Many major cities in India are erupting in protests after a senior Indian journalist, Gauri Lankesh, was gunned down at her home in the southern city of Bengaluru on Tuesday evening.
Demonstrators are expected to gather in cities of New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Pune, Thiruvananthapuram, Chennai, Dharwad and many others to protest journalists' killings.
Lankesh was shot in the head and chest Tuesday on her doorstep by motorcycle-riding gunmen. The deceased journalist had mentioned the increasing political intolerance in Karnataka as many media persons dissenting the local government has met a similar fate before her. Lankesh who received a 6-month sentence for "defaming" the local right-wing leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, BJP, was recently out on bail.
According to Alt News, several filthy cases of abuse were hurled after the journalist's death, justifying her death, mostly by a right-wing supporting Hindi news channel.
A right-wing supporter, also followed by the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi over Twitter, proclaimed on Twitter, "Jaisi karni vaisi bharni" that translates to "As you sow, so shall you reap" and in another tweet, the user said, “Hame chahiye azadi jihadiyose Jai Shree Ram,Jai Shree Ram." meaning "We need freedom from 'Jihadis,'" as he chanted a Hindu god's name.
Another Twitter user also followed by Modi and union minister tweeted, "A bitch died a dog’s death and all of her litter is crying in the same voice)" in Hindi.
"She stands for the best values of the Republic, pluralism, democracy, debate without violence. And to see someone like her shot in a city like Bengaluru in her home is devastating," renowned Indian historian, Ramachandra Guha told the Scroll.
"It is very likely that her murderers came from the same Sangh Parivar, from which the murderers of Pansare, Dabholgar, and Kalbhurgi came," he added.
In a 2015 article for The Hoot, a media watchdog website, Lankesh wrote: “We’ve made a list based on how many times the Hindutva groups spew venom on us and how strongly." Referring to the 2012 murder of journalist Linganna Satyampet, as well as the murders of Dhabolkar, Pansare, Kalburgi, whose killings have been linked to the right-wing Hindu nationalists.
"The ruling dispensation in Delhi has created a climate of hate and intolerance. Their bigotry is reinforced and enhanced by jingoistic TV channels who spread a climate of hate and discord and suspicion and demonize their opponents and call them anti-nationals," Guha said. "We are going down the route of Turkey, Bangladesh, and Pakistan."
"Gauri Lankesh stood for a different kind of India, for a tolerant, plural and caring India," the historian added.