A man whose dreams died the day he fell to bullets
On that frigid night, those two unidentified gunmen did not shoot to death Parvaz only but his dreams, aspirations and desires came to a devastating end. Parvaz Muhammad Sultan, a prominent journalist of Kashmir fell to bullets at his residential quarters in Press Enclave at Srinagar. Parvaz, who hailed from a remote village Khiram of South Kashmir’s Anantnag district, was a visionary and an extraordinary man. Parvaz Sultan had a humble origin. His journey to fame had been like hut to white house.
Parvaz had been a brilliant student throughout his academic journey, outshining his all contemporaries. He was a voracious reader. The locals of his village Khiram are testimony to the fact that Parvaz Sultan was seen always in the company of books, magazines, periodicals and especially Urdu novels of the great and legendary Ibn Safi, which played a great role in the growth of Sultan. The investigative skills which were part of the person of Parvaz were first learnt at the doorsteps in Ibn Safi through his internationally acclaimed characters of Imran and Colonel Fareedi. The Urdu Literature more especially the fiction played a pivotal role in framing the future course for Parvaz.
He started his Journalistic career from the Alsafa, the leading Urdu newspaper of those times, where he assisted Muhammad Shaban Vakeel as his associate editor. Vakeel was the then editor in chief of the newspaper Alsafa. Alsafa owes a great deal to Parvaz Sultan, as he was the brain behind the success of Alsafa, as the people of those times would agree. He later joined Chattan and Waadi Ki Awaaz where he became a household name in the heady days of militancy for his investigative process, for which the archives of Chattan are enough as testimony
Parvaz started his own newspaper Al Akhbaar-e-Sadiq after working in number of leading dailies. His famous and successful attempt throughout his not so long journalistic career was News and Feature Alliance (NAFA), his own news agency. The reason behind the creation of NAFA was to chisel the budding journalists of the valley and to transport unbiased reporting. Before he could fulfil his dreams and duties, he was shot dead. Parvaz’s death left his family dismayed, especially her wife who also bid adieu to her life within a year after his death. The broods he left behind have completely withdrawn themselves from the worldly comforts.
I still remember those times when my whole family used to gather in the evening to listen to Parvaz’s reportage from Radio Kashmir’s famous radio program Shaherbeen. For a child like me, he was an inspiration. His voice enthralled me. Recently when the Indian Journalist Gauri Lankesh was mercilessly assassinated, it reminded me of Parvaz. Gauri Lankesh’s death invigorated the horror I had from Parvaz Sultan’s death. His life, especially his approach towards life has always been talk of our village. Even today people remember him for his selfless character. Parvaz will always be remembered for his immense contribution in both personal and professional fronts.
More than a decade has passed his death is still a mystery, an untraced murder. Even today nobody knows who killed Parvaz and why?
(The author is a student of Mass communication and Journalism at Media Education Research Centre University of Kashmir)