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ICC Note:

The Bishops’ Conference of India has condemned the murder of well-known journalist Gauri Lankesh, editor of the weekly magazine Kanada Lankesh Patrike. As a journalist, Gauri was a staunch critic of the ruling BJP-led government and its Hindu nationalist ideologies. Recently, she was given a six month jail sentence for her critical writings of a head BJP leader. As a leader in the media, many believe she was killed for her stand against the wave of Hindu nationalism spreading across India. 

09/08/2017 India (Asia News) – The Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) forcefully and unequivocally condemned the brutal, cowardly murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh, editor of the weekly magazine Kanada Lankesh Patrike.

In a statement signed by CBCI Secretary-General, Msgr. Theodore Mascarenhas, the Catholic bishops spoke out against the assassination of Gauri, an independent journalist and voice of Indian democracy, well-known for her critical positions against the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party. She was shot dead earlier this week, while returning home, and left in a pool of blood.

The bishops’ text reads: “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 statement continues, arguing that “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.”

Bishop Mascarenhas added that, “This hatred cannot build a New India. We need love, peace and harmony and we appeal to all leaders, peoples, communities and persons in our beloved India to shun the ideologies of hatred. Let our traditional values of peace, harmony, brotherhood and tolerance 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.”

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