18th Jul 2021 11:07:PM Editorials
Eastern Sentinel Arunachal News

While the entire global media fraternity and all those who admire fearless journalism are grieving the death of Danish Siddiqui, the celebrated Reuters photojournalist who met a tragic death during an assignment of covering the ongoing clashes between Pakistan-backed Taliban militias and Afghan security forces on July 16 in Afghanistan, the art of hate-mongering has seen a new high that has no parallel so far anywhere in the world. The Pulitzer-winning photojournalist’s ‘crime’ has been he captured in his lenses the funeral ground(s) where mass cremations were being conducted, a perfect reflection of the scale of the pandemic in the country and it’s through these gripping images the world came to know such ‘secrets’. Even the death of a person who for at least a decade had displayed a commitment par-excellence to the noble profession he belonged, risking life many a time is now being celebrated. India has really changed.

The content of the trolls on social media that started flowing in almost immediately after Danish’s death, depicting a kind of unbridled joy which can be likened to the one derived after a nation wins a war over its enemies, are sufficient enough to identify the ecosystem these people belong to. But that they have lowered the image of the nation in front of the world as a secular democracy to a great extent will remain a fact. Global media watchdogs and rights groups, along with paying glowing tributes to Danish have sought a proper probe into his killing and have appealed to the concerned authorities to come out with more measures that would ensure protection of the members of the press, especially those covering the stories of conflicts. This is a legitimate demand needing a relook no doubt. But why shouldn't there be a mechanism in place that would prevent these intemperate comments from reaching the masses through the powerful social media and why such accounts shouldn’t be permanently blocked ? Danish was fortunate since he worked for an overseas employer, strong enough to face the ‘wraths’ that inarguably gave him the freedom to lens the facts of Covid.2.0-battered India. Describing Danish’s death as “irreplaceable loss to journalism” the Editors Guild of India has also observed: “deeply disturbed by the vicious and highly regrettable racist campaign being run against him by some sections of social media.” If the untimely death under the most tragic of circumstances (Danish died since he was caught in a crossfire between the Talibans and Afghan forces) is painful, it’s indeed a matter of shame to learn that there are many in the country who have the mentality to rejoice such occasions.

And why not ? His works made them deeply uncomfortable and now ‘respite’ has come. The culture must be challenged before it thrives.

Kenter Joya Riba

(Managing Editor)
      She is a graduate in Science with post graduation in Sociology from University of Pune. She has been in the media industry for nearly a decade. Before turning to print business, she has been associated with radio and television.
Email: kenterjoyaz@easternsentinel.in / editoreasternsentinel@gmail.com
Phone: 0360-2212313

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