Danish Siddiqui was an Indian photojournalist. He was a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist. On 16 July 2021, he was killed in the Spin Boldak district of Kandahar city of Afghanistan. He was covering a clash between the Afghan security forces and Taliban fighters when he was shot dead. He was on an assignment with Reuters and the Afghan government to cover the conflicts between Afghan security forces and the Taliban.
Danish Siddiqui was born Ahmad Danish Siddiqui on 19 May 1983 (age 38 years; as of 2021) in New Delhi, India. Reuters His Zodiac sign was Taurus. He earned a graduate degree in Economics at Jania Millia Islamia, Delhi. Later, he went on to pursue a degree in Mass Communication from the AJK Mass Communication Research Centre in Jamia in 2007. Danish Siddiqui Website
Hair Colour: Salt and Pepper
Eye Colour: Black
His father’s name is Akhtar Siddiqui. His mother’s name is not known.
Wife and Children
Reportedly, Danish began his career on television as a news correspondent. Later, he opted for photojournalism. Soon, he began working as a correspondent with the India Today Group. His work spanned between September 2008 to January 2010 at India Today Group. In 2010, he joined the international news organisation ‘Reuters’ as an intern after working as a correspondent with the Hindustan Times newspaper and the TV Today channel. Later, he was appointed as the Chief Photographer in India by Reuters. As a photojournalist, during 2016-17, he covered the Battle of Mosul.
In April 2015, he covered the Nepal Earthquake. In 2016, he made reports on the refugee crisis arising from the Rohingya genocide, and he covered the Hong Kong protests of 2019-2020. He was also involved in covering the 2020 Delhi Riots. He was actively involved in covering the Covid-19 pandemic in South Asia, Middle East, and Europe in 2020-2021.
A photograph that was clicked by Danish was featured by Reuters on their new headings, and it was regarded as one of the defining photographs, which he clicked during the 2020 Delhi Riots.
In July 2021, Danish Siddiqui was covering the situation in Afghanistan’s Kandahar due to the critical conditions in the area. Reportedly, his name was linked with the Afghan Special Government Forces on some special missions, and he apparently died when there was a rise in the clash between the Afghan Special Forces and Taliban. On June 13, he tweeted that he was targeted by at least 3 RPG rounds when he was travelling in the vehicle with other special forces while covering the clashes.
The Humvee in which I was travelling with other special forces was also targeted by at least 3 RPG rounds and other weapons. I was lucky to be safe and capture the visual of one of the rockets hitting the armour plate overhead. pic.twitter.com/wipJmmtupp
— Danish Siddiqui (@dansiddiqui) July 13, 2021
After the killing of Danish amid Afgan government and Taliban clashes, intensified the situation globally. Soon, the US-led international forces withdrew their army from the area. Meanwhile, the Taliban succeeded in seizing various borders and districts in the north and west of Afganistan.
Awards, Honours, Achievements
In 2018, Siddiqui, along with his colleague Adnan Abidi, became the first Indian to win the Pulitzer Prize. He received this prize as a staff member of Reuters while documenting and covering the Rohingya Refugee Crisis in 2016. This picture that won the prize showed an exhausted Rohingya refugee touches the border area while crossing the Bangladesh-Myanmar border through the Bay of Bengal with a boat.
At the age of 40 years, Danish Siddiqui died on 16th July 2021. On 18 July 2021, a death certificate was issued in Kabul by the Embassy of India. The certificate read that Danish Siddiqui was died on 16 July 2021 at Spin Boldak, Kandahar, Afghanistan, while he was on an assignment with Reuters, as a chief reporter and photographer. The cause of the death was mentioned as “multiple gunshot wounds.” The Hindu On his death, an Afghan official officially said that Siddiqui was killed by the Taliban in a crossfire. Reuters Later, the Taliban expressed their regrets on the death of Danish and rejected the accusations. Hindustan Times
- Several national and international magazines and newspapers published his photographs in their content. These magazines and newspapers include 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 etc. Danish Siddiqui Website
- The countries like the USA, England, China and India also honoured Danish with various photojournalism awards and accolades.
- A picture shot by Danish when the audience was watching the movie Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. He wrote with this picture,
I photographed people watching a romantic Bollywood film while I was doing a feature on a Mumbai theatre, which has been showing the same film for the last 15 years. The way a film can help people forget their worldly worries, everyday hassles, and cares makes this picture special for me.”
- The quote written by Danish while he was on his mission of photojournalism was,
While I enjoy covering news stories – from business to politics to sports – what I enjoy most is capturing the human face of a breaking story.”
- In his biography on Reuters, he told about his first assignment to Reuters. He said,
As an intern, to accompany the chief photographer for India to a religious festival that is held every 12 years in a different city around the country. Hundreds of thousands of Hindus take part in this religious carnival of sorts. It was a great experience for me, and I learnt new shooting, editing and filming techniques.”
- According to Danish, his earliest memories of photography were,
A camera borrowed from a neighbour, black and white rolls of film bought with half my pocket money, and a school hiking trip in the Himalayas.”
- In his biography mentioned on Reuters, he told about his first encounter with formal photography training. He said,
At film school, where one module was dedicated to still photography. I was also exposed to photojournalism while working as a television journalist with one of the largest news television networks in India. Ninety percent of the photography I have learnt has come from experimentation in the field.”
- According to Danish, he enjoyed covering all news stories. He told in his biography,
From business to politics to sports – what I enjoy most is capturing the human face of a breaking story. I really like covering issues that affect people as the result of different kind of conflicts.”
- In an interview, Danish said that he shot for the common man who felt the story written by him. He said,
Who wants to see and feel a story from a place where he can’t be present himself.”
- In his biography on Reuters, he told about the lesson he learnt so far. He said,
To adapt myself as quickly as possible when the story changes in the middle of an assignment.”
- In an interview, Danish revealed his interests in photography. He said,
Apart from daily features and “bread and butter” assignments, I love shooting in-depth features around the country – and also cricket, the most popular religion in India!”
- Afghanistan’s Ambassador to India, Farid Mamundzay, tweeted on the demise of the Danish on 16 July 2021. He wrote,
Deeply disturbed by the sad news of the killing of a friend, Danish Seddiqi in Kandahar last night. The Indian Journalist & winner of Pulitzer Prize was embedded with Afghan security forces. I met him 2 weeks ago before his departure to Kabul. Condolences to his family & Reuters.”
- In July 2021, Danish was seen resting with the Afghani soldiers.