Who is this Gauri?
Gauri is not just a name. Gauri is not just another person. Gauri represents principled political journalism. Like many others before her Gauri symbolises the spirit to counter the terror of the most retrograde and repressive forces at work today. Gauri restores the strength to warm up to all those marginalised in their own land. Gauri reflects our conscience to counter any violence and injustice. And it is these very principles, spirit, strength and conscience that were sought to be shut up through multiple gun shots in the cover of the night on 5th September. Gauri’s courageous self collapsed bathed in blood, beseeching others to come into the streets before long, to speak aloud, to drag the killers and their kingpins to task clearly, not just for her sake, no not just that at all, but for the sake of all that she staunchly stood for.
What is her crime?
Her crime is that she had a mind of her own. Her crime is that her heart beat for the people in peril be it dalits or muslims, women or workers. Her crime is that she chose to question those who were out to crush even the cringing democratic space. Her crime is that she dared to criticise their slander and slaughter of any notion of equality and justice. Her crime is that she did not yield to their abuses and threats. Her crime is that she would not surrender or sell her soul to safeguard herself. Can such be seen as crimes? Can these deliver death to her very door step? Yes they could, but only by those cut throat criminals who consider even compassion as a crime.
And who are these ‘They’?
It is they who trigger and train intolerance. It is they who callously crush any concern for co-lives, co-existence. It is they whose pseudo history attempts hard to impregnate people with prejudices. It is they whose pseudo religion spits hatred and splits people. It is they whose pseudo culture cultivates contempt for other cultures and cries hoarse to create cleavages. It is they whose pseudo patriotism propels devastation and destruction of entire regions and whole communities for petty ends. It is they who bulldoze all freedom without any boundaries. It is they whose sole aim is to strangle the feeble strings of democracy here, to foster despotism. It is none but only they who scan, select and silence forever any voice that ascend against them. It is they who hide their faces after every appalling act. THEY and only they are THE shameless terrors who hover above all laws and above any governance. They are the only ones who can celebrate their own vulgarity. And then it is left to them to disrupt and distort naked facts, to try and burn the fingers that point to them, blind the eyes that blame them.
Whither our March?
Ours is the right to condemn it all outright
Ours is the hour to hold our hands
Ours is the need to bridge any gaps
Ours is the courage to carry on and on
Ours is the grit to grab the culprits
Ours the turn to make them tremble
And then breathing free beneath the blanket of darkness
Our Gauri sure jumps ahead in chorus
“Oh, we are the force to feed finer feelings
We the will to weave worthy relations
We the energy to refill the earth with essence
Yes, we can, we can and we shall.”