When photographers need to do more than snap

Image: Daily Star

Image: Daily Star

For some reason, today, I was looking again at those photos of Bishwajit Das, being chopped to death.

Bishwajit, who in his last moments might have screamed, “Don’t kill me, I am a Hindu, I am a Hindu.”

I was thinking this is a new photo of Bishwajit being hacked. Posted on Daily Star website.

But I thought I had seen all the photos. And I had seen so many, already.

There are so many photos of Bishwajit Das being killed.

From so many various angles.

Different cameras.

Video screen-grab.

Some quite close up.

Look at the one above. It is virtually right over the shoulder of one of the killers.

The photos are so close by, these are now the evidence for the indictments.

So many people, all snapping away, could not a single person intervene?

Or did they?

Maybe they did and I don’t know.

Did they intervene soon enough?

A friend said to me, “Is it so easy? If you were there, could you stop those killers, all armed with ramda? Would you want to die?”

It’s true, I was not there. It’s true, if I was there alone, I would not have dared. I would remember my mother’s words, said to every son or daughter who goes out to work in unstable situations in this city, “bhaloi bhaloi bari firish.”

But if all of us are there. All 10-20-30 photographers and bystanders, could we not fight back, stop the attack?

I am no hero, but I keep thinking, if we were united, could we not find courage in our unity?

Or maybe we don’t intervene any more, we just watch, and click.

Click, click, click.

Why did Kevin Carter die? I wonder what nightmares he had before that final moment.

Only questions, no answers today.

One thought on “When photographers need to do more than snap

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