In this video, Adv S. Balan, Karnataka High Court, who is also the special public prosecutor in the Gauri Lankesh murder case gives a lecture on the ‘Silencing of Dissent’ at the IIT-Madras. He speaks about the recent murders of anti-superstition activists like Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare, M.M. Kalburgi and Gauri Lankesh. He says that the ‘modus operandi’ for all the murders was the same. It was an extreme way to kill the voices of those who dared to put forth their opinions and raise their voices against the injustice meted out on people in the name of religion and customs.
Narendra Dabholkar, the founder of the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti, was murdered in 2013 for his work against the superstitious beliefs. Govind Pansare, a politician from the CPI, was known for his rationalism and for his book ‘Who was Shivaji’ which was an attempt against the appropriation of the Maratha king by right wing forces. He also ran an organisation that encouraged inter-caste marriages. He was killed in 2015. M.M. Kalburgi (assassinated in 2015), was an Indian scholar and academic, whose work with the lingayat vachanas earned him the ire of Hindu fundamentalists. Gauri Lankesh, a journalist-turned-activist, was killed in 2017 for being a critic of the right-wing Hindu extremism.