Tribute to Assassinated Gauri Lankesh

BY MAHIMA SHARMA

Gauri Lankesh was a senior journalist in the southern state of Karnataka state in India, who was known to be very critical of politics that diverted from human rights and values. She was much against the Hindutva Politics being practised by the current government of India.

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Last week she was murdered in cold blood at night at her own house. Seven bullets were pumped into her body, ensuring she died on the spot. It sent a rage of protests across the nation, seeking justice for the slain journalist and activist. In fact, #IAmGauriLankesh protests are still on, pan-India as well as on Social Media which is being backed by international media as well.

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With the suspects still at large (till the last news reports), the reason behind her killing remains  unknown. Our writer Mahima Sharma happened to meet Gauri Lankesh only once, for ten minutes in New Delhi in 2007. Something Gauri taught her in that very-short meet remained with her for life. Gauri had asked Mahima, “Young girl, who do you write for?” And even before Mahima could think of an answer, pat came the next line, “Write…write for yourself, write to motivate, write for the masses, write for truth…write for a meaningful life that can glow in the darkness that surrounds us. The pen must never stop, as long as what you write is right, truth.”

Mahima in a befitting tribute to Gauri Lankesh writes as below:

“I was perhaps then too young to understand the deeper meaning of her words above. But yes, they did leave an impact on me. I had to muster courage to accept she is gone, but not her values. I had to accept that tomorrow the so-called investigation might or might not reveal the truth, but we have to move on stronger on a path that she lightened. Thus, here I pen a note, a tribute to the one and only Gauri Lankesh, who taught us all, “a mighty and truthful pen must never stop.” So mine had to restart again as well…in her honour.”

 

Mahima’s Poetic Tribute to #GauriLankesh.

 

There was something about her

An aura that enchanted us

There was everything about her

A light that guided us

 

It was a strong woman

It was a storm sitting in silence

It was a smile that knew

It could crush you with TRUTH

It was a mighty pen

That could hang you with TRUTH

 

In the dark she found light

Brighter than many could ever see

With a mighty pen she shone the dark path

Because truth was her power, her mastery.

 

“Who do you pen for”

She had asked me with a smile

“Write for Truth, write for Light”

She encouraged, leaving me in deep thoughts for a while.

 

As I set myself free

To tread a path unknown

As I set myself free

To write for Truth

Came the news of her body riddled

With bullets of the ‘unknown’

Took me a while to accept ‘the truth’

And I decided not to mourn,

Rather walk the path she had shown,

 

It took me a long time,

To develop a Voice of my own

And now that I have it,

I am not going to be Silent.

Will you join me?….

 

© Mahima Sharma

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A science graduate from Delhi University and post graduate in Mass Communication, Mahima Sharma is a senior Journalist in New Delhi, India. She began her career as a Content Writer & PR Manager with E-Lexicon PR & Mutual PR, but she found her calling at the renowned Hindustan Times Newspaper. After a couple of front-page stories at HT,  ANI-Reuters got her aboard, where she spread her wings in TV, Print & Digital Journalism. In 2010 Rajdeep Sardesai’s flagship prime-time show offered her, her dream job at CNN-IBN. From May 2017, she is a freelance journalist. A poet and Sufi, at heart, Mahima now writes for unchained passion.

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