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My editor's face

Shujaat Sir will always be remembered for his unbiased journalism

Post by on Wednesday, June 16, 2021

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Two days before Shujaat Sir’s death, as a city reporter I had to attend an event which was organized by Zakat Foundation of India. The event was held at Nigeen Club where Shujaat Sir was the chief guest. That day was the last day I saw him face-to-face. Once the event was over, I did not have any conveyance to reach my rented accommodation. Shujaat Sir asked his driver to drop me at my residence and then waited for 40 minutes for his return.

He could have easily ignored my presence as I was at that time just a cub reporter but he reached out to me as an editor is expected. He was a great human being and a good editor. After two days, as it was the last day of Ramdhan, I was on my way to my home in north Kashmir, and my father informed me about the fateful news. It was a shock for me as well as my whole family.  It was hard to believe that our beloved editor had left us.

At Rising Kashmir office, during our meetings he would talk to each one of us; always encouraged us. Be it professional or personal help, he was always ready, just a call or message away. Whenever I used to meet him, he would always ask me about my family.

It was Feb 2017, when I met Shujaat Sir personally at Rising Kashmir Office and after having a short introduction he asked me to report on north Kashmir and also directed me to send some story ideas. I remember his words to me, "You are from my native place and there are already two reporters from the area, Mansoor and Javid, who will also help you in story ideas. After one month, meet me again," he said.

It was a turning point in my life as I entered the field of journalism. Each day I used to file small news reports, mostly from my locality. Soon after mailing it to Shujaat Sir, he would reply with suggestions, improvements and spelling errors.

After one month, I was asked to report from Srinagar and was assigned City beat. Once I remember that I filed a story on a cultural academy event. I usually used to send my story in the evening and leave the office immediately. After five minutes I got an email from Shujaat Sir. I had reached Clock Tower by then and he asked me to spell out the name of the poet.

"Correct the name of Syed Aijaz to Saeed Aijaz'' he had written. He was the main speaker at the event. I sat down in the park and updated my story. Although it was a minor mistake but we learned a lot from such things. He was very friendly with reporters and always would come to the newsroom and ask each one of us about our stories. He would always encourage us to write good human interest stories.

He was not just an editor, but a guide and mentor to us. Shujaat Sir was the bold voice; he was wise, friendly, confident, courageous and would always raise the voice against injustice. Shujaat Sir will always be remembered for his unbiased journalism.

May Allah grant him the highest place in Jannah. Ameen!

(Author is Rising Kashmir Reporter and can be mailed at: irfanyatoo@risingkashmir.com)

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