Bashir Ahmad Bashir (BAB) wasn’t initially planning on being a cartoonist, as he had joined Srinagar Times back in 1969 to help his brother edit the paper. One day his brother and founder of the Srinagar Times, Sofi Ghulam Mohammad, told him: “We should introduce something new in our newspaper.”
In 1971, the introduction of that one new thing left the readers of Srinagar Times pleasantly surprised. The paper had carried a cartoon of Sheikh Abdullah in its mid page. And reportedly, it was the first ever cartoon published in the journalistic history of Kashmir.
More than four decades into cartoon making has immortalized him as the best cartoonist of the valley who has lost count of his own cartoons. He doesn’t remember many of his best works, but he candidly asserts: “Every day, my new cartoon makes me feel—as if, this is my masterpiece.”
BAB was dragged into court 2-3 times by Govt. for his ironically sad depictions of political affairs in Kashmir but that didn’t stop him from creating cartoons and making Kashmiris laugh for decades.
BAB is rightly the legendary cartoonist of Kashmir.