Journalist Gauri Lankesh has been shot dead in India.
The simple fact of the matter is that no democracy thrives by stamping out speech that challenges power. I am not a free speech fundamentalist (I leave it to right-wing ideologues in America to self-servingly use a narrow and formalistic understanding of free-speech rights in order to advance their agenda). At the same time, I certainly value free speech–not only as a writer and teacher, but as a citizen of the world.
The murder of Gauri Lankesh underscores the continued relevance of what I wrote in Words without Borders nearly two years ago in the aftermath of similar murders in India:
What is routinely under threat these days is not only the word but imagination and alternative understandings of traditions, including Hindu traditions.
I guess, in today’s world, it’s never too early or too late to register your opinion regarding the murder of writers.