NEW DELHI: The news of Reuters photojournalist and Pulitzer prize winner Danish Siddiqui’s death drew strange reactions from right wing extremists on social media on Friday. During the second wave of Covid-19, Siddiqui had photographed a funeral ground where mass cremations were taking place.
They showed the scale of the pandemic and grieving family members. Soon after, he was trolled viciously, with right wing extremists saying the snaps showed India in a poor light. Using expletives, one account user named Yoda wrote on Friday: “Last took photos of Hindu cremations at the peak of 2nd wave and splashed it across foreign media to not only demean India but also to degrade Hinduism.”
Another account user Rishabh wrote: “This probably the best news today (sic). Took these drone shots. Very good. Got what he deserved.” Siddiqui had taken a drone shot of a funeral ground in the national capital during the second wave of the pandemic. Anand Shridhar wrote: “Siddiqui violated the sacred funeral rites of hundreds of Hindus with his drone stunt to build a narrative.”
There were more. One Bikram wrote: “Okay. We will celebrate deaths of people like Danish Siddiqui. Now cope.” Kaushal B, who claims to be a writer and ABVP Jalandhar activist on his Twitter bio, wrote: “Sorry to say! But I feel no such mourning & grievance with the death of Siddiqui.”
However, there were several who expressed grief. Former J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah condemned the trolling. “That @dansiddiqui was killed by the Taliban while doing his job in Afghanistan is tragic but the fact that there are b******s out there celebrating his death because Danish was good at his job & made them uncomfortable is beyond reprehensible. Rot in hell RW trolls.”
Celebrating the pictures Siddiqui took, Amber Ajay Tiwari wrote: “He told stories through his pictures. He fought for the oppressed with his lens. What a great photojournalist he was. His death has proven that the Taliban of all colours must not be forgotten.”