In this interview with noted author and editor, Vijay Prashad, Dennis J. Bernstein discusses the recent streetside assassination of journalist Shujaat Bukhari in Kashmir.
By Dennis J Bernstein
Large crowds gathered in Kreeri village in Kashmir last Monday to honor the life and journalistic work of Shujaat Bukhari, the slain editor of the Rising Kashmir. Bukhari, who lived under constant threat, was gunned down as he was leaving his office last Thursday. Three heavily armed assassins on motorcycles-opened fire on him with dozens of rounds, killing the fifty-year old family man, along with two of his security guards. He was on his way home to break his Ramzan fast with his family.
Bukhari, who had already been kidnapped once and escaped, was murdered soon after he took up the case of a young man, Kaiser Bhat, who was tragically run over and killed by security forces, during one of many recent street protests in Indian-Administered Kashmir. Last tuesday, local and regional newspapers in Kashmir left large blank spaces where editorials would typically appear to honor the highly revered editor and journalist.
I spoke at length with writer and noted author Vijay Prashad about the life and times of Shujaat Bukhari. Prashad was a colleague of Bukhari–who was for many years the bureau chief of the Hindu newspaper where Prashad’s work also appears
Dennis Bernstein: Welcome Vijay Prashad, Good of you to do this.
Could you tell us about Shujaat Bukhari in the context of his working in that dangerous part of the world?
Vijay Prashad: Shujaat Bukhari was highly respected in Kashmir and well known in other parts of India. Shujaat was for many years the bureau chief of the Hindu newspaper, for which I write. Then he was the head of station for the magazine Frontline. These periodicals highly valued the reports Bukhari submitted from Kashmir. He was a very honest reporter, in an age when many journalists are simply stenographers who amplify the voices of the powerful. …