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02-26-2024     3 رجب 1440

Writing on Kashmir a fearless labour of love: Farooq Wani

Kerala Guv to release 2 books of BK Editor-in-Chief at Delhi function

February 01, 2023 | Ashok Dixit

The Editor-in-Chief of Brighter Kashmir, Farooq Wani's nearly one-and-a-half-decade long career as a journalist is a journey that has not only had its fair share of challenges but also provides inspiration to an aspiring younger generation.
On February 7, the Governor of Kerala, Mohammad Arif Khan, has graciously agreed to visit New Delhi to launch two books authored by Mr. Wani, The Changing Colours of Chinar: Recollections of a Kashmiri Journalist and Sheikh-ul-Alam (RA): Kashmir's Mystic Sufi Saint.
Writing these books has been a dream come true for Farooq Wani, or as he eloquently puts it, "This task of putting pen to paper to recall the impact of many of the incidents and issues primarily on the lives of the common Kashmiri on the street and on India overall has been a labour of love and a story that must be told.
Professor (Dr) D.K. Giri, a well known academician-cum-author of international politics, spoke with Mr. Wani recently to get a sense of what convinced the latter to opt for a career in journalism after spending a large part of his life as an entrepreneur. Here are the excerpts:
D.K.Giri: Farooq Saheb, welcome, it is a pleasure and a joy for me to interview you? For some years now the attention of the whole world has been trained on what has been transpiring in Kashmir, a region of India that has been and continues to be sensitive from a political and security point of view? You have closely watched and witnessed some of these incidents and events. Our viewers would be interested to know your interpretation of some of these events; what made you take up journalism, what are the challenges, highs and lows that you faced while pursuing it?
Farooq Wani: Thanks Dr. Giri, you have been very kind to give me a chance to express my views and also to speak about my books. Hopefully, these two books will touch the hearts of the people and will serve as a point of reference for the younger generation. I started Brighter Kashmir in 2010.
At that time, I was struggling in the sense that I had to look after my wife who was suffering from cancer (last stage). She succumbed later. At that time, I was in Goa and that disease which had gripped my wife, forced me to come back to Kashmir.
It was luck and providence that led me to start this venture of launching a paper. Kashmir was then in a state of huge and bad turmoil. I started Brighter Kashmir as a single White and Black page. I am grateful to my family, a number of supporters and the Government of Jammu and Kashmir for supporting me. By the grace of the almighty, I have been able to establish this paper as the voice of the people of Kashmir and achieved some measure of success in promoting and publishing issues of national interest.
D.K. Giri: Tell us a little bit more about the challenges that you faced while launching this paper? I am sure our viewers would be interested to know what goes into the making and publishing of a paper?
Farooq Wani: Yes, true, I have faced a number of challenges and threats to my life while pursuing my brand of narration, but I have no regrets, for today I feel my narration puts me at the top insofar as reporting on Kashmir and its extended neighbourhood is concerned.
D.K. Giri: Thank you, no, I have had a chance to look at your paper; it certainly has a nationalist narrative and you give a critique of both the government and the armed forces in a bold and fearless manner, which is very good. Taking that kind of a step in what is widely acknowledged as a conflict zone, is courageous and praiseworthy. We really appreciate your commitment to the national cause and to the people of Kashmir? So tell me about your book, I have had the opportunity to look at your book, and again I see the same spirit and theme, i.e., strong dose of nationalism and a spirit of solidarity, and development for the people of Kashmir? I see your commitment for and towards the people of Kashmir and you do not spare anyone that casts an evil eye on that region? You are particularly severe in your criticism of those people with vested interests in politics? How do you get that courage?
Farooq Wani: See, Dr. Giri, you have raised a good question? By starting this paper, I established connections with many establishments in Kashmir. I have achieved some measure of success through this venture. So much was happening in Kashmir in those early years of the paper that there were times when I was simply walking on the road and people used to indirectly say "This army man is coming". I was actually identified as an agent of the government or the army. They put this tag on me, but that did not make me afraid or deter me from my objective. You have made a reference to my book and on that I would like to say that I have tried to collect and compile my experiences as a journalist. This book is touching every aspect of Kashmir, be it student activism, or militancy, I have left nothing out in my narrative on developments in Kashmir in the last 20-25 years. And I think the main objective behind coming out with this book is to educate youngsters about what all has happened in Kashmir in the recent past. There are 77 chapters in this book and around 50 of these are on Kashmir, be it the drug menace, social issues, etc. I have not restricted myself to Kashmir alone, but have also touched upon international issues, developments-- that is also in the book, I have written about China, PoK, America, Covid, everything.
D.K. Giri: Thank you Farooq Saheb, I know you are visiting the city (Delhi) in connection with the launch of your book, which I think is on the 7th of February in the India Islamic Cultural Centre, and the insights that you are sharing with the people about the developments inside Kashmiri society, which will be very useful to the people to read, because people do not know Kashmir, the issues, developments and stories that affect that part of world. Your book, I feel, would enlighten, inform and sensitise the people about the real situation in Kashmir. Coming from a journalist living in Kashmir, we all look forward to reading your book, but what are your expectations from the people after they read your book?
Farooq Wani: Dr. Saheb, I am not expecting anything from the people. My sole intention is that my volume of work should and will speak, should appeal. I just want people to see, read the book and judge my work. My job is to put my thoughts before the people; whether they take it in the right or not so right spirit, I am not in control of that, I am very hopeful that this book will touch the hearts of the people. Here I wish to reveal that while the book has not come out in the market, I have already sold 100 copies of it.
In conclusion, Professor (Dr.) Giri described Mr. Wani's book as an authentic, fearless and courageous description of developments in Kashmir as well as a lucid attempt to correctly place the contributions of the government and the armed forces towards ensuring that the sensitive region remains peaceful and progressive in times to come.

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Writing on Kashmir a fearless labour of love: Farooq Wani

Kerala Guv to release 2 books of BK Editor-in-Chief at Delhi function

February 01, 2023 | Ashok Dixit

The Editor-in-Chief of Brighter Kashmir, Farooq Wani's nearly one-and-a-half-decade long career as a journalist is a journey that has not only had its fair share of challenges but also provides inspiration to an aspiring younger generation.
On February 7, the Governor of Kerala, Mohammad Arif Khan, has graciously agreed to visit New Delhi to launch two books authored by Mr. Wani, The Changing Colours of Chinar: Recollections of a Kashmiri Journalist and Sheikh-ul-Alam (RA): Kashmir's Mystic Sufi Saint.
Writing these books has been a dream come true for Farooq Wani, or as he eloquently puts it, "This task of putting pen to paper to recall the impact of many of the incidents and issues primarily on the lives of the common Kashmiri on the street and on India overall has been a labour of love and a story that must be told.
Professor (Dr) D.K. Giri, a well known academician-cum-author of international politics, spoke with Mr. Wani recently to get a sense of what convinced the latter to opt for a career in journalism after spending a large part of his life as an entrepreneur. Here are the excerpts:
D.K.Giri: Farooq Saheb, welcome, it is a pleasure and a joy for me to interview you? For some years now the attention of the whole world has been trained on what has been transpiring in Kashmir, a region of India that has been and continues to be sensitive from a political and security point of view? You have closely watched and witnessed some of these incidents and events. Our viewers would be interested to know your interpretation of some of these events; what made you take up journalism, what are the challenges, highs and lows that you faced while pursuing it?
Farooq Wani: Thanks Dr. Giri, you have been very kind to give me a chance to express my views and also to speak about my books. Hopefully, these two books will touch the hearts of the people and will serve as a point of reference for the younger generation. I started Brighter Kashmir in 2010.
At that time, I was struggling in the sense that I had to look after my wife who was suffering from cancer (last stage). She succumbed later. At that time, I was in Goa and that disease which had gripped my wife, forced me to come back to Kashmir.
It was luck and providence that led me to start this venture of launching a paper. Kashmir was then in a state of huge and bad turmoil. I started Brighter Kashmir as a single White and Black page. I am grateful to my family, a number of supporters and the Government of Jammu and Kashmir for supporting me. By the grace of the almighty, I have been able to establish this paper as the voice of the people of Kashmir and achieved some measure of success in promoting and publishing issues of national interest.
D.K. Giri: Tell us a little bit more about the challenges that you faced while launching this paper? I am sure our viewers would be interested to know what goes into the making and publishing of a paper?
Farooq Wani: Yes, true, I have faced a number of challenges and threats to my life while pursuing my brand of narration, but I have no regrets, for today I feel my narration puts me at the top insofar as reporting on Kashmir and its extended neighbourhood is concerned.
D.K. Giri: Thank you, no, I have had a chance to look at your paper; it certainly has a nationalist narrative and you give a critique of both the government and the armed forces in a bold and fearless manner, which is very good. Taking that kind of a step in what is widely acknowledged as a conflict zone, is courageous and praiseworthy. We really appreciate your commitment to the national cause and to the people of Kashmir? So tell me about your book, I have had the opportunity to look at your book, and again I see the same spirit and theme, i.e., strong dose of nationalism and a spirit of solidarity, and development for the people of Kashmir? I see your commitment for and towards the people of Kashmir and you do not spare anyone that casts an evil eye on that region? You are particularly severe in your criticism of those people with vested interests in politics? How do you get that courage?
Farooq Wani: See, Dr. Giri, you have raised a good question? By starting this paper, I established connections with many establishments in Kashmir. I have achieved some measure of success through this venture. So much was happening in Kashmir in those early years of the paper that there were times when I was simply walking on the road and people used to indirectly say "This army man is coming". I was actually identified as an agent of the government or the army. They put this tag on me, but that did not make me afraid or deter me from my objective. You have made a reference to my book and on that I would like to say that I have tried to collect and compile my experiences as a journalist. This book is touching every aspect of Kashmir, be it student activism, or militancy, I have left nothing out in my narrative on developments in Kashmir in the last 20-25 years. And I think the main objective behind coming out with this book is to educate youngsters about what all has happened in Kashmir in the recent past. There are 77 chapters in this book and around 50 of these are on Kashmir, be it the drug menace, social issues, etc. I have not restricted myself to Kashmir alone, but have also touched upon international issues, developments-- that is also in the book, I have written about China, PoK, America, Covid, everything.
D.K. Giri: Thank you Farooq Saheb, I know you are visiting the city (Delhi) in connection with the launch of your book, which I think is on the 7th of February in the India Islamic Cultural Centre, and the insights that you are sharing with the people about the developments inside Kashmiri society, which will be very useful to the people to read, because people do not know Kashmir, the issues, developments and stories that affect that part of world. Your book, I feel, would enlighten, inform and sensitise the people about the real situation in Kashmir. Coming from a journalist living in Kashmir, we all look forward to reading your book, but what are your expectations from the people after they read your book?
Farooq Wani: Dr. Saheb, I am not expecting anything from the people. My sole intention is that my volume of work should and will speak, should appeal. I just want people to see, read the book and judge my work. My job is to put my thoughts before the people; whether they take it in the right or not so right spirit, I am not in control of that, I am very hopeful that this book will touch the hearts of the people. Here I wish to reveal that while the book has not come out in the market, I have already sold 100 copies of it.
In conclusion, Professor (Dr.) Giri described Mr. Wani's book as an authentic, fearless and courageous description of developments in Kashmir as well as a lucid attempt to correctly place the contributions of the government and the armed forces towards ensuring that the sensitive region remains peaceful and progressive in times to come.


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Owner, Printer, Publisher, Editor: Farooq Ahmad Wani
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