At an impressive function on the first assassination anniversary of Rising Kashmir editor Syed Shujaat Bukhari, veteran journalists Siddharat Varadarajan and Saeed Naqvi released Kashmir: The Red Line. The book based on the writings of Shujat was authored by his wife Dr Tehmina Bukhari. His aged father Syed Rafiuddin Bukhari was also part of the releasing ceremony.
The function was attended by his friends, some of whom had flown specially to be part of it.
Noted columnist Aijaz-ul-Haq spoke about the book and his brief speech was very impressive. He said the slain editor was a journalist, and an analyst who had fair knowledge of his beat and his limitations.
The Wire editor Sidharth Varadarajan, who delivered the first Shujaat Bukhari memorial lecture, said India lost two veteran editors in one year – Gauri Lankesh and Shujaat Bukhari. Unlike Gauri, Varadarajan regretted that there is nothing known about the assassination of Shujaat. He said Shujaat’s assassination was mentioned as a factor by a BJP leader for moving out of the coalition government.
Varadarajan said the journalists must continue fighting for the investigation of Shujaat’s assassination. He regretted that despite the state being under direct central rule there are no answers available about the murder. He said he knows Shujaat as a friend, colleague, and as a track II diplomat.
Talking about the situation, Vardarajan quoted a tweet of a BJP MP who according to him in connection with the present situation in Kashmir wrote: “If repression becomes the security of my people let it be so”. However, he insisted, that this mentality needs to be challenged.
Earlier in his speech, Saeed Naqvi lamented over the changes that have taken place in recent days. He paid rich tributes to the slain editor.
He said minorities in India, mostly Muslims, would not regret the policies of the incumbent government had they been told in 1947 about the possibility of Hindu Raj. Delhi, he said, is an ally of Israel, and her advice is being taken seriously.
Shujaat’s son, Tamheed made a brief speech to the audience and it was quite an emotional scene. He said the mission of his slain father will not stop.
The Kashmir Media House that Bukhari initiated has instituted three awards that will be given every year to the three toppers of the journalism schools of the three universities in Kashmir. The awards carrying a certificate and a gold medal were given to Umeer Naqshbandi (University of Kashmir), Uffat Fatima (IUST) and Saliq Parvez (Central University Kashmir).
Assassins shot dead Shujaat in Srinagar’s Press Colony on June 14, 2019, a day before Eid-ul-Fitr.