A trust has been formed in the memory of slain journalist Gauri Lankesh that will help launch a publication akin to her eponymous tabloid and promote development and investigative journalism. The Gauri Memorial Trust launched at Bengaluru on Monday along with a website had earlier decided to run the tabloid ‘Gauri Lankesh Patrike’, but the family has expressed its reservation over anybody using her name for a paper.
Gauri’s family has even brought a court injunction with a direction not to start any new publication with the prefix or suffix of Lankesh Patrike or even Gauri.
In this backdrop, the Trust has charted out four prominent objectives to work on in the coming years, including “reviving” her publication, “if not in the old name, then by some other name”.
Speaking to PTI, one of the Trustees V S Sridhar said the Trust would facilitate Gauri Lankesh Patrike to run smoothly.
It will also constitute a national award for outstanding journalist.
“Gauri Lankesh supported development and investigative journalism. So the Trust will felicitate such journalists,” said Sridhar.
He said the organization will also conduct short workshops for journalists to work in development journalism.
There will be a fellowship of three to four months for journalists.
“Modalities of the fellowship have not been worked out yet, but these are our plans,” said Sridhar.
He added that the Trust would remain in touch with Gauri Lankesh’s family to start the publication.
The injunction is temporary and not a permanent one, he said.
“Gauri was not running Gauri Lankesh Patrike alone. She was running with partnership. However, we are not keen on running the publication. We only want to facilitate it run,” said Sridhar.
He said “our primary job is to revive the publication, if not in the old name, then by some other name.”
Activist and journalist Teesta Setalvad and Siddharth Vardarajan, editor of an online news website, are among the members of the Trust headed by veteran freedom fighter H S Doreswamy.
Exiting the iconic tabloid ‘Lankesh Patrike’ started by her litterateur father Lankesh in 1980, Gauri produced her own ‘Gauri Lankesh Patrike’ in 2005, after a bitter fall out with her brother Indrajith Lankesh, who claimed ownership of the paper and is running it now.
Gauri’s colleagues, friends and well wishers released a special edition of the paper in her memory, with her last editorial on September 12, at the ‘I am Gauri’ protest rally taken out in the city against her killing.
That was the last edition of the tabloid Gauri Lankesh Patrike.
Known for her left-leanings and anti-establishment voice, Gauri fell to a hail of bullets by unidentified assailants at her house on September 5, an incident that led to national outrage and protests.
The Karnataka government formed a Special Investigation Team to probe Gauri’s killing, but it has not yet made any major headway, even three months after the incident.
Gauri’s case adds to the list of unsolved killings of rationalists Narendra Dhabolkar, Govind Pansare and M M Kalburgi, who were widely believed to have been targeted for their views.