03, Sep 2021 | Barkha Kumari
A webinar featuring campus activists from Delhi discusses the legacy of slain Bengaluru journalist
Three student activists from Delhi will speak about slain journalist Gauri Lankesh on her fourth death anniversary on September 5.
Devangana Kalita, Natasha Narwal and Asif Iqbal Tanha will also talk about their arrest in the 2020 Delhi riots case under anti-terror laws.
The session is being jointly organised by Gauri Memorial Trust and Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP).
“These students represent the essence of democracy and democratic dissent, which is what Gauri stood for. They had the courage to take on the establishment,” Teesta Setalvad, secretary of CJP, explains.
A four-part lecture series, organised as part of the tribute to Gauri, will conclude with a discussion with the student leaders, currently out on bail. The inaugural lecture was held on August 15, where H N Nagamohan Das, retired judge o f the Karnataka High Court, spoke about the threats to the Constitution.
The second lecture discussed the rise of fake news and diminishing of press freedom. The most recent lecture was held on Sunday. Constitutional scholar Gautam Bhatia spoke of the abuse of the provision of preventive detention under national security …
The session triggered a lot of responses from the audience. A member of the audience wondered if it was time to abolish the National Security Act, 1980.
Another asked if penalising the state governments for wrongful detention was the way forward. A third sought greater accountability from courts.
The upcoming session will also see human rights lawyer Mihir Desai speak about ‘Terror Laws under a proto-fascist regime’. “We live in times where the state criminalises dissent. We have seen brute force used against the marginalised, adivasis and dalits, and the student community. The government has virtually declared a war on its people,” says Teesta. The future of Indian democracy, thus, rests in the hands of student leaders like Devangana, Natasha and Asif, she says In them, Teesta sees hope for the legacy Gauri has left behind – to speak truth to power.
Watch the lecture on September 5, 5-7pm, on the Citizens for Justice & Peace Facebook page.
Four years ago…
Gauri Lankesh, editor of Gauri Lankesh Patrike and a fearless critic of right-wing politics, was shot dead outside her house in Rajarajeshwari Nagar on the evening of September 5, 2017.
The Original piece may be read here