Shujaat Bukhari’s Colleague Pays Homage to the Fearless Journalist

Daanish Bin Nabi pays a tribute to his late colleague, as journalists all over continue to mourn.

3 min read
Shujaat Bukhari’s Colleague Pays Homage to the Fearless Journalist

Journalist Shujaat Bukhari will go down in Kashmir’s tumultuous history as a hero who bravely faced bullets. The word ‘Shujaat’ is derived from Arabic meaning ‘bravery’. And as his name suggests, he died like a brave soldier.

A Black Day for Kashmir & Journalism

14 June was a regular day in Kashmir till tragedy struck at 7 pm. Shujaat was shot dead from point-black range along with his two bodyguards, outside his officer chamber. I have known Shujaat for six years. Being a peacenik, he was always on the radar of the anti-peace forces on both sides of the fence. But little did we imagine that he would be killed in such a brutal manner.

Those who have murdered him have done a great disservice to Kashmir. What may have looked like a spring of water to Shujaat, was in fact a grove in the desert. He could not escape from the grove.

Popular for his fearless journalism, Shujaat was a voice to reckon with. In fact, he was a school of journalism unto himself, who helped propel journalism in Kashmir to new heights. Shujaat Bukhari was an inspiration for young and upcoming journalists. His analysis of issues – national and international – was unique. Editing his write-ups was a unique experience in itself.

No one deserves to die because they think differently. Does Shujaat deserve to be persecuted and killed because of his desire to put an end to the bloodbath in Kashmir through peaceful dialogue?

How Could Such a Brazen Attack Be Carried Out?

In the past six years that I have known Shujaat, never have I seen him looking pleased with any killing. Whenever someone was killed, he would say, “A Kashmiri gets killed from every side”. He was worried about the Kashmiri youth and wanted them to excel in their studies; yes, he wanted every Kashmiri student to crack the civil service examination; yes, he wanted to help the youth come out of the dark.

As we mourn Shujaat’s murder, there are certain questions which need to be answered.

Considering that the press colony in Srinagar is guarded by the CID, how was it even possible to carry out such an attack in broad daylight in one of the busiest lanes in Srinagar? How did the killers roam around in broad daylight with a weapon, and how did they manage to escape unnoticed? Why did the police reach so late?

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and her government have failed to provide justice to all those civilians who have been killed during her tenure. Will her government be able to provide justice to a senior journalist? If the CM fails to ensure that justice is meted out even in this case, then she ought not head our state at all.

Kashmir’s Bitter Reality

Shujaat’s shocking murder highlights the bitter reality that Death is a many-headed creature in Kashmir and is waiting to devour you at any time. Here, living is tougher than dying. To live, you have to struggle for the basics. But death will come to you without any struggle.

As my heart and hands tremble while remembering Shujaat, a 20-year-old youth has again died by the gun in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district. It is perhaps a good thing that Shujaat is no more with us; at least he won’t have to witness the daily killings that he fought against all his life.

Rest in eternal peace, dear Editor.

(Daanish Bin Nabi is Online Editor, Op-Ed, Rising Kashmir. He can be reached @DaanishBinNabi. This is a an opinion piece. The views expressed above are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for them.)

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