RAGHU RAI STORY
Date:- September 8, 2019.
Raghu Rai is a Padma Shree winning Indian photographer and photojournalist. His works have earned him praise from well-known personalities.
Many know about his work and achievements but his early life and life story is unknown to many.
Let’s throw some light on his life.
Raghunath Rai Chowdhury, known as Raghu Rai was born on 1942 in a village called Jhang in Punjab during the British rule. He was the youngest among four children.
INSPIRATION TO WORK AS A PHOTOJOURNALIST:-
Raghu Rai’s elder brother Sharampal Chowdhury, was an award-winning photographer. Thus, Raghu Rai started learning photography under him and joined “The Statesman” in 1965 as its chief photographer. Then, Raghu Rai left “The Statesman” in 1976 to join ”Sunday” , a weekly news magazine published in Calcutta, as a picture editor.
RISE TO FAME:-
Henri Cartier-Bresson, a well-known personality was impressed by his work in Paris in 1971 and nominated Rai to join Magnum Photos in 1977. Rai left “Sunday” in 1980 and worked as a photographer of “India Today”. He covered special issues from 1982 to 1991. During this period he wrote 18 books. He has completed a documentary on the chemical disaster at Bhopal in 1984 for Greenpeace. His documentary showed the untouched side of the tragedy. He used his photography not only to build his career but also to create awareness about social issues and tragedies. He is known for his different approach towards journalism.
In 1984 when Raghu Rai was in the peak of his career he had befriended Gurmeet Sangha, an architecture student who was impressed by the story behind his photographical work of Taj Mahal, she later quoted“I knew the Taj Mahal as this great monument but through his photography I suddenly got to understand it as a cultural being,” They are an inspiration to every working couple on how to balance work and personal life. They often help each other to maintain discipline in their life. Rai never leaves a chance to tease his wife about their first date “Do you remember how you held my hand when we crossed the road? She was too much… still is!”
Raghu Rai, has served three times on the jury of the World Press Photo and twice on the jury of International Photo Contest conducted by UNESCO.
He won the prestigious Padma Shree award from India in 1972 and Photographer of the Year from USA in 1992.
This is incomplete without including some of the best photographs captured by Raghu Rai:-
Photographs on social issues:-
Raghu Rai gave the people another outlook towards India. He loved his country and one can simply start loving India by taking a tour of his photographs. He is known as the Father of Photography in India.
INSPIRATION TO BUDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS:-
His journey, his photography on several sensitive topics have inspired many and will continue to do so . As he says, "Either you capture the mystery of things or you reveal the mystery. Everything else is just information”. He believes in hard-work and passion. His love for photography is unmatched.