On Friday, the 16th of July, it was reported that Reuters photojournalist from India Danish Siddiqui was killed during an ambush on the Afghan forces by the Taliban in Afghanistan. He was travelling with Afghan forces in the Kandahar region near the Pakistan border when they were attacked by the Taliban. No sooner was the photo-journalist killed, than photographs of his grieving family and relatives started to sell like commodities on the stock image site, Getty Images.
The British-American media company Getty Images now hosts multiple images of the deceased Reuters journalist’s family members, relatives and his mourning father. The images are selling under the Editorial section for Rs 23,000 per piece on the stock image site, which is the standard price for a large version of editorial photographs on Getty Images. A smaller version of the same images can be downloaded for a lesser price.
Here are few images which were clicked on July 16, the day the journalist was killed by the Taliban during clashes at Spin Boldak district in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
When we looked at the list of the names associated with the images on Getty Images, we found out that Hindustan Times is the most significant contributor of such pictures on the website.
Another thing that is worth noting here is that the British-American media company is only selling images of Danish Siddiqui’s family clicked after his death. Amongst the 77 photographs present against his name under the Editorial section of Getty Image, none show his family before his death.
The Photographs of the family of Danish Siddiqui have appeared on the stock image site after several left-liberals had objected to social media users circulating the photograph of the deceased photojournalist. This had triggered more people to share the images, as the very same people were widely circulating the photographs of cremation of Covid-19 victims taken by Siddiqui.
Photographs of funeral pyres from India selling for Rs. 23,000 each on Stock image site Getty
Incidentally, when India was grappling with the worst second wave of Covid-19, the British-American media company Getty Images hosted multiple images of tragic funeral pyres, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hundreds of photographs showcasing the customary Hindu funeral pyre was also sold at the same price as the pictures of Danish Siddiqui’s family and relatives are being sold on the British-American media company site.
In fact, the bigger coincidence is that then too, Hindustan Times was the largest contributor of pyre photographs from Delhi on Getty Images. The news agency had uploaded almost 330 images in 30 days. The photographs were taken by several photographers associated with the media house, including Amal KS, Raj K Raj, Sakib Ali, Mohd Zakir and others.
Reuters’ Danish Siddiqui shares picture of a burning ghat in India multiple times, receives acclamation
However, Reuters, for which Danish Siddiqui worked, was one of the western media houses which drew immense pleasure from the death of Indians, especially Hindus during the devastating second wave of the pandemic. One photograph that we saw splashed all over social media, Twitter, Facebook or even family groups on WhatsApp then, was one that had an aerial view of a burning ghat in India by Reuters. It was taken by Danish Siddiqui.
Sharing this picture multiple times on Twitter, Danish Siddiqui had written, “As India posted world record of COVID cases funeral pyres of people, who died due to the coronavirus disease were pictured at a crematorium ground in New Delhi, April 22, 2021”. He had also thanked people for complimenting his work.
Besides that picture, Danish Siddiqui had clicked many such pictures, which are hosted on Alamy, the British owned stock photography agency similar to Getty Images. Multiple media hoses had used those photographs with their reports on Covid-19 deaths in India during the second wave.
Despite being a clear breach of privacy of the family of the Covid-19 victims, without whose knowledge and permission Danish Siddiqui had clicked those pictures, the Reuters journalist had received international praise for these photographs.