Another son of the soil silenced

Another son of the soil silenced

How long shall we feeding our people to this monster of violence?

Kashmir lost yet another son of soil to the mindless violence that the valley has been witnessing for the past three decades. Assassination of Shujaat Bukhari chief editor of Rising Kashmir on the eve of Eid-ul-Fitr has shocked everyone. 

Shujaat’s cold blooded murder has evoked widespread condemnation from every section of the society. It has left everyone speechless. Shujaat’s killing is a message to moderate voices that anyone who talks about peace and reconciliation is not welcome. Shujaat as a journalist as a columnist and as an orator always advocated peace and wanted bloodshed to end. Unfortunately a peace lover like him was killed mercilessly. 

A few people don’t want peace to prevail as it would harm their interests and would leave them issueless. These actors want Kashmir to burn forever and to keep the pot boiling they keep on adding fuel to the fire. People who believe that violence is the only solution, need to bear in mind that this mindless violence would consume them also. No sane person can justify Shujaat’s killing or for that matter anyone’s killing. The merchants of death are in no mood to listen to anyone. Their only aim seems to be to spill the human blood.

Soon after Shujaat’s killing Mirwaiz Umar Farooq raised a valid query stating that everyone is condemning the brutal murder. If everyone is shocked and moved then who killed Shujaat?

We as Kashmiris need to wake up and have to muster courage to call spade a spade. Otherwise we will keep on losing our brothers. It’s unfortunate that killings have become part of our lives and we have accepted them as our fate and have started believing that our reaction hardly matters. We need to wake up and make it clear to the people who are inimical to peace and reconciliation that we cannot tolerate this torture anymore. A message has to go that no one would be allowed to establish his writ by killing innocents.   

Shujaat’s killing has created a vacuum which would be difficult to fill. His assassination is a message to the fourth estate that freedom of press means nothing to the people who have turned into merchants of death. People who think that violence is the only solution they need to be reminded that issues cannot be resolved on streets. History stands testimony to the fact that all the issues across the world have been resolved through negotiations and talks and silencing the voices which care for their own people is no solution.

When Centre announced Ramadan ceasefire in J&K everyone was hopeful that situation would improve and peace would be given a chance. Now it looks like that peace initiative is fast losing its sheen and it may end soon. This is not good news for the people of Kashmir as it would once again lead to more violence which would consume more lives. It’s really sad that graveyards are getting filled and the number of youth is declining fast.

It has been observed that whenever it appears that a breakthrough is in offing something or other happens which leads to status quo. Late Abdul Gani Lone in 2002 had indicated that Hurriyat would talk to New Delhi and he had made it clear to everyone that dialogue is the only way forward, and Kashmiris should be allowed to decide the future course of action but before he could proceed he was silenced forever.  Late Gani Lone’s assassination pushed the peace lovers on the back foot and they just stitched their lips.

Violence has emerged as the biggest enemy of Kashmir. It has to end for things to move forward. Shujaat’s killing is a big set back for the peace process. When Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh visited Kashmir earlier this month he had given enough hints about the Ramadan ceasefire would be extended. But now the truce has been called off and the last hope is over.

Shujaat Bukhari would be remembered by one and all as he was a bold journalist who during his 30-year career gave voice to the voiceless people of Kashmir. A bold voice has been silenced forever. He would always live in our hearts and his contribution towards journalism would always be remembered. Rest In Peace Shujaat.