Remembering Danish Siddiqui – a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and an alumnus of Jamia Millia Islamia

“I shoot for the common man who wants to see and feel a story from a place where he can’t be present himself.” ~ Danish Siddiqui

 

Mr Danish Siddiqui, an award-winning photojournalist, left for heavenly abode on Friday, July 16, 2021.

In the last 11 years, he has covered major events including the Battle of Mosul, the Nepal earthquake, and Hong Kong protests and in 2018, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography for documenting the Rohingya refugee crisis. More recently, he had been extensively documenting the Hong Kong protests, the North-East Delhi Riots, and India’s fight against COVID-19. A number of his eye-opening photographs have not only helped to reach true stories to the general public but have also helped the ones seeking justice to reach the doors of the judiciary.

For his current assignment, over the past few days as the head of the photography team of Reuters, Danish had been covering Afghan-Taliban clashes. An alumnus of Jamia Millia Islamia; New Delhi, Danish had completed his undergraduate in BA Economics and MA in Mass Communication at Jamia Millia Islamia’s AJK MCRC.

Jamia Millia Islamia through a press release dated July 16th, 2021 expressed condolences on the tragic death of the award-winning journalist. Through the press release, Vice-Chancellor Prof Najma Akhtar termed Siddiqui’s death as a big loss to journalism and the Jamia fraternity. Professor and Officiating Director Shohini Ghosh, who taught Siddiqui during his post-graduate, said that

“This is one of the saddest days in the life of MCRC. Danish was one of the brightest stars in our hall of fame and a proactive alumnus who kept returning to his alma mater to share with students his work and experiences. We will miss him deeply but are determined to keep his memory alive.”

Other than that, ‘JMI Journalism Alums Group’ expressed their grief and condolences by publishing a statement dated July 16th, 2021 which said,

“We are deeply shocked and saddened by the news of Danish Siddiqui’s death. As fellow journalists, we admired his work and celebrated his success. As alumni of AJK MCRC and Jamia Millia Islamia, we are proud of his achievements. He will be remembered not just as an international award-winning photojournalist but also as a human being full of humility and kindness. Many of us have received his guidance and support — both at the university, where he returned frequently for interactions and on the field. Danish’s death is a reminder for all media organizations to prioritize journalists’ safety. We request the Indian government to support his family in this time of grave loss and help bring his remains back to the country. We extend our condolences to his family and friends. We request everyone to respect his memory by not sharing photographs of his body. Please preserve his dignity in death.”

While speaking on “Documenting Conflict beyond Borders” at a TedxGateway, Danish said,

“As a photojournalist, I have the privilege to witness humanity at its best and its worst and everything in between. My role is as a mirror and I want to expose you to the raw truth and make you a witness to it…other photojournalists and I will keep exposing you in the hope that one day you will notice the sufferings and the pain in our photographs that we take and stand up for a change.”

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