Anand Patwardhan


October 5 marks one month after the murder of the journalist, rationalist and anti-communal activist, Gauri Lankesh. In the last four years, three other rationalists, Dr. Narendra Dabholkar, Comrade Pansare and Dr. M.M Kalburgi were gunned down in an almost identical manner.


In all these years, arrests have been few and convictions, nil. Does our government lack the desire to bring these murderers to book? Is the life of those who show dissent against the ideology in power, safe anymore?


After the murder of Gauri Lankesh, another journalist, Santanu Bhowmick was murdered in Mandai, Tripura. A few days ago Professor Kancha Ilaiah, an anti-caste activist and celebrated writer, narrowly escaped when 30 people made a murderous attack on his car in Telangana. We cannot wait till there are more murders. We reject the idea that the only way to remain safe is to remain silent. Silence is an insult to the memory of the fearless who chose to speak out for all of us despite the threat to their own lives. We the citizens of Mumbai, representing various organizations and individuals will meet at 6 pm on October 5, 2017 opposite Jazz by the Bay at Marine Drive, which is a regular site for Yoga by the Bay. We will exercise the same right to public space as those who do public yoga. Our public yoga will not be to develop a 56 inch chest, but to inculcate fearlessness in ourselves and others in the face of growing attacks on all those who stand for rationality, secularism and freedom of expression. We undertake to be completely peaceful and will not disturb traffic in any way. We invite you to join us in peace and love.


(These two articles are taken from the Secular Action Network, October 2017)

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