On one hand, journalists all over the world have successfully unearthed the Panama Papers which has shaken almost every major nation. On the other hand, journalists in India are getting murdered for speaking out the truth in public and expressing their staunch views against a few big guns. Journalists, the makers of media which serves as the last resort when other systems fail to deliver justice, are now themselves starved of any sort of justice.
The death of Gauri Lankesh has left open a drawback that has haunted India since ages. She has not been the first journalist getting murdered for speaking out the truth. India has a long dark history in such cases. According to an international report of 2015, India was ranked amongst the three most dangerous countries for journalists to live in. Since 1992, 64 journalists had been killed till 2015. Forward a couple of years to 2017, and that number only goes on increasing. Just to highlight this dark history of India, we have come up with a list including 8 recent cases of journalists getting killed suspiciously for exposing the truth.
1. Ram Chander Chhatrapati
This man is responsible for the conviction of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim. He owned an evening daily called Poora Sach in Sirsa, Haryana. He was the first to publish the anonymous letters accusing Gurmeet Ram Rahim of charges of which he is now found guilty. On October 14 2002, he was shot dead by two motor cyclists who were later identified and convicted. Thankfully his sacrifice hasn’t gone wasted.
2. Rajdev Ranjan
Rajdev Ranjan was a journalist for Hindustan Daily in Siwan, Bihar. The attack on him received major media attention and was looked up as a severe threat to journalism. He was after a former Rashtriya Janata Dal MP, Mohammad Shahabuddin who was convicted for the murder of two brothers. Ranjan was shot dead by bike borne attackers from close range.
3. Narendra Dabholkar
Dabholkar was a staunch critic of the religious leaders who used to spread blind following amongst masses. He was shot dead in his hometown, Pune. His death triggered a wave of fury amongst the media personnels. He was shot dead openly by two youth who fired three round and fled away.
4. M M Kalburgi
Kalburgi, a man who coupled modern mindset with the traditional culture of India, was striking the eyes of many. He was shot dead at his residence in Dharwad by an unidentified gunman back in August 2015. He was threatening the religion oriented politics that was gifting NDA unprecedented wins all over India. All his findings and write ups ended up with was his own murder.
5. Sandeep Kothari
Sandeep Kothari, a freelance writer for the Nayi Duniya was murdered in Balaghat, Madhya Pradesh. Illegal mining and land grabbing was on the rise and was leading to a massive scam. Kothari exhaustively covered up those activities which triggered the system’s investigation.
6. Jagendra Singh
Jagendra Singh, a short and stout man who dared to take on the mighty minister Rammurti Singh Verma in UP was burnt to death by his opponent. On 8 June 2015, he died in Shahjahanpur of Uttar Pradesh, where he tried to battle the might of politics with the might of his pen. Eventually, the power of pen won but at the cost of its owner’s life.
7. Govind Pansare
Senior CPI leader, Govind Pansare was murdered under mysterious circumstances in early 2015. His views against the right wing politics had caused some damage to them and thus, his existence became haunting for them. He was shot dead in Kolhapur while having a morning walk on February 16 with his wife. A chargesheet was filed by the SIT later that was investigating the case.
8. Gauri Lankesh
The recent killing of Gauri Lankesh doesn’t need any description. Killed for writing about the failures of her own government awarded her the most heinous award, death. The Kannada writer was sent off with a state funeral. She was shot dead for her staunch views on the right-wing politics. This yet again exposed the old worries of the Indian journalists who are now fighting for themselves.
If this doesn’t stop in the coming future, we are all not too far away from being doomed. It is high time we all hold hands and stand up against atrocities spread by politicians, religious leaders and others.