It is two years since Gauri Lankesh was brutally assassinated in cold blood by fundamentalist forces. The apprehension that it is the handiwork of a well-knit and communal organisation is vindicated by the findings of the SIT, which has found evidence that the accused are linked to ‘Sanathana Samstha’ as the main institution that is allegedly behind the crime. In fact, the investigation has also revealed the linkages between the murders of Prof. Kalburgi. Govinda Pansare and Dr. Narendra Dabholkar. The serial murders of writers and thinkers are nothing but a direct attack on the values of secularism and rationalism.
The Gauri Memorial Trust is established to uphold Constitutional values of freedom of speech and right to dissent as the principal foundation of democracy. Since last year, the Trust has been observing September 5th as ‘Gauri Day’ to advocate free-thinking and upholding the value of speaking truth to power. As a part of its activity, the Trust has instituted an annual award in the name of Gauri Lankesh to be given to an outstanding journalist, who has shown exemplary commitment to their profession. The award carries a plaquette and a cash award of Rs. One lakh.
The Trust constituted a committee comprising of Smt Teesta Setalwad, Sri Siddharth Varadarajan and Prof.Rahamath Tarikere to nominate a suitable person who met the above expectation. The Committee unanimously chose Sri Ravish Kumar of NDTV for his exemplary courage and conviction in fighting the communal regime and upholding the spirit of the Constitution. As a committed journalist, he has been carrying out a dauntless crusade against the onslaught of democracy in spite of many odds and life threats. This decision was taken much before he was chosen for this year’s Magsaysay award and we feel proud to honour him for the cause he has stood. The Gauri Award will be presented on Sunday, 22 September 2019. On the same occasion, Prof. Ganesh Devi, Member-Secretary of the Trust, will deliver the Gauri Memorial Lecture. The programme will be held at Town Hall on Sunday, 22 September, at 4.00 pm.