The rising forces of religious extremism, intolerance, and lawlessness in India inflicted a terrible casualty this week: They slayed my dear friend, Gauri Lankesh, the nation’s bravest and fiercest journalist.

If a country’s moral health is to be judged by its capacity to handle dissenters and critics, then my birth land — and the world’s most populous democracy — is in a truly dark place.

Gauri was gunned down by unknown assailants outside her home in Bangalore, India’s equivalent of Silicon Valley, as she stepped out of her car. Reports suggest that her assassins were lurking outside her driveway awaiting her return from work. They sprayed her small frame in a hail of bullets and sped away.

Unfortunately, she is not the first Indian journalist to be murdered so gruesomely — or brazenly. It is not clear who was behind the attack, but at least three of her “spiritual” brothers who, like her, spoke out against the alarming growth of Hindu militancy and shrinking secularism have been likewise struck near their homes in the last few years. None of the murders have been solved, something that distressed Gauri to no end — not …read more

Source:: The Week – World

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