New Delhi: The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) has condemned “the dastardly, brutal and cowardly” murder of the senior journalist, Gauri Lankesh, editor of the Kannada weekly, Lankesh Patrike on September 5 in Bengaluru.
“We salute her for the courage with which she wrote, the conviction with which she lived her life and the boldness with which she fought the forces of evil, hatred and corruption,” the CBCI said in a press release.
The murder of this versatile and brave journalist follows other crimes of hatred of recent times: the murders of Sahitya Academy Award Winner and Writer M M Kalburgi in Dharwad, thinker Govind Pansare in in Kohlapur, thinker Narendra Dabholkar in Pune, the mob lynchings by Gau Rakshaks in the name of protecting cows, political killings in Kerala and other such hate crimes.
This hatred cannot build a New India, the press release signed by Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, CBCI general secretary, said adding that “We need love, peace and harmony” in the country.
The CBCI appealed to all leaders, peoples, communities and persons to shun the ideologies of hatred.
The bishops called for traditional values of peace, harmony, brotherhood and tolerance to prevail at all cost.
“Let us isolate the forces of hatred and cutting across the political, social and religious spectrum unite to build a free, democratic, secular and progressive India,” they added.
This murder comes even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi had told the nation in his Independence Day speech that , “Violence has no place in free India.”
“We join our voices to his and to the voice of Civil Society and we unify our hearts to the hearts of all those fighting hatred, caste, regional or religious bigotry and fundamentalism.”
The press release reminded what Mahatma Gandhi wrote in Young India in 1925 that, “By a long course of prayerful discipline, I have ceased for over forty years to hate anybody. I know that this is a big claim. Nevertheless, I make it in all humility. But I can and I do hate evil wherever it exists. My non-co-operation has its root not in hatred, but in love. My personal religion peremptorily forbids me to hate anybody. I learnt this simple yet grand doctrine when I was twelve years old through a school book, and the conviction has persisted up to now. It is daily growing on me. It is a burning passion with me.” (YI, 6-8-1925, p. 272)