The courageous journalist Faye D’Souza says, there was an attempt by the fascist elements to change the famous phrase of journalism that ‘pen is mightier that sword’ to say ‘gun is mightier than pen’. From the time immemorial, the voices of dissent were not appreciated. Many a times, it was killed. In the recent past of our country, 4 such eminent voices (many more unknown voices will be there) lost their lives. Dabholkar, Pansare, kalburgi….and now Gauri Lankesh had the courage to stand against what they realized was wrong. Now it is the time to see whether gun or pen is mightier? What would be the response from a larger community? What would be the response from the specific community of journalists? With the advent of internet and social media, many other citizens who feel pained at such situations have the privilege to take up the pens to write.
We should protest against the killing of eminent journalist Gauri Lankesh, but it shouldn’t stop there. She became a martyr upholding the values of our constitution. What should be the response of our larger society?
- Appreciate/Accept dissent in families, communities and societies. See the positives in them, instead of suppressing them always.
- Teachers & those who have a role in forming young minds should encourage critical thinking.
- Teach citizens to know the difference between facts and opinions that lesser number of people buy the fascist ideologies.
- Read and promote newspapers, magazines, online portals who have the guts to say the truth. They may not get great revenues from the advertisements of big companies, but can we support them in our own limited ways.
- Let us re-awaken our political consciousness. Let us not vote for people just because s/he is from religion/caste/community/ideology. We want politicians who seek development of all (not a minority-whatever that minority is). We want elected people who accepts dissent. We want our representatives to work for a just society.