Prime Minister Narendra Modi's words of condemnation of the lynch mobs is like the disclaimer on cigarette pack, said actor Prakash Raj in Bengaluru.
"Manmohan Singh was quiet. But Modi's is an uneasy silence. Look at lynching and murders, silencing of progressive people. The government today is not just following divide and rule but also divert and rule," alleged Raj while speaking at the first death anniversary of activist Gauri Lankesh.
Stating that the investigations into Gauri's murder were pointing towards the same people, who the Left intellectuals had accused of the crime, Raj said, "It's been one year since we sowed Gauri into the earth. There is pain, outrage and desperation. But today, the probe is pointing towards the same people we had accused of the crime. In her death, Gauri has exposed such a big conspiracy, the killers of Dabholkar, Pansare and Kalburgi, and the people behind it. The dam is full and waiting to explode. They are getting desperate and hence, more dangerous. So, we people have to be careful. We need to protect Hindu religion from them. They have made everyone into a sheep. We all are bound to die. Death is not a rejection of life. But since all these four rationalists were murdered, we are disturbed."
Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mewani said there was a larger conspiracy of the fascist forces in the country. "Fascism has taken over the state. Dalits are getting united and taking to the streets against the Hindutva forces. To discredit this nascent movement, the government wants to portray that dalits are being instigated to do this by the Naxals. And the human rights lawyers standing with dalits are being discredited. In this whole process, they are trying to extract sympathy for Modi alleging threat to his life," said Mewani, also expressing concern over the safety of his activist friends Umar Khalid (who was attacked recently) and Shehla Rashid.
Mewani urged like-minded people to come to Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh to fight fascist forces electorally. "Our energy will be exhausted in seminars and Modi-Amit Shah will rule. We need to dislodge the BJP from power," he said.
Student leader Umar Khalid said, "The fact that they killed Gauri shows how scared they were of her. I was not surprised that Modi follows those who celebrated Gauri Lankesh murder. They came to kill me as well. I want to tell them, if they think they can silence we are not such people. We are not the followers of Savarkar, who begged with the British to be spared. We are the followers of Bhagat Singh. I have been called anti-national so I don’t blame those who came to shoot me. I blame the government and the anchors who readily labelled me as an anti-national."
Attacking the BJP, former president of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Student Union (JNUSU) Kanhaiya Kumar slammed the Modi government. "Today, Hindus are in danger, the BJP says. But that is half truth. Hindus are in danger because the Prime Minister is Narendra Modi. Around, 12,000 farmers committed suicide, little girls were abused in a shelter home in Muzaffarpur, thousands of engineers are jobless. Now, are these Hindus not in danger?" he asked, adding that the arrest of the "urban Naxals" is the BJP's tactic to divert attention from the real issues.
Kumar said saffron was donned by many great saints. But today, it is being tarnished by those who are wearing it by indulging in violence. "Every one who dons saffron is not a Ram bhakt, but can also be a Raavan who kidnapped Sita in disguise."