Editor Gauri Lankesh Shot dead in Karnataka – Catholic Bishops condemn

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dr. james kottoor (Chicago)

 James KottorThe unusual has happened! The unexpected has happened! The most extraordinary has happened! Yes, the most exemplary thing has happened! What we had given up for lost has happened! What on earth is that? Catholic Bishops in India have risen to the occasion in the nick of time – not too late nor too little – and spoken out against the dastardly murder of the gem of a Senior lady Journalist Gauri Lankesh 50, editor of the Kannada weekly, Lankesh Patrike on Sept. 5th.

Today Sept.6th is not yet over and their pronouncements – good and inspiring words about it – are already in all printed media for all to see, read and act. This is leadership, equaling that of Francis Pappa and we congratulate the Bishops for it.

We already posted

We in the CCV already reacted to it yesterday itself and published our concerns, anguish and suggestions. Nay more we have already received reactions to it from places as far away as Belgium saying: Very sad and a significant commentary (ccv editorial) on the cruel polarization that is moving around the globe.….Jack– John Alonzo Dick, PhD, STD, Geldenaaksebaan 85 A,3001 Heverlee, Belgium)” 

If  we don’t give all the above details of  place and address, as it happened in the case of 101 Christian Intellectuals’ explosive new item, none of you readers would believe us. You would think this is a news item without paternity, bandied about for publicity and self gratification or “Pecocking” in the words of Pappa Francis and we don’t blame you for it.

Also Tweeted

We have also tweeted on it yesterday  itself several times, since tweeting goes around the world faster. Don’t remember how many tweets but you can check it up: https://twitter.com/jameskottoor Isn’t writing 140 words much easier than drafting a whole statement? That is why Pope is doing it and became the top Twiplomat of the world. He leads the way not just by preaching as many Churchmen do but by doing it, showing the way by his own actions. So we try to follow his lead, even if others ignore his commands.

These small examples again prove how interconnected we are thanks to the internet which has reduced us all to a global village, at a shouting distance only and how we can influence our brothers and sisters around the world  in fraction of a second for good or evil. If so think of the rebuke of the Master to the lazy servant: “Why did you burry the one talent I gave you in the soil, instead of trading with it to multiply?” The master was brutally frank in conveying his message without mincing words. Only we don’t have honourable or convincing answers to give.

Lesson for the CBCI

Never mind. We learn from our mistakes. Let us not make the greater mistake of lying put in the ditch crying over the spilt milk. Forget the past which is irredeemable. Instead we must be up and going without making such silly mistakes again. The lesson is first of all for the CBCI and its General Secretary. If they have failed to speak up on national and Global issues, or on Church related issues pertaining to all dioceses or to one particular diocese like Kadappa and its revered Dalit bishop Galela,  let the CBCI forget the past.

Now with their beautifully worded statement of anguish and concern for the doyan of a secular jourlist, and a woman, Gauri Lankesh 50, they have opened a new leaf, a new chapter in the history of the CBCI to be alert, up-and-doing like an ever awake watch man on the horizon to alert the house hold of any and every ravenous wolves creeping in to devour from the sheep of the master. Well begun (on Sept. 6th) is half done. But to keep up the momentum – you know and we know – is not an easy job. But if you have succeeded once you can succeed a second time, a third time and always. That is what we wish for the CBCI and its Secretary General.

Wipe out Caste, Campaign

Another point of common interest is that CCV has started an all out campaign against caste practioners – Wipe out Caste Campaign — in the Catholic church alone for the moment, although the whole of India is being eaten up by this deadly earth-worm. But we have to start with what we can bite off. Christians are 2.5 % of India and Catholics could be half or bit more which can be accommodated into our small mouth if there is also your cooperation as well. In another post “Bishop Gallela Kidnap” in CCV we have given details.

Pastoral on Caste

The central point of our request is that the CBCI should sit down to do a bit of  very serious thinking, and bring out a Pastoral on Caste practice and practitioners in the Catholic Church. Such a pastoral is not just for reading in every diocese and parish on Sunday and to dump it in the dust bin, but to be discussed and implemented in every Catholic family. The US bishops are doing something similar on Racial problems there. The Caste  cancor in India is thousands of years old and we don’t remember to have any medical check up done on it by the Church’s concerned authorities.

At least now the Catholic Church has started to speak up on burning issues that torment us. We in the CCV wish good speed for what has been well-begun by the CBCI. james kottoor, editor, ccv.


Please read below  the CBCI release in Matters India

Bishops condemn journalist’s murder

Published on: , September 6, 2017 by: Mattersindia Reporter

Bengaluru: The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) has condemned “the dastardly, brutal and cowardly” murder of the senior journalist, Gauri Lankesh, editor of the Kannada weekly, Lankesh Patrike on September 5.

“We salute her for the courage with which she wrote, the conviction with which she lived her life and the boldness with which she fought the forces of evil, hatred and corruption,” the CBCI said in a press release.

The murder of this versatile and brave journalist follows other crimes of hatred of recent times: the murders of Sahitya Academy Award Winner and Writer M M Kalburgi in Dharwad, thinker Govind Pansare in in Kohlapur, thinker Narendra Dabholkar in Pune, the mob lynchings by Gau Rakshaks in the name of protecting cows, political killings in Kerala and other such hate crimes.

This hatred cannot build a New India, the press release signed by Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas said adding that “We need love, peace and harmony” in the country.The CBCI appealed to all leaders, peoples, communities and persons to shun the ideologies of hatred.

The bishops called for traditional values of peace, harmony, brotherhood and tolerance to prevail at all cost. “Let us isolate the forces of hatred and cutting across the political, social and religious spectrum unite to build a free, democratic, secular and progressive India,” they added.

This murder comes even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi had told the nation in his Independence Day speech that , “Violence has no place in free India.” “We join our voices to his and to the voice of Civil Society and we unify our hearts to the hearts of all those fighting hatred, caste, regional or religious bigotry and fundamentalism.”

The press release reminded what Mahatma Gandhi wrote in Young India in 1925 that, “By a long course of prayerful discipline, I have ceased for over forty years to hate anybody. I know that this is a big claim. Nevertheless, I make it in all humility. But I can and I do hate evil wherever it exists. My non-co-operation has its root not in hatred, but in love. My personal religion peremptorily forbids me to hate anybody. I learnt this simple yet grand doctrine when I was twelve years old through a school book, and the conviction has persisted up to now. It is daily growing on me. It is a burning passion with me.” (YI, 6-8-1925, p. 272)

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2 Responses

  1. almayasabdam says:

    VarghesePamplanil wrote: Cry my beloved country.

    This is a feeble response to the article that appeared in CCV on the   horrendous cold blooded killing of the Bengaluru journalist Gauri Lankesh.

    Stifling the thoughts and voices that are not in conformity with the views of the entrenched establishment has happened throughout human history. The planet that is Earth, where we have a precarious existence, is saturated with the blood of those who stand up boldly and articulate their views which they consider as TRUTH and RIGHT. We can only pay our humble homage to them and crawl back to our holes in fear and dread to save our skins.

    From the obscure age to our own time and place, throughout the history of our civilisation, at every step in the stair way of progress, it is those with courage and conviction, who fought, at the cost of their life, who have lifted us slowly and tentatively to a larger power and higher life.

    Let us hang our heads in shame at this “darkness at the noon.”

    Pamplanil.

     

  2. Isaac Gomes says:

    Assault on Freedom 

    (Source: Times of India, Pune, 7th September 2017

    Senior journalist and editor Gauri Lankesh who was shot dead at point-blank range by assailants on 6thSeptember outside her home in Bengaluru, was known for her life-wing views and sharp criticism of Hindutva.  One doesn’t necessarily have to agree with those views, but one of the compacts of independent India is that people should have the freedom to articulate their views, and freedom of the press is an integral part of this.  To be able to work as a country that harbours extraordinary diversity, freedom of opinion is the minimum we must agree on whatever our political differences might be.

    However, many intellectuals holding comparable views to Lankesh have been done to death in similar ways: M.M. Kalburgi in Karnataka and Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare in neighbouring Maharashtra. This has to be seen as part of a pattern, unless proved otherwise.  India has slipped three places in world press freedom rankings and is currently just three places above Pakistan.  Hate and intolerance are rising hand in hand in India. Yesterday, for example, the Supreme Court had to issue instructions to the Centre as well as states to crack down on cow vigilantes who take the law into their own hands.

    Former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan hit the bull’s eye recently when he opined that India’s tradition of free speech and tolerance is the greatest economic asset it has going forward in a global context that increasingly prizes innovation, human capital and soft power.  It would be more than a tragedy if India loses this; it would be a massive existential risk that places its future in jeopardy.

    Thousands of protesters holding posters saying “I am Gauri” appeared in cities across the country to condemn the murder of journalist activist Gauri Lankesh.  From senior citizens to students, writers and activists to techies, hundreds gathered at Bengaluru’s Town Hall, singing songs and holding up banners warning against the rise of right-wing groups.  They also sought swift action against the culprits.

    Similar protest meets were held by media professionals, human rights organizations, artists and opposition party leaders in New Delhi,  Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Kerala and Pune.

    Kolkata-based film director Goutam Ghose said, “Till today we do not know who murdered Kalburgi.  Let the same not happen to Gauri.  We don’t want to again read a headline saying “No one killed Gauri.”

    West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who termed the murder as “alarming and unfortunate”, participated in a candle-light march organized by the Kolkata Press Club.

    The Pune Union of Working Journalists wrote to the Prime Minister Modi demanding probe into the case.   Dabholkar’s daughter Mukta Dabholkar, while condemning Lankesh’s murder, said, “Failure to punish killers has sent a message that nobody can punish you if you target rationalists and writers as they don’t have money, muscle and political power.” In Mumbai, hundreds gathered at the sea-facing amphitheatre at Carter Road promenade.       

    Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has described the murder of Lankesh as “an assassination of democracy”.  While that outrage is something the nation shares, governments are required to much more: they must bring the assassins to book using the law and order machinery.  The state government now needs to fast-track this case and quickly convict the culprits.  Moreover, to avoid damage to India’s reputation, senior BJP leaders must whole-heartedly condemn the murder whether or not it is the handiwork of a Hindutva fanatic.  A statement from the prime minister himself would greatly help in this regard.

    One is reminded of George Bernard Shaw who said, "Assassination is the extreme form of censorship."

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