It has been a week since Kannada journalist Gauri Lankesh was shot dead at her residence on September 5, but the outrage caused by her murder has not yet died in Bengaluru. Thousands of people including writers, journalists, rationalists and even political parties like the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) are taking to the streets in support of the 'I Am Gauri' resistance march.
AAP's political ploy?
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) of Karnataka, which had also taken the forefront in the September 6 protest in town hall has also joined the rally.
"You can kill person, not ideas," tweeted the AAP party in support of Lankesh.
With the general elections coming up in 2018, a visible involvement with the Lankesh murder case may help the AAP gain some foothold in the Karnataka Assembly which is currently dominated by Congress, which occupies 54.46 percent of the 223 seats.
Apart from AAP, around 50,000 people are expected to join the rally that will be meeting at the Central College ground, India Today reported.
Besides students from eminent colleges like St. Joseph's College joining the protest, the rally is also being led by journalist Palagummi Sainath, Teesta Setalvad and activist and documentary filmmaker Anand Patwardhan and film producer Prakash Raj.
Kavita Krishnan, the Secretary of the All India Progressive Women's Association, lawyer and politician Prashanth Bhushan, Megha Pansare, Medha Patkar and CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury are also expected to participate in the rally.
The national-level resistance convention called Gauri Lankesh Hatya Virodhi Vedike began from the city's railway station.
The rally that has been swelling with more people including children and even physically disabled, is gaining momentum on Twitter with hashtag #IamGauri.
According to the protestors, the aim of the rally is to convey a strong message against the culture of hate and intolerance to dissent.
"The message that the killers of Gauri wanted to send us, progressive thinkers and democrats, was that we should shut up or face consequences. But we need to tell them in clear voice that we are not afraid and we will exercise our constitutional right to free expression," senior Kannada writer K Marulasidappa was quoted as saying by The Quint.
Journalist and author Sagarika Ghose well will also be joining the protest.
According to a Firstpost report, patriotic songs, street plays, screening of short films and music concerts will be held at the rally.
Visuals of the mile-long rally
Here's are videos of the rally