Kashmir FIles

The movie ‘The Kashmir Files’ by Vivkek Agnihotri is being propagated by the BJP supporters. BJP run state governments is encouraging people to watch the movie. It is being depicted as one which shows the pains of the Kashmiri Pandits. The movie might be well made technically and actors might have lived to the characters. Commentaries on factual errors has already been written about the movie. Here are the reasons, why I do not want to watch the film: –
• The movie is all about spreading hate against Muslims in Kashmir in general and India in particular. Just as ‘Mandir-Masjid’ was a tool to create Hindu Muslim divide, Kashmiri pandit issue is a tool to further the divide in India.
• The movie like other narratives promoted by the sangh Parivar fails to appreciate the larger ‘Kashmiriyat identity’ which is secular and unites both hindus and muslims in Kashmir. ‘Kashmiriyat’ is about this common world cutting across religions. The movie creates separate Hindu Muslim worlds where one is pitted against the other.
• The earlier made movie on Kashmiri Pandits ‘Shikhara’ by Chopra had tried to depict the affinity which existed between Hindu and Muslim neighbourhood even during the heights of exodus. It did not promote any form of national jingoism.
• The videos depicting reactions to the movie in cinema halls show that it is aimed at creating a nationalistic jingoism where one religion is in war with the other. Statements calling for boycotting movies of Khans, RSS anthem being sung, slogans of Ram Mandir being made are seen.
• Healing the wounds of ‘Kashmiri pandits’ would need an effort to bring them back to Kashmir and uniting them with fellow Kashmiri Muslims under the ideas of ‘Kashimiriyat’. Successive BJP governments have made use of the issue but not attempted at addressing the issue.
• The movie can critic the violent acts against Kashmiri pandits. However, it cannot exaggerate facts to suit RSS political arguments. The number of Kashmiri pandits killed are said to be over many thousands. Data by Home Ministry points the number at 400. Among those killed also includes about 15,000 Muslims.
• While any act of killing and violent acts need to be condemned whether of Hindus, Muslims, Christians, whether done by militant groups, state or vigilante groups, it is not at the cost of creating divide.
• The problem of ‘Kashmiri pandits’ cannot be separated from the larger ‘Kashmir’ issue. Alienation of Kashmiris is a product of mismanagement by Indian state failing to recognise the larger aspirations of Kashmiris, its failure to respect the special autonomous status and identity of Kashmir despite Article 370. Earlier governments at the national level have a role in creating a situation of militancy.
• The role of BJP whether in or out of power has been in furthering the alienation of Kashmiris. Acts of removing Article 370, declaring it as union territories based on religious presence of different groups in its different parts, lockdowns, internet shutdowns, restrictions on press are only furthering the alienation. There are no attempts to respect the larger Kashmiri identity.
• ‘Kashmir Files’ is an RSS propaganda film. It is about creating mindsets which justify fascism under the garb of ‘Hindu Rasthra’. It only uses ‘Kashmiri pandits’ as tools to propagate its fascist ideas.
I do not want to watch the film.

T Navin works with an an NGO as a Researcher

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  1. disqus_uyLKKNEoTx says:

    Every argument I hear about Kashmir sounds like argument from the colonial era.
    Kashmir is an integral part of India. During colonial era India was an integral part of the empire.
    What about Kashmiri pundits?
    During French occupation of Algeria, it was “what would happen to the French Algerians”.
    etc. etc.
    Just remember all colonial powers belong to the dustbin of history.

  2. I always say _ Hold your friends close, and your enemies even closer.. After all, what are you going to lose if you watch this movie? only you bias ? Personally it is well worth losing

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