RIP Shujaat Bukhari: The journalist who put profession before self
Shujaat Bhukari joined the long list of brave journalists who laid down his life on the job. Threats were nothing new to the journalist, who was in a ghastly act of cowardice shot down by terrorists on Thursday.
His killing has shocked the nation and the entire fraternity in Kashmir is in mourning. Referred to by many as 'bade bhai,' or big brother, Bukhari's biggest trait was his bravery.
An advocate of peace, Bukhari who was born in 1968 was highly revered and respected.
Threats were nothing new to him. Back in 2006, he was abducted by a bunch of terrorists. He was caught and packed into an auto rickshaw at the Residency Road in Srinagar.
Bukhari kept his calm and all through planned his escape. As the auto passed through the Old City area, he jumped out of the auto and escaped. He was saved then, but the threats never stopped. He was hated by the terrorists and often received threats from them. Threats were a part of his routine and he would often call it a part of his job.
Shujaat came from a highly respected family of Kreeri in North Kashmir. His father is a retired professor and mother a teacher. His brother, Syed Basharat Bukhari was a broadcaster before he joined the ruling PDP. He is currently a minister in the Jammu and Kashmir government.
Shujaat started off as a reporter in the Kashmir Times in the 1990s. He later joined The Hindu where he served as a Special Correspondent and later the bureau chief. He then went on to set up Rising Kashmir and the newspaper gained popularity in a very short span of time. The journalists that OneIndia spoke with say that Rising Kashmir was like a journalism school. All the young journalists would join this newspaper to learn about the profession.
Apart from this Shujaat also established Sangarmal, the first Kashmiri language newspaper. He was also publishing Buland Kashmir and Parcham, two Urdu newspapers. He was also the recipient of several awards which included the World Press Institute USA fellowship.
A champion of human rights, he was also associated with the Abdee Markaz Kamraz, a prominent cultural organisation. His last tweet read, "First-ever @UNHumanRights report on #Kashmir calls for #international inquiry into multiple violations."