Siddhartha Deb in Columbia Journalism Review:
Last September, as the journalist Gauri Lankesh was returning to her home from work, a man approached her in the driveway, his face obscured by a motorcycle helmet. He fired a pistol as she ran toward her house, about 10 feet away. She collapsed before she made it inside. Autopsy reports suggested she had been shot twice in the chest and once in the back. A fourth shot had missed or misfired. The footage from security cameras showed only two men on a motorcycle, including the helmeted shooter, a man about five feet tall, but the police suggested that two other men had also been involved, following the first pair on a second motorcycle.
Lankesh, the editor and publisher of a Bangalore weekly, the Gauri Lankesh Patrike, was an outspoken left-wing journalist working in an India that, since the 2014 election of Narendra Modi, leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), as prime minister, has become one of the world’s most dangerous countries to be a reporter. But the BJP is only the most overt face of a Hindu right that comprises more than 30 loosely affiliated organizations. Together, they all subscribe to the virulent brand of Hindu nationalism known as Hindutva, and they have in recent years been associated with activities ranging from lynchings, riots, and bomb blasts to threats of rape, dismemberment, incarceration, and hanging of people critical of them and their sectarian idea of India.