Tuesday, 16 August, 2011


shehla masood
The first I heard of Shehla Masood was through my uncle Shankar Ghosh, a friend of hers. I was looking for a job and Kaku said Shehla, a wildlife activist could always use help with her work. It seemed ideal and I wrote to her but before she could reply I landed a job with a news channel and moved to Bombay. Following her closely through the internet and other social networking sites like many other, one could see her energy and extensive knowledge burst through every post.
The last I remember of her was while editing footage that had arrived from Bhopal to the news studio during the first Anna Hazare fast for the Lokpal Bill in April 2011. Through the reams of footage from every part of India suddenly her face jumped into frame. She had, like always, gathered a huge crowd in Bhopal and sat in solidarity with Anna. The reporter thrust the mike under her nose and she said with quiet fire, “we support the Lokpal, it is necessary.” “What is your name,” asked the reporter. ‘Shehla Masood.’ The reporter let the mike linger but Shehla had had her say. A true activist, she wasn’t in it for personal glory, trying to put herself before the issue by playing for the camera. Hence her footage was not ‘masala enough’ for our fiery news channel looking to catch eyeballs and her ‘byte’ went unaired.
Kaku just arrived home this morning, enroute to Bhopal to meet Shehla a day before the Wildlife Photography Exhibition she had organized on the 19th of August. Needless to say we are shocked and heartbroken.
RIP Shehla Masood ... friend, fighter and a thoroughly brave lady. It's taken less than 24hrs after Independence D for the Indian government to rear its ugly head and put Indians to shame. On one hand Anna Hazare is arrested for peaceful protests and on the other Shehla murdered in Bhopal for her courageous work as an RTI and Wildlife Activist. Shivraj Singh, the Forest Department, Land Mafia, Tiger Mafia and the entire state machinery is responsible for this cowardly act.

I am proud to be an Indian. Happy Independence Day.” - Shehla Masood, 15 August, 2011 ( Facebook)

Gandhi “the purpose of civil resistance is provocation”. Anna has succeeded in provoking the Govt and the Opposition. Hope he wins us freedom from corruption. Meet at 2 pm Boat Club Bhopal” - Shehla Masood, 16 August, 2011 few minutes before her martyrdom ( Facebook)

"We suspect that the considered timing of her elimination during the ongoing anti-corruption campaign when she was on her way to support Anna Hazare’s fast is meant to overshadow the issue of illegal Diamond mining project in Chhattarpur district, Madhya Pradesh by Rio Tinto and the political Mafiosi." http://kafila.org/2011/08/16/statement-on-the-martyrdom-of-shehla-masood/

“About 35 years old, Shehla was still sitting in the driver's seat when she was attacked; however, no one heard any gun shot. When the car didn't move for a while, the family members came out only to find that she had collapsed on one side with blood oozing out from her chest. “



Faiz said...

Very disappointed. Didn't know her personally, but your post has evoked something. It is a shame that someone who stands up for something stands alone.

Anonymous said...

Shehla was involved with some BJP politicians (something behind the curtains). It was all over in the Bhopal newspapers. Her murder was just an after effect of what happens when you get involved murkily with these politicians.