On Tuesday, three Indian photojournalists were awarded 2020 Pulitzer Prize in the category of feature photography. The awards were announced virtually due to Coronavirus outbreak. The photographers, Dar Yasin and Mukhtar Khan are based in Srinagar and Channi Anand is based in Jammu. The Pulitzer citation reads that the award was for the “striking images of life” in the “contested territory of Kashmir” after the scraping of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, 2019.
Omar Abdullah, National Conference leader congratulated the winners saying, “It’s been a difficult year for journalists in Kashmir and that’s saying something considering the last 30 years haven’t exactly been easy …”
Iltija Mufti, daughter of ex-Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, also congratulated the photojournalists from her mother’s account.
Established in 1917, Pulitzer Prize is considered the most prestigious in the field of journalism, literature and music compositions in the United States (US). Every year, 102 juries decide on 20 separate categories; all juries have three members each and make three nominations for separate categories. The nomination which gets the majority votes is awarded this prestigious Prize.
Indian Pulitzer Prize Winners
So far, previous to the photographers bagging this award, India has already bagged four Pulitzer Prizes. Here is a quick look at those eminent personalities and their contribution:
Gobind Behari Lal
An Indian-American journalist who has participated in the Indian independence movement. Lal majored in Science and served as an assistant professor at the University of Punjab from 1909 to 1912. He later joined The San Francisco Examiner as the Science editor following various other print media such as the Hearst Communications. He has also interviewed Albert Einstein.
Lal was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for journalism in 1937. Apart from that, he was also awarded the Padma Shri (1937) and Tamra Patra (1973) for his exceptional work.
One of the popular authors of contemporary literature, Lahiri was born in London to an immigrant family from the Indian state of West Bengal. Now with an exceptional body of work, Lahiri won a Pulitzer for her debut short story collection the ‘Interpreter of Maladies’ (1999). Her first novel ‘Namesake’ (2003) was also one of the most popular and was adapted by Mira Nair for her film in the same title.
Apart from the Pulitzer Prize, Lahiri won O. Henry Award, Hemingway Award, National Humanities Medal, to name a few.
A Journalist and a professor, Anand worked as a foreign correspondent for the New York Times as well as the Wall Street Journal. She was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for her work on Pompe Disease, a muscular condition which was later made into a film called “Extraordinary Measures” and then adapted as a book known as “The Cure.”
An Oncologist by profession, Mukherjee won a Pulitzer award in 2011 for his non-fictional book called “The Emperor of All Melodies: A Biography of Cancer”. He is also affiliated with Harvard Stem Cell Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and an honorary visiting professor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.