What is happening to our democratic motherland? You can’t eat what you want, you can’t marry whom you want, you can’t say what you want, it will cost you your life if you speak the truth. Freedom of the press is a forgotten expression, stalkers and killers will be after you as soon as you have exposed some injustice that is harming the country. Are we frightened by the raw blood thirst of the powers that be?

Are we crumbling under its weight? After the murders of Kalburgi, Pansare and Dabholkar, the intellectuals of India from the East to the West expressed their anger. But did it have any impact on those who were destroying the democratic structure of our country? If it had, GauriLankesh would be still among us, alive and writing. Does it mean that an Indian national committed to liberal values no longer has the right to live? Will she be silenced forever, for simply giving voice to what she feels is the truth about her country? For crying out against the dangers of obscurantism and intolerance? Will it cost her her life?

Plenty of anxiety and anger have been expressed by the common people and by different groups like the All India Democratic Women's Association, the Editors’ Guild of India, Indian Women's Press Club, and many more. There are street demonstrations all over the country. But we can clearly see that nothing is enough. It is the need of the hour to continue our vigil against the silencing of a fearless voice that spoke out against injustice and violence.

Murdering and activist-journalist sincerely devoted to her ideals of tolerance is a horrendous crime against the democratic rights of the Indian people. Like the three previous murders of three freethinkers,will the criminals guilty of this shameful murder go unpunished?

The members and the friends of Soi Creative Women, as women professionals and as citizens of India, strongly condemn the heinous murder of Gauri. We demand full justice.

Nabaneeta Dev Sen

Nabaneeta Dev Sen is one of the best-known contemporary Bengali authors and a leading professor and scholar of Comparative Literature. She has received many honours including the Padma Shree and the National Sahitya Akademi Award. She is the founder President of Soi, Women Writers’ Association and the President of P.E.N India, West Bengal Chapter.

More posts by the author

The beliefs, views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of Soi or official policies of Soi.