Slain Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui was posthumously awarded the prestigious Pulitzer Prize in feature photography on May 9. This was Danish`s second Pulitzer win for his outstanding work in journalism; he had also received the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for feature photography for documenting the Rohingya refugee crisis.
According to the Pulitzer Prize
s website, Reuters photojournalist Danish and his colleagues, Adnan Abidi, Sanna Irshad Mattoo and Amit Dave, were together awarded for theimages of Covid’s toll in India that balanced intimacy and devastation, while offering viewers a heightened sense of place`.
Speaking about Danish`s professional achievements, his father, retired professor Akhtar Siddiqui, in a telephonic interview from Delhi, told mid-day.com, “Danish was a very hard-working and brave person, always dedicated to his work. His talent has been recognised by the world through this prestigious award. It is a great honour for everyone. But the sad part is that today, he is not among us to celebrate this moment.”
Professor Siddiqui added, “Most of the assignments he took were dangerous. Though he never feared the risks involved, he used to take proper precautions while working. While covering the Covid crisis in India, he used to wear double protective gear. He visited the Covid wards and, through his photography, showed the world, the people who were in grief, pain and suffering. He even travelled to crematoriums and graveyards, and took up journeys of thousands of kilometres to different states during the pandemic. He even travelled to places where the migrants were suffering. Danish always stood for honesty and integrity in his work.”
The 70-year-old father said, “During the Covid period, I used to tell him to be very cautious. Before returning home, he used to change his clothes. At home he used to be in a separate room to ensure the safety of the family. I could feel how traumatising it was for him to see helpless people crying and mourning for their loved ones and dead bodies lying in hospitals, crematoriums and graveyards.”
Danish had also covered some of the major international events, including the Hong Kong protests and the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, during which he was killed while on assignment.
A statement released by Danish`s family in March this year said, “On July 16, 2021, Danish Siddiqui was taken to a mosque, historically a place of refuge, for medical treatment. The mosque was attacked by the Taliban and Danish was taken into custody, tortured and murdered. Reports say that he was attacked by the Red Unit of the Taliban. After his killing, his body was mutilated, including being run over by a heavy vehicle in public. His body revealed marks of brutal torture and 12 bullet entry and exit points. These were received after his capture, as his bulletproof jacket has no bullet marks. From multiple accounts, it is clear he was tortured and killed because he was a journalist and an Indian.”
Press Release from Danish Siddiqui`s Family regarding filing ICC petition pic.twitter.com/Ul66rvdyvO
— Danish Siddiqui (@dansiddiqui) March 22, 2022
According to the Pulitzer Prize website, Danish graduated with a degree in economics from Jamia Millia Islamia, where he would later pursue post-graduate studies in Mass Communication. He had received the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography, as part of a team of photographers for documenting the Rohingya refugee crisis.
Originally published at www.mid-day.com