After a delay of two weeks due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the winners of 2020 Pulitzer were virtually announced, via a livestream on YouTube.
Associated Press’ photographers, Dar Yasin, Mukhtar Khan, and Channi Anand won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for feature photography for their coverage of Jammu & Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370.
While Dar Yasin and Mukhtar Khan are from Srinagar, Channi Anand hails from Jammu. Channi Anand has over two decades of experience in the field and is currently working on social issues and natural calamities.
Mukhtar Khan, who also won the Atlanta Photojournalism Award in 2015, has extensively covered the stories of Kashmir conflict in his two-decade-long career.
Dar Yasin, who has covered the conflict in Kashmir in great detail, has also covered the Afghan War, Afghan Refugees, South Asia earthquake, the Rohingya refugee crisis, etc. He has won several awards for his work, including the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards, Robert F. Kennedy Award, and the 2019 Yannis Behrakis International Photojournalism Award.
Thank you Colleagues, friends, brothers. I would just like to say thank you for standing by us always. It’s an honour and a privilege beyond any we could have ever imagined. It’s overwhelming to receive this honor.— Dar Yasin (@daryasin) May 4, 2020
As per AP, from taking cover in strangers’ homes to hiding cameras inside vegetable bags, the photographers ‘captured images of protests, police and paramilitary action and daily life’, even as J&K remained shrouded in radio silence.
As Jammu & Kashmir continued to remain under a curfew, the photographers had to convince travellers to take their photo files to AP’s office in New Delhi. As Dar Yasin put it,
It was always cat-and-mouse. These things made us more determined than ever to never be silenced.
Many people took to Twitter to congratulate the winners:
Reporting from Kashmir under the Modi govt is not easy – especially for photojournalists.— Saket Gokhale (@SaketGokhale) May 4, 2020
Congrats to Channi Anand, Mukhtar Khan, & @daryasin of @AP on winning a #Pulitzer for their work in documenting Kashmir especially in the aftermath of the shameful abrogation of Art. 370. https://t.co/sTMrKVB41a
It’s been a difficult year for journalists in Kashmir & that’s saying something considering the last 30 years haven’t exactly been easy. Congratulations to @daryasin, @muukhtark_khan & @channiap on this prestigious award. More power to your cameras. https://t.co/A7SH5hUEGZ— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) May 5, 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
Thinking today of all the brilliant Kashmiri journalists I met and worked with in Delhi and Srinagar, who share in the joy and pride of this. https://t.co/XM1XBqqlgM— Nicholas Dawes (@NicDawes) May 5, 2020
This is so stirring: Three brave photojournalists honored with a Pulitzer for their work in Kashmir at a critical moment, when Kashmiris couldn’t share their own harrowing stories with the world-and where journalists have long faced major struggles. https://t.co/w6cpi44ODR— Michael Kugelman (@MichaelKugelman) May 5, 2020
Senior Kashmiri photojournalists Dar Yasin and Mukhtar Khan of AP have won a Pulitzer prize. They’ll share the prize with Jammu-based Channi Anand. The award is a testimony to the fact that Kashmir wasn’t the way it was projected to the Indian public by their news channels!— Showkat Nanda (@ShowkatNanda) May 5, 2020
Its not just the photographs, its the conditions they took these photographs in, and how they managed to get it to AP with no internet access, no calling facility, during strict curfews in a freakin’ 21st century.— Aabru (@AabruJaan) May 5, 2020
They did it so the world KNOWS
THAT IS REAL JOURNALISM#Pulitzer
Truly a well-deserved honor!