What is the first thing that pops up in your mind when you talk about journalists? It goes without saying that the life of a journalist is replete with risks. Despite knowing the challenging ambience of this profession, a journalist always tries to go the extra mile to mirror the harsh reality of a nation. They never think twice when it comes to their profession.
Danish Siddiqui was one such diligent photojournalist who was recently killed in a crossfire while covering the clash between Afghanistan troops and Taliban forces in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
He bagged the Pulitzer prize in 2018 for his phenomenal photography that captured an exhausted Rohingya refugee woman touching the shore after crossing the Bangladesh-Myanmar border. He was globally acclaimed for covering the Rohingya refugee crisis.
Photography was his first language through which he conveyed his compassion. His pictures reflect his emphatic gaze. He was the journalist whose work rendered the world the most urgent stories through searing photographs. Such was the impact of his lens. It is as plain as a pikestaff that his demise has hit the media fraternity with shock.
His death is an immense loss to the world of journalism. The last two years of his work from India was seminal and will be documented and preserved in the books of history. His photography not only portrays and frames the world but also shapes the understanding of the picture. The images captured by him are powerful enough to move the masses which in turn shook their perception of reality.
He worked for Reuters News Agency. As a matter of fact, he commenced his career as a television news correspondent but switched to photojournalism shortly after joining Reuters as an intern in the year 2010. He was an alumnus of Jamia Millia Islamia University.
Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani, Information & Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur, Chief Ministers Mamata Banerjee and Pinarayi Vijayan offered their condolences. Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla, speaking at the UN Security Council in New York, condemned the killing of Siddiqui on a reporting assignment and extended condolences to his family.
The demise of Danish Siddiqui is a tragic loss.
He was a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist whose photographs were emblematic of the upheavals that our country witnessed in the past few years.
My thoughts & prayers are with his family, loved ones and colleagues.
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) July 16, 2021
He captured the prominent image of who I believe to be a Hindu Nationalist terrorist, accused of wielding a gun at students of Jamia University in New Delhi, during the citizenship amendment protests that were held at the varsity. In the photo, the cops stood in the background like mute spectators. His photographs conspicuously delineated the lawlessness in India.
Moreover, notwithstanding the dreary second wave of Corona, he meticulously covered the hard-hitting reality of our country wherein his work showcased the under-prepared healthcare system and staff of India.
His pictures speak volumes. He held a mirror so mighty that it was impossible to avert one’s eyes. He captured all scales and facets of tragedy during the first wave of the pandemic in India. He unravelled the incompetence of the Indian government in handling the Corona crisis. Giving up was never an option for him. Despite all the derogatory tweets, he persevered and was patient.
Hence, he has set an impeccable example for innumerable aspiring journalists who are willing enough to act in the face of difficulty with no intention of giving in.