‘Gauri Lankesh’s journalism flowed from her activism’


New Delhi, July 25 :Firebrand writer Gauri Lankesh’s journalism was “mandatory” and flowed from her activism, her former husband and author of “Illiberal India: Gauri Lankesh and the Age of Unreason” Chidanand Rajghatta said on Wednesday.

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The book (Westland/Rs 299/242 pages) examines the lives of two people — his own and that of Lankesh — against the “volatile backdrop of an increasingly fractious and intolerant India”.

“The two strands come together in the gutting death of a courageous woman who took on these forces and fought for a more equitable society, a better India,” the publisher said in a statement.

“Following in the method of previous murders of rationalists M.M. Kalburgi, Govind Pansare and Narendra Dabholkar, Lankesh’s murder chilled the nation, sparking off protests across India,” it said, adding that the larger forces that killed these four activists continue to grow.

Saying Lankesh was working close to the ground, the author of this personal-is-political narrative added that she became an activist-journalist from a journalist-activist.

Rajghatta and Lankesh had remained friends after ending their 5-year marriage.

An open critic of the “burgeoning Hindutva faction in Karnataka and elsewhere in India, and a strident supporter of separate-religion status for Lingayats”, Lankesh was shot dead on September 5, 2017.

US-based Rajghatta is the foreign editor of The Times of India, and has authored “The Horse That Flew: How India’s Silicon Gurus Spread Their Wings” earlier.

“Illiberal India: Gauri Lankesh and the Age of Unreason” is published by Westland under their new literary imprint, Context.

The book launch was followed by a discussion with Rajghatta and senior journalist Manoj Mitta.