Jamia teachers mourn tragic death of Danish
The Jamia Teachers’ Association (JTA) deeply mourns the tragic and sudden death of Danish Siddiqui. Son of a senior educator Professor Akhtar Siddiqui, Danish Siddiqui was a former alumnus of the Jamia Millia Islamia.
He won first every Pulitzer Prize for India for his photojournalism. Danish is said to be killed in action while shooting photographs of fighting between the Afghan forces and the Taliban in Spin Boldak district in Eastern Kandahar Province, said the JTA.
As informed by his MCRC teachers, Danish Siddiqui received his entire education in Jamia. Also, his father was the Dean of the Faculty of Education at JMI. After his schooling, Danish did his Bachelors in Economics and went on to complete a Masters in Mass Communication at the AJK MCRC in 2007.
He was a talented student and worked in the television industry after which he got the job with Reuters. In 2018 Danish was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Photography for his documentation of the mass exodus of the persecuted Rohingya people from Myanmar.
His dramatic and poignant image of a Rohingya refugee as she found her way exhausted to the shore after a long and arduous journey from Myanmar to Bangladesh was taken in Shah Porir Dwip in Bangladesh on September 11, 2017.
He went on to take several other defining images of our times, traveling to the most dangerous conflict zones in the region as well as documenting mass suffering and humanitarian crisis. He had recently covered the unfolding tragedy of the Covid crisis in India.
Professor and Officiating Director Shohini Ghosh says: “This is one of the saddest days in the life of the 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.”
“Danish had the unique ability to bestow a journalistic picture with empathy and to give dignity and grace to his subjects,” said Professor Sabeena Gadihoke.
His photographs were hard-hitting but he never compromised on the dignity of those within his frames. In 2018 Danish was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award by his alma mater MCRC. During the ceremony, he described being a photojournalist as both an honor and responsibility to bear witness for those who could not speak for themselves, in the hope that he could make a change for the better.
Danish covered several important stories in Asia, Middle East, and Europe. These included the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Rohingya refugee crisis, the protests in Hong Kong, the Nepal earthquake, Mass Games in North Korea and the living conditions of asylum seekers in Switzerland. He also produced a photo series on Muslim converts in England. His work has been widely published in scores of prestigious magazines, newspapers, slideshows and galleries – including National Geographic Magazine, New York Times, The Guardian, The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, Forbes, Newsweek, NPR, BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera, South China Morning Post, The Straits Times, Bangkok Post, Sydney Morning Herald, The LA Times, Boston Globe, The Globe and Mail, Le Figaro, Le Monde, Der Spiegel, Stern, Berliner Zeitung, The Independent, The Telegraph, Gulf News, Libèration and various other publications.
JTA President Professor Majid Jamil described Danish’s death as a big loss to journalism and the Jamia Biradari. Always good-natured and accessible, Danish was extremely popular with the faculty, his cohorts, and his colleagues all of whom have expressed shock and grief at his untimely passing, Prof. Jamil further added.
JTA Vice President Prof. Nafis Ahmad said: “We, the teachers of Jamia pays homage to the martyr Danish who lost his life in another attempt to bring truth to the world. We are going to miss him”.
Dr. M. Irfan Qureshi, Secretary of JTA said: “We extended wholehearted condolence to his family. The entire teaching fraternity is in a state of pain for such a great loss that can never be fulfilled in the world of photojournalism. His photographs use to be a complete story. He always chose the most difficult site for coverage and dare to extract the unseen truth. We pray Almighty to help the grieving family for strength in this difficult time and pain that cannot be described in words”.
Several of his friends, batchmates, and colleagues have paid homage to him. His death has been covered in publications all over the world and tributes continue to pour in from all quarters. The Jamia Teachers’ Association salutes this brave and extraordinary young man, Danish Siddiqui, the son of Jamia.