Shujaat Bukhari, a leading Indian journalist and editor who worked for peace in the disputed regions of Indian-Kashmir has been shot dead in Srinagar during Iftar time on Thursday. He is the first 14th journalist since 1990 in the volatile disputed region of Indian Kashmir.

In an India engulfed with rising tides of bigotry and ultra-nationalism, particularly in Kashmir, Shujaat Bukhari was one of the few voices of reason and moderation. He went against the nationalist and jingoist state narrative on Kashmir followed by most journalists and media houses, by detailing just how intense the division between Kashmir and India was. Bukhari, however, was also just as quick to call out the secessionist groups in Kashmir, and condemned militant violence and extremism. In short, he invoked trouble from both sides, from the ultra-nationalist narrative that has dominated India’s stance on Kashmir, and from the militant secessionist groups.

Perhaps this tragic death will finally force the Indian state out of this closed-eye jingoist narrative it has adopted on Kashmir and make the government realise that the extent of division and resentment in Kashmir cannot be solved simply through military action. Kashmir has seen so many casualties at the hands of the State and militants alike, that it has become the place of funerals and mourning, and this violence only serves to further the divisions between Kashmiris and the Indian State.

Hopefully, this horrific incident will compel India to consider a more reasonable stance on Kashmir. While nationalist forces may not have caused this murder, the hate-mongering and inciting voices in the media against any journalist who presents an alternative theory on Kashmir surely played a part. India needs to do this while there are still sane moderate voices around; if it continues its suppressive approach, it will soon only have fundamentalist extremists to deal with.