The Dirty War In Kashmir

Frontline Reports

Shujaat Bukhari

978-93-80118-72-7

LeftWord Books, New Delhi, 2018

95 pages

Price INR 150.00
Book Club Price INR 105.00
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'Shujaat Bukhari was a deep professional, a powerful voice, and his death is a huge loss to the democratic ethos. This is a grave attack not only on press freedom but also an assault on voices of sanity and reason.' – Mohammed Yusuf Tarigami, MLA, Kulgam, and CPI-M leader

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'Shujaat Bukhari was a deep professional, a powerful voice, and his death is a huge loss to the democratic ethos. This is a grave attack not only on press freedom but also an assault on voices of sanity and reason.' – Mohammed Yusuf Tarigami, MLA, Kulgam, and CPI-M leader

Shujaat Bukhari was one of the most vital, balanced and well-informed voices in Kashmir. Perhaps for this reason, the 50-year-old journalist was shot dead by motorcycle-borne gunmen in Srinagar on the evening of June 14, 2018, as he was leaving the office of Rising Kashmir. A voice has been silenced. But before he was killed, Shujaat Bukhari documented for Frontline magazine the damage done to Kashmir. This book collects Shujaat Bukhari's reports from May 2017 to his assassination. He reflects here on the policies of the Indian state (including the impunity given to the army), the hate-filled politics of the Hindu Right (exemplified in the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua), the alienation of the Kashmiri people, the protests of young people (and their use of social media) and the rise of a new kind of militant (such as Burhan Wani). These are detailed assessments, essential reading for anyone who wants to know about the old and new forces inside Kashmir. The pieces offer insights into the ways and means to bring about lasting peace in the valley – a cause for which Shujaat lived and died.

Here is a short video with excerpts of the book along with archival footage of the valley that brings to life the Kashmir that Shujaat Bukhari writes about in these Frontline reports.

Shujaat Bukhari

Shujaat Bukhari (1968-2018) was a journalist based in Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir). He was the Srinagar correspondent for Frontline and was the editor of Rising Kashmir. Between 1997 and 2012, he was a correspondent for The Hindu. Shujaat started the Urdu daily Buland Kashmir and the Urdu weekly Kashmir Parcham as well as the Kashmiri language paper Sangarmal. He was president of the Abadi Markaz Kamraz, a literary forum to promote the Kashmiri language. An honest and well-informed journalist, Shujaat survived three assassination attempts before he was brutally gunned down outside his office on June 14, 2018. He is survived by his wife Tahmeena and his two children.

Review

While he is critical of New Delhi, Bukhari does not spare the separatists either for their lack of acumen to engage in a dialogue process. The book achieves its goal of telling the stories of Kashmir and making readers across India understand why New Delhi should not deal with Kashmir with an iron fist.

Faisul Yaseen, The Hindu