Gauri Lankesh was an outspoken journalist/activist who voiced for women, dalits and the marginalised. She was assassinated on 5, September 2017 and on the 12, September we had organised ‘I am Gauri’, a protest march, to condemn the killing of Gauri and to resist attacks on free speech and expression in which people from all over the country participated in thousands. This poem was read and performed live on that day.
‘Gauri Lankesh was an outspoken critic of Prime Minister Modi’s Hindu nationalist government, she said in her last editorial that spreading fake news had contributed to the success of Mr. Modi and his party. Ms. Lankesh didn’t see leadership as a big question when in the context of the more pressing need to fight the rise of Hindu nationalism, which she described as “fascism.” – Sudipto Mondal for The New York Times
When this poem went viral on social media and was used by news and other medias, it was contested with both appreciation and hatred. One of the phone callers complained how big a liar I as a poet was, as my poem mentions that seven bullets were showered at Gauri while she was assassinated with only four of them!!