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Why the people who raise their voices are being silenced, perpetually, asks Vedatrayee, a young Kolkata-based lawyer, and an eminent danseuse, reflecting on the death of Gauri Lankesh – and others before her – for they dared to raise their voices against injustice. We begin a new weekly column that would reflect on legal and social issues, beginning this Monday. A Different Truths exclusive.
Satyendra Dubey in 2003
Barun Biswas in 2012
Narendra Dabolkar in 2013
M.M.Kalburgi in 2015
Gauri Lankesh in 2017
…and hundreds or perhaps thousands of others that have been kept away from media light or have slowly shifted from a tiny column in the newspaper to infinite ignorance. The people who were killed were not killed because they were just ‘people’. They were killed because they had voices. Voices that would shout out to the world of what is right and what is not. Voices that time and again have instilled a dark fear in the mind of those who are under the constant attempt of hiding their faces under a mask – a mask that they are insecure of because they know it might slip anytime and the people will become aware of the ugliness beneath it.
In the recent painful assassination of Gauri Lankesh, an activist-journalist, known to the world as fighting for what she believes in. I sit here not to write of Freedom of Speech and Expression or ‘organised crime’ or political murders or law and Justice. I write this out of sheer amazement at the way the World is working around me. The death of all these people poses one question in my mind- why is this becoming necessary? Why the people who raise their voices are being put to perpetual silence?
India has everything that the Democratic Republic needs and more than that. It has labour, intelligence, beauty, and topography. Despite this, it, even after 70 years of its independence as a British colony, is still regarded as one of the developing countries. The resource-rich country is lagging behind smaller and more unfortunate countries in terms of development. There are two, amongst a few other, vital reasons behind this. Firstly, people do not observe their duties with the responsibility and patience that they should. Secondly, they stop those people who try to do so. Now, this is fatal because it should be the other way round. To think that the wrong has become the ‘norm’ petrifies me. But that is what has happened after prolonged practice. This practice has lead to the need of shooting down a journalist and eventually will lead on to the need to kill many other people who try to play the role of a ‘responsible citizen’ – a role that many find very difficult to play today!
Isn’t there any way around? You ask. There is if the people want there to be. ‘WE, the people of India’! Stay scared, stay quiet and help the murderers of those voices or raise your voice whenever you see the need to. Keep those voices loud and ringing so that there are not enough murderers left. Let the sound of your voice resonate through the hearts of every person afraid to speak up, afraid that they would get killed if not conform to those masks. Raise your children not to be afraid of speaking, afraid that they could get killed. Don’t let them slip into deliberate nonchalance. The more you are scared the lesser the number of people with a voice and more the number of murderers. You are who can save your country. Let those masks slip. Let them get terrified of people who speak up and are not afraid of death. Reverse the situation so that the number of people who follow their duties increase. Sounds absurd? The cynical Indian citizen in me agrees. The optimistic human being in me knows it is not impossible. Let us have such passion in raising our voices which they have in muting them. Try. Do your country this much-needed favour.
Photos from the Internet
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