[Marxism] The silence of the lambs

Marla Vijaya kumar marlavk at yahoo.com
Fri Sep 8 08:21:22 MDT 2017

Louis,          Please tell me how can I attach a link. It is problematic, I know. But the news of her killing is very disturbing. I had met her in March when I was in Bangalore to speak in a meeting organised by City intellectuals. I don't know whose turn is next, but the Left is determined to fight it out.Vijaya Kumar Marla

      From: Louis Proyect via Marxism <marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu>
 To: marlavk at yahoo.com 
 Sent: Friday, September 8, 2017 7:08 PM
 Subject: Re: [Marxism] The silence of the lambs
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On 9/8/17 8:45 AM, Marla Vijaya kumar via Marxism wrote:
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> In India, RSS had become bold enough to eliminate anyone who raises a voice against the, and declare publicly that she was killed because she had criticised the Hindu Fundamentalists. India is on its leg of Democracy, it seems.From silence to speech
>  From silence to speech
>  Those who want to silence dissent are trying to force people into making the reverse journey  |  |
>  From silence to speechThose who want to silence dissent are trying to force people into making the reverse journey
> Written by Shashi Deshpande | Published:September 8, 2017 12:15 amVijaya Kumar Marla

Vijaya, your message had formatting problems and you failed to supply a 

For background on the murder of an anti-Modi journalist:

NY Times, Sept. 7 2017
In India, Another Government Critic Is Silenced by Bullets

NEW DELHI — Gauri Lankesh, one of India’s most outspoken journalists, 
was walking into her house on Tuesday night.

It was around 8. The night was warm. She was alone.

As she stepped through her gate, just feet from her front door, several 
gunshots rang out.

She was killed instantly in what political opposition officials say 
appears to be yet another assassination of an intellectual who publicly 
criticized India’s governing party and the Hindu agenda it has pursued. 
In recent years, at least three other anti-establishment activists have 
been silenced by bullets.

Ms. Lankesh’s death, which monopolized television news coverage on 
Wednesday, set off protests across India, a country increasingly 
polarized by supporters of the Hindu nationalist governing party and its 

Some of Mrs. Lankesh’s friends say they have no idea who killed her. But 
among government opponents, the circumstances of the shooting fueled 
suspicions that governing party backers, emboldened by their leaders to 
wipe out their enemies, were behind it.

“Anybody who speaks against the RSS/BJP is attacked & even killed,’’ 
Rahul Gandhi, an opposition leader, said in a Twitter message. (R.S.S. 
is a Hindu organization that is closely connected to India’s governing 
Bharatiya Janata Party.) “They want to impose only one ideology which is 
against the nature of India.”

Nitin Gadkari, a cabinet minister, said the accusation was “baseless” 
and “false.” The governing party and its affiliates, he said, had “no 
relation to the murder of Gauri Lankesh.”

Ms. Lankesh, 55, would rarely back down from a fight, but was also known 
for her humorous touch.

Rana Ayyub, a friend and fellow writer, said that the last time they 
spoke, about a month ago, Ms. Lankesh was furiously flipping through a 
dictionary, trying to figure out the proper pronunciation of 
“nincompoop.” (She planned to use the word against her critics.)

“She was fighting a very unpopular battle with the right wing of 
India,’’ Ms. Ayyub said, “but she had this ability to convert everything 
into satire.”

Many people, though, did not find it funny. Ms. Ayyub said Ms. Lankesh 
had received death threats every day, far too many to count, from 
different sides of the political equation. Those, too, she did not take 
seriously, Ms. Ayyub said.

“She didn’t have the faintest idea that somebody could pop bullets into 
her,’’ Ms. Ayyub said.

Ms. Lankesh, who lived by herself in Bengaluru, in southern India, was 
known as a “rationalist’’ — a term in India for people who stand against 
superstition and the use of religion in politics.

Lately, the rationalists have been pretty busy. Some followers of 
India’s governing party have attacked Muslims and pushed a hard-line 
Hindu agenda. But many Indians don’t share this outlook and have tried 
to fight back, arguing that India is losing its multicultural identity 
and becoming more of a one-party, Hindu state.

The three other activists killed in a somewhat similar manner in the 
past four years had also opposed the rise of hard-line Hinduism.

The daughter of a celebrated poet, Ms. Lankesh was the editor of a 
self-named weekly magazine. She wore her silver hair short and favored 
long shirts and jeans. She specialized in feminist politics and 
literature, and lashed out at politicians of all stripes. She was 
sometimes criticized for showing some sympathy to Maoist rebels who have 
operated in India for years and destabilized large parts of the center 
of the country.

Leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party had been annoyed with Ms. Lankesh 
for years and sued her for defamation. The first court to hear the case 
convicted her and sentenced her to six months in prison last year, but 
she was granted bail while the case was on appeal.

S. N. Sinha, president of India’s 28,000-member journalist union and a 
member of a news oversight council, said the council had gotten many 
complaints about Ms. Lankesh. “She used to write very strongly,” Mr. 
Sinha said. “We warned her she has to be a little careful in her 
writing. It wasn’t the content; it was her language.”

On Monday, the day before she was killed, she shared a post on her 
Facebook page that was written by someone else. “The RSS is the 
terrorist organization,” it read.

But Mr. Sinha was not among Ms. Lankesh’s critics. A free press is taken 
very seriously in India, especially now, he said.

“It’s getting very stressful,” Mr. Sinha said. “The followers of the 
ruling class don’t accept any questioning. They just want you to say 
what they do is good. If you question them, they don’t accept that.”

Police officials have released little information about Ms. Lankesh’s 
killing. They say she was shot at point-blank range with a high-caliber 
pistol as she entered her yard in Bengaluru. Neighbors found her dead 
from several gunshots to the head and chest, lying on the ground between 
the front gate and her veranda. Some witnesses reported hearing the 
sound of a motorcycle or scooter right after the shots.

In an interview on television, her brother said the authorities had told 
him that security cameras had captured images of the killer riding up on 
a motorcycle and firing. The killer’s face was obscured by a motorcycle 

On Wednesday, as Ms. Lankesh was given a state funeral, journalists, 
activists and students poured into the streets of Bengaluru, Kolkata, 
Hyderabad, New Delhi and other cities to express their outrage.

Some people shook their fists and chanted slogans. Others marched 
quietly, with candles, holding up large pictures of Ms. Lankesh.
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