By Arré Bench May. 05, 2020
Three photographs from Kashmir – Dar Yasin, Mukhtar Khan, and Channi Anand – have won the Pulitzer Prize for their “striking images of life” in J&K after the abrogation of Article 370. They hid in strangers’ homes and persuaded travellers to carry the photo files to Delhi amid an internet blockade to bring us the reality of Kashmir.
The last 10 months have been difficult for Jammu and Kashmir and its people. The territory was put under a harsh lockdown — along with an internet blockade — long before the coronavirus.
Images from the Himalayan state, that cast a light onto the struggle of everyday Kashmiris after the Centre abrogated J&K’s special status under Article 370 of the Constitution, have haunted social media timelines since last August. Today, three photographers – Dar Yasin, Mukhtar Khan and Channi Anand – who brought “striking images of life” from the state were honoured with the Pulitzer Prize, the most prestigious award in journalism, in feature photography.
— The Pulitzer Prizes (@PulitzerPrizes) May 4, 2020
#Kashmir journalists Mukhtar Khan & Dar Yasin celebrate the #Pulitzer feat with their families. The duo is among 3 AP photographers who have won the prestigious prize. This comes at the when when journalists in the region are reeling under an unprecedented crackdown by government pic.twitter.com/Jqd6vbWBpg
— Jibran Nazir | جبران نزیر (@JibraanDar) May 4, 2020
Dar Yasin, Mukhtar Khan and Channi Anand, who work with the Associated Press, were felicitated for the way they captured protests, police, and paramilitary action and life in the state. “Snaking around roadblocks, sometimes taking cover in strangers’ homes and hiding cameras in vegetable bags… then headed to an airport to persuade travellers to carry the photo files out with them and get them to the AP’s office in New Delhi,” the news agency described the hurdles of reporting in a statement.
Kashmir gets its first Pulitzer. How Kashmir is memorialised to the world: pic.twitter.com/GyN0wPqiA3
— Vinod K. Jose (@vinodjose) May 5, 2020
The award-winning pictures have been widely shared on social media.
This iconic photograph by @AP‘s @daryasin, the brave Kashmiri photojournalist, is among the images that won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Feature photography. It captures Kashmir’s decades. pic.twitter.com/Xtx7AWyqYk
— Basharat Peer (@BasharatPeer) May 5, 2020
The Pulitzer winning photos from Channi Anand, Dar Yasin and Mukhtar Khan 1/x pic.twitter.com/7AmhzBwch2
— Dushyant (@atti_cus) May 5, 2020
Associated Press news agency’s photographers Dar Yasin, Mukhtar Khan and Channi Anand’s work has been honoured with the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in feature photography.
Congratulations to all ! pic.twitter.com/huWlUzHUKe
— Arfa Khanum Sherwani (@khanumarfa) May 5, 2020
Congratulations to Dar Yasin and the whole of #Kashmir for winning the Pulitzer Prize for this picture.
— Khaled Beydoun (@KhaledBeydoun) May 5, 2020
Some of the images are accompanied by heartbreaking stories. A report reveals one of these behind-the-camera moments that features 43-year-old photographer Dar Yasin.
During one of his assignments, Yasin noticed a girl named Khushboo was bleeding from the head, after she was hit by a stone. Already facing a hostile mob, and heavy police presence, he tossed his camera aside and rushed her to the hospital.
A picture taken by another journalist of Yasin carrying Khushboo on the streets of Srinagar has also been going viral, highlighting the difficulty associated with the job.
Meanwhile, the award was announced (online, of course) barely a week after two journalists from the state were arrested under the Unlawful Activities Protection Act — a controversial move that has prompted a strong statement by the Editors’ Guild. The voices from the Valley continue to be muffled but the Pulitzer is proof that the truth about Kashmir cannot be hidden.
Pulitzer for 3 photojournalists from Jammu & Kashmir is ofcourse a huge achievement for Yasin Dar, Mukhtar Khan & Channi Anand but moreover this Pulitzer prize is an acknowledgement that Kashmiris are succeeding in narrating their stories to the world themselves.
— Khurram Parvez (@KhurramParvez) May 5, 2020
Kashmir has got a Pulitzer. https://t.co/nlwGgBungY
— Rohini Singh (@rohini_sgh) May 5, 2020
The award has been significant for reminding us of the stark reality in Jammu and Kashmir, a state most Indians are very proud to call their own, but rarely ever think about.
As the president of the Associated Press, Gary Pruitt, said: “Thanks to the team inside Kashmir, the world was able to witness a dramatic escalation of the long struggle over the region’s independence. Their work was important and superb.”