The JNUTA expresses its shock, anguish, and outrage at the murder of Gauri Lankesh, a renowned senior journalist and editor of the Gauri Lankesh Patrike, and exemplary defender of the Indian Constitution, civil liberties and human rights.
In this university’s hour of need last year, Gauri Lankesh’s voice rang out clear and strong in support and solidarity. Today that voice of reason, passion, imbued with a deep faith in Constitutional values, has been silenced by a murderer’s bullets. We join our voices with the thousands that now ring out in strong condemnation of this assassination, this most extreme form of censorship. That this ghastly murder of a woman journalist whose only weapons were a pen, the courage of her convictions, and the optimism of will, has been celebrated by even a handful of Indians shows how many more people like Gauri Lankesh, M.M. Kalburgi, Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare we need in our country today.
It is time for all citizens to vigorously defend the right to freedom of expression everywhere, and in words and deeds assert their inalienable right to speak, to espouse causes, to listen, to disagree and to dissent, to convince others, to change hearts and minds.
In the wake of Gauri Lankesh’s gruesome murder, JNUTA is aware of the heightened responsibility of teachers in general, and JNU teachers in particular, in creating a society and a citizenry that is humane, just, critical and informed, committed to the values of secularism and the annihilation of caste, and arraigned against the politics of hate and bigotry.
At this time of national anger and despair, and in tribute to the memory of Gauri Lankesh, the JNU Teachers Association renews its commitment to shouldering this responsibility.
Ayesha Kidwai Pradeep Shinde
President General Secretary