Behind criminal acts motivated by religion, bigotry, misogyny, lies fear of change


Gauri Lankesh, Sabeen Mahmud.

My piece for The Wire on the assassination of journalist Gauri Lankesh in Bengaluru, that reminded me of the target-killing of my friend, activist Sabeen Mahmud in Karachi. I traced the patterns and similarity behind these murders.

A spoke in the wheel of this “intellecticide” is the ‘anti-intellectual’ nature of the vote for Donald Trump who shares a host of similarities with Modi in India despite differences. The rise of white supremacy in a nation of migrants built after virtually annihilating indigenous populations is a continuation of ongoing racism in the US.

The pendulum swings of history ushers in periods of the rise of the ‘Right’ or the ‘Left’. We are witnessing the rise of the militant Right at this moment with its ensuing bloodshed in India, Pakistan, the US and elsewhere.

But what will continue to rise inexorably, despite bloodshed along the way, are human aspirations to basic rights, equality and justice. There is no going back, no matter how fiercely the chaddis, topis or kluxies fight it.

Read more: In Life, and in Death, Gauri Lankesh and Sabeen Mahmud Battled Powers Fearful of Change


Protest at Harvard Square: Commemorating Gauri Lankesh’s murder and ongoing Rohingya massacre. Photo: Beena Sarwar


Thoughts on media, Mumbai, ‘terrorism’

The violence in Karachi today has overshadowed what happened in Mumbai yesterday. More on that later. Meanwhile, here’s a comment I posted to my facebook page (relevant to Karachi situation too?): Salam Mumbai. Hope the damage is contained. And – I understand the addiction to ‘breaking’ news, but wish we could do it differently. If there was no live TV, would terrorists put up such shows? …Death toll as reported this morning is 21. Even one is too much. I keep thinking of Sahir Ludhianvi’s universally relevant and humanitarian poem, ‘khoon apna ho ya paraya ho, Nasle aadam ka khoon hai aakhir…’ Here’s a response from Rakesh Sharma, a prominent documentary filmmaker from Mumbai: Continue reading

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