Gauri Lankesh, Journalist-activist who was brutally shot by unknown assailants outside her home in Bangalore on September 5th has been posthumously awarded the prestigious Anna Politkovskaya award given to women human rights defenders from war and conflict zones. She shared the Reach All Women in WAR (RAW in WAR) Anna Politkovskaya Award with Gulalai Ismail, 31, a Pakistani peace activist who has faced death threats for speaking out against the Taliban.
She lived and died for the truth
The citation reads: Gauri Lankesh was a major figure in India, critic of right-wing Hindu extremism, campaigner for women’s rights, fiercely opposed to the caste system, campaigning for rights of Dalits and so on.
To mark the anniversary of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya’s murder on October 7, 2006 and to honour Anna and the women like her in the world, RAW in War annually presents the award to a female human rights defender from conflict zone.
In a note, the award committee said, “It is not by coincidence that Gauri’s work, her personality and the way she was killed for her work reminded us so much of the way Anna lived and died for the truth”.
Award belongs to her extended family of supporters- Kavita Lankesh
Addressing a press conference here, Kavita Lankesh said the award does not belong to the family but to “everyone who stood by Gauri”. Gauri was also awarded with Periyar Award posthumously by the Thinkers Forum on September 17 in Bengaluru.
“This award is a morale booster for people who want to write, and fight…It honours what Gauri stood for — that you cannot silence me.”