Earlier yesterday, Reuters photojournalist Danish Siddiqui, who shot to fame with his morbid images of burning funeral pyres in India, was killed while covering a clash between Afghan security forces and Taliban terrorists near a border crossing with Pakistan in Spin Boldak. He was embedded with the Afghan armed forces, which is rapidly losing ground to the Talibs.
His death sparked massive outrage online, with several notable personalities expressing shock and disbelief at the reports that said Danish had died during a Taliban attack in Afghanistan. Soon enough, condemnations flowed followed by obituaries and mourning for the slain journalist.
Subsequently, Danish’s collection of work was also shared extensively online. Besides pictures clicked by him, social media websites were also rife with a video of him from a TED talk where he spoke about documenting conflict beyond borders.
In the video, Danish narrates the various strife-torn regions he had visited and shares pictures from those places with the audience. One of the places that Danish mentioned he covered was Jammu and Kashmir, in the aftermath of the abrogation of Article 370, when the Indian government stripped the state of its separate status and paved the way for its greater unification with the union of India.
Listen this video of DanishSiddiqui-— Facts (@BefittingFacts) July 17, 2021
He was an apologist for stone pelters and violent protesters and terrorists. Many defence forces and civilian were killed and injured in terrorist attacks but he didnt show a single photo of those attacks.
However, while talking about the pictures he had clicked in Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370, Siddiqui offered a lopsided view of the conflict, painting the Indian Armed Forces as an oppressive force and defending the violent protesters and terrorists as innocent residents, who he claimed were unwarrantedly targeted by the military troops.
Here’s the entire video of his TED Talk, which was uploaded on YouTube in June 2020:-
Speaking on the invalidation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, Siddiqui described the abrogation as some sort of cruel act against the people of the state. He shared pictures of injured people, who in all probability could be violent protesters and possibly rabble-rousers, to insinuate that the decision to hollow out Article 370 had touched off a grave humanitarian crisis in Jammu and Kashmir.
One of the pictures shared by Siddiqui was that of an X-ray of a boy’s skull. The Reuters journalist said the boy had suffered pellet injuries on his head from the attack by the Indian Armed Forces. He further added that the boy had received initial treatment in a hospital and was itching to leave the hospital for the fear of being arrested by the Indian Armed forces.
Danish Siddiqui dehumanises Indian Armed Forces and provides a lopsided view of Kashmir conflict
While Siddiqui talked about the military action faced by protesters in Kashmir, he did not elaborate on the challenges faced by the personnel of the Indian Armed Forces deployed in the state. A raft of Indian Armed Forces has sustained injuries from the stone pelting that the protesters in Kashmir habitually indulged in. They have also been subjected to fatal attacks, most notably the Pulwama attack, when a Kashmiri terrorist rammed a vehicle laden with explosives to a CRPF convoy, killing 40 soldiers. Besides, women and the elderly have also been at the receiving end of the violent protests that demonstrators routinely undertook in Kashmir, long before the annulment of Article 370.
Yet, Siddiqui conveniently glossed over the grim details of violence and hostility directed towards the Indian Armed Forces and peaceful residents by the violent protesters in Jammu and Kashmir. Instead, he reported only the one-sided view of the conflict, shielding the violent protesters and terrorists that plunged the state into chaos and posed a risk to the national security of the country. In his attempt to evoke sympathy for the violent protesters and Islamists, Siddiqui ended up dehumanising the Indian Armed Forces, as if the challenges and difficulties faced by them in Jammu and Kashmir were not serious enough to warrant a mention or be captured in his photographs.
By offering a prejudicial view of the conflict, Siddiqui acted as an apologist for Islamic terrorism, which eventually claimed his life as frenzied Taliban fighters, intoxicated by the Islamist supremacist belief, killed him when he was covering the conflict in Afghanistan.