at something ugly. In terms of utility, they are pretty much meaningless, even counterproductive. Impotent outage by opponents is the true mark of victory to a cult of power.

Yeah, so a thug has found recognition. Or rather what is perceived as a new level of thug. So?

People are agitated. BJP has fooled the masses with fake news, polarising rumours and likely EVM rigging.

And this is news because...?

Can anyone honestly say that the BJP has done anything differently? All this was known. There were no indications that winning tactics would be dropped over some sudden discovery of ethics. So what is the new outrage?

Part of it is that we are unsettled by this rise. Mirza Waheed remarked on twitter "@Vidyut  Three years is all it's taken. It's chilling what how much the far right has achieved."

While i think it has been much longer than three years, what I said spontaneously then is my belief.


And yet it is not so simple. If, as Arundhati Roy famously put it, the middle and upper classes have seceded to the stratosphere, it is also true that the intellectuals have seceded to an intellectual stratosphere. Sadly, the financial stratosphere pays the bills, while the intellectual stratosphere can only form clubs of like minded people.

And of course, the vast majority of people has access to neither stratosphere.

The challenge for the intellectual elite today, is to learn to implement the egalitarianism they allegedly believe in.

How is it that they apparently have views that are empowering and progressive and yet primitive propaganda succeeds in pitting citizens against each other in what amounts to a tribal war conducted with votes? It cannot be that the right wing has extraordinary intelligence or communication skills. So where does the thinking fail? Is it really true that people would prefer an existence of paranoia and hostility over one of secure coexistence?

That doesn't sound right. After all, the basis of civilisation itself is a need for a guarantee of secure co-existence. The Hindu rashtra, with its model of every street thug ruling his own kingdom with impunity is not sustainable even if it grew unopposed and there was consensus on wanting a religious state. Yogi Adityanath is not an accident. He is the product of impunity being a norm.

But it will be a long time before such a model fails. Too long to be of relevance to the well-being of a county. This is recognised by the intellectual elite. But not by the masses.

So what are the missing parts? Where is secular thought falling to include the people it aims to include?

I have several views on this and will be blogging further to present them over coming months.

For now, I leave you readers with this question. Why is it that the fundamental principles of shared citizenship are being discarded so rapidly in favour of moves that disenfranchise a section of the population?

Make no mistake, the rules being broken get broken for the security of all -broken is broken- even though the temptation right now is the targeting of some.