ASIA/INDIA - A Jesuit: "India must be united in the defense of pluralism, against emerging violent forces"

Wednesday, 13 September 2017 human rights   religious minorities   social communications   violence   hinduism   extremism   women  

Bangalore (Agenzia Fides) - "The premeditated murder of Gauri Lankesh is an unprecedented offense to the nation and causes rage, shock, and sadness. Gauri represented the best of a free and fearless India that respects the rights of its citizens, that celebrates pluralism and, above all, defends the highest values of democracy. Gauri had the courage to denounce the Hindu extremist forces of Sangh Parivar. She considered the system of castes unfair, fought for the emancipation of women, for the poor and marginalized, against all forms of injustices": said to Agenzia Fides the Indian Jesuit Fr. Cedric Prakash, currently engaged in the Jesuit Refugee Service, referring to the assassination of Indian journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh, killed on September 5 in Bangalore by unidentified hired assassins. The woman was known for her critical positions toward Hindu nationalism and extremism.
Fr. Prakash notes that, despite the serious loss, "not all is lost": "Gauri's murder has provoked great indignation in society and has brought together women and men from every community, religion, and social class who have announced demonstrations and public meetings in many important Indian cities. On September 12 more than 50,000 people gathered in Bangalore to protest the killing of Gauri, exalting 'Long Life to Gauri'. This visible and loquacious unity must continue".
Gauri's assassination, notes the Jesuit, shows that those who killed her are cowards, since in anonymity they killed a disarmed woman; have the strength and money to eliminate anyone who does not accept their fascist agenda; they are afraid of the truth, of honest and courageous people like Gauri; they seek alibi and foment division in society; they despise the rights and freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution of India". Moreover Fr. Prakash recalls the "trolling and poisoning that overwhelmed Gauri in social media by supporters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi".
Fr. Prakash concludes: "Gauri believed in the Constitution of India and was passionately defending the rights of Indian citizens. Even if they killed her, Gauri's spirit will not die. The greatest tribute that one can offer this courageous woman is to ensure that her legacy never dies and that everything will be done to protect democracy and pluralism in our beloved country". (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 13/9/2017)