The Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) condemns the merciless, fearful murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh, editor of the weekly magazine Kanada Lankesh Patrike. She was a famous critic of Hindu nationalist politics, was assassinated on her doorstep.
In a statement signed by CBCI Secretary-General, Msgr. Theodore Mascarenhas, the Catholic bishops speak out against the death of Gauri,an independent journalist and voice of Indian democracy, surely understood for her basic positions against the Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party. She was shot dead , while at the same time returning home, and left in a pool of blood.
The bishops’ stated: “We salute her for the courage with which she wrote, the conviction with which she lived her life and the boldness with which she fought the forces of evil, hatred and corruption.”
Bishop Mascarenhas added “This hatred cannot build a New India. We need love, peace and harmony and we appeal to all leaders, peoples, communities and persons in our beloved India to shun the ideologies of hatred. Let our traditional values of peace, harmony, brotherhood and tolerance prevail at all cost.
The Bishops’ denounce “this murder comes even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi had told the nation in his Independence day speech, “Violence has no place in free India.” We join our voices to his and to the voice of Civil Society and we unify our hearts to the hearts of all those fighting hatred, caste, regional or religious bigotry and fundamentalism. “
It recalls “what the father of our Nation wrote in Young India in 1925: “By a long course of prayerful discipline, I have ceased for over forty years to hate anybody. I know that this is a big claim. Nevertheless, I make it in all humility. But I can and I do hate evil wherever it exists. My non co-operation has its root not in hatred, but in love. My personal religion peremptorily forbids me to hate anybody. I learnt this simple yet grand doctrine when I was twelve years old through a school book, and the conviction has persisted up to now. It is daily growing on me. It is a burning passion with me.” (YI, 6-8-1925, p. 272).”
On behalf of all prelates, Msgr. Mascarenhas concludes: “The Catholic Church in India prays for peace, harmony and the victory of light over darkness, love over hatred, and good over evil. God bless India. ”