Senior journalist and owner of Urdu daily ‘Wadi Ki Awaz,’ Ghulam Nabi Shaida passed away at his Rawalpora residence here last night. He was 74.
As per his will, Shaida was laid to rest at his ancestral graveyard in Goripora village in Pulwama. People in large numbers from different walks of life participated in his Namaz-e-Jinaza.
Senior journalists remember late Ghulam Nabi Shaida as someone who despite having suffered hard times in his journalistic career, worked selflessly as a professional editor. The journalistic fraternity of the Valley has described his demise as a huge loss to Kashmir journalism.
Ghulam Nabi Shaida hailed from village Goripora but after joining journalism, he resided in Srinagar. Apart from being a prolific journalist, late Shaida was also a known social activist.
Shaida was involved in several social activities by supporting the poor and needy, including those suffering from various illnesses especially cancer patients, with help of a Non-Government Organisation. Ghulam Nabi Shaida had secured MA degree from Aligarh Muslim University and had contested Parliamentary polls with a mandate from the Congress. He even served as a Private Secretary of Dr Karan Singh. A former employee of Wadi Ki Awaz said Ghulam Nabi Shaida started the publication in 1984. On December 25, 1986, after late Shaida criticised a contentious article published in a Delhi-based newspaper, his publication Wadi Ki Awaz was banned by then Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah-led government. Shaida had even been detained for six months, a senior journalist said. During his time in jail, Shaida penned down an Urdu publication ‘Mera Kusoor Ishke Rasool (SAW)’.
The Kashmir Editors’ Guild, while condoling his demise, called Shaida an upright person who would always be unbiased in his work and would always strive for the betterment of media institutions in Kashmir. Shaida will be remembered for his work and his humble nature, the Guild said, adding he was understanding and professional, honest and hard working.
“Ghulam Nabi Shaida was a fearless and an upright journalist who would always be unbiased in his work as a journalist. Shaida sahib faced multiple challenges during his career as a journalist and he was even jailed for his work during the early eighties. It was due to his tireless efforts that Shaida Sahab managed to carve out a niche for himself and his publication ‘Wadi Ki Awaaz’. The death of the veteran editor is a huge loss for the institution of journalism in Jammu and Kashmir. Ghulam Nabi Shaida will always be remembered for upholding the values and ethics of journalism amid the challenging situation,” the KEG statement said. “KEG stands with the family of the deceased editor in this hour of grief,” the statement added.
The National Conference president Dr Farooq Abdullah and vice-president Omar Abdullah have expressed grief over the demise. In their condolence message the NC leaders have expressed sympathy with the bereaved family members and prayed for eternal repose to the departed soul in the highest echelons of Jannah, said a statement. The duo said the deceased has left deep imprints on account of his writings in the field of Urdu journalism in Kashmir. Terming Shaida Sahib’s death a “great loss to the media fraternity in Kashmir”, Dr Abdullah and Omar Abdullah recalled his affinity for socio- cultural activities, saying that well-rounded personality of the deceased would be remembered for his immense contribution in the field of journalism, culture and literature. In his demise, the valley has lost a bold and courageous voice, the statement said. NC General Secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar, Provincial President Nasir Aslam Wani, MP Anantnag Hasnain Masoodi, and Spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar have also condoled the demise of Shaida Sahib, prayed for peace to his soul and fortitude to the bereaved family members. They have also expressed solidarity with the bereaved family of the deceased in their hour of grief.
The People’s Democratic Party has also expressed grief and sorrow over the demise. In a condolence message party President Mehbooba Mufti said that late Ghulam Nabi Shaida will always be remembered for “his unbiased work, honesty and professional integrity.” Mufti expressed solidarity with the bereaved family members and prayed for the departed soul. PDP vice-president Abdul Rehman Veeri, general secretary Gulam Nabi Lone Hanjoora, senior leader Nizamudin Bhat, district president Srinagar Khursheed Aalam, spokesperson Suhail Bukhari, additional spokesperson Tahir Syeed and others also expressed solidarity with the bereaved family and media fraternity, the statement said.
In his condolence message, the Apni Party media advisor Farooq Andrabi expressed grief over the demise of late Ghulam Nabi Shaida. In a statement issued here, Andrabi said: “Ghulam Nabi Shaida was one of the sincere journalists that the valley has seen lately. The services he rendered in the field of journalism are exceptional and highly commendable. He was a man of principles and kindness. His untimely demise has created a deep hollow in the community of journalists that is hard to fill.” He expressed solidarity with the bereaved family and prayed for the eternal peace to the departed soul.
Director Information and Public Relations, Dr Syed Sehrish Asgar, along with officers and employees of the Department of Information and Public Relations have condoled the demise. An official statement said in this connection a condolence meet was chaired by Dr Sehrish at Media Complex here in which all the employees of DIPR participated. The participants expressed deep sorrow and grief over the demise of GN Shaida. Speaking during the condolence meet, Dr Sehrish highlighted the contribution of GN Shaida during his professional career and said that his death is a great loss to the society as he played a leading role in highlighting the local public issues through his journalistic work, the statement said. Dr Sehrish said that Shaida Sahib was an able journalist and upright professional who devoted his entire life for public good. Dr Sehrish and other participants offered their deepest condolences to the bereaved family and prayed for eternal peace to the departed soul and courage for the bereaved family to bear this irreparable loss, the statement said.