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Had Gauri Lankesh Been Alive, Govt Would Have Branded Her ‘Urban Naxal’: Jignesh Mevani

A Network18 creative by Mir Suhail.

A Network18 creative by Mir Suhail.

Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani said that 14 days before her murder, Gauri Lankesh told him that the RSS was angry about her writings.

Dalit leader and independent MLA from Vadgam constituency in Gujarat, Jignesh Mevani, on Wednesday said that slain activist and journalist Gauri Lankesh was "a fearless woman who fought for the poor through her writings throughout her life’’.

“If Gauri Lankesh had been alive, government (Modi government) would have branded her as ‘urban naxal’. What Dabholkar was for Maharashtra, Lankesh was for Karnataka. On her first death anniversary, we are united against hate and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tactics to suppress the dissent voices and say that ‘We all are Gauri Lankesh,’’ said Mevani, who is currently in Bengaluru to mark her first death anniversary.

Mevani will re-launch Gauri Lankesh Patrike, a Kannada weekly that she used to edit, with a new name. The new tabloid, renamed as Nyaya Patha (path of justice) will reflect her ideology and carry forward her legacy.

Mevani stayed at Lankesh’s residence every time he visited Karnataka as she would not allow him to stay anywhere else. "She considered me her son,'' Mevani said.

Recalls his association with the fiery activist, Mevani said that exactly 14 days before her murder, the two met at her Bengaluru residence and during that conservation she told him that people from the RSS were angry about her writings.

“Back then we did not know that the right-wing people would eliminate her for raising her voice, but in today’s atmosphere, it’s become a real threat for those who do not agree with present government. Sanatan Sanstha, which has the BJP’s backing, is known to be involved in the murder of liberals and rationalists (Dabholkar and Kalburgi) in the country. At this juncture, I would say thank you to Karnataka police for cracking the Gauri Lankesh murder case and taking it to its logical conclusion and exposing the right-wing extremist agendas,’’ Jignesh Mevani alleged.

“On her first death anniversary, we vow to fight against the right-wing agendas,’ Mevani added.