New Delhi, March 19 (KMS): Indian filmmaker, Vivek Agnihotri, in his movie The Kashmir Files has made exaggerated claims on the violence against Kashmiri Pandits who fled their homes when Kashmiris intensified their indigenous struggle against India’s illegal occupation in occupied Jammu and Kashmir in 1989.
The film focuses exclusively on the killing of Kashmiri Hindus in 1990 and afterwards, whereas Kashmiri Muslims were also killed during the period – in fact in much greater numbers. The exclusive focus on violence of Muslims on Hindus is seen to be promoting Islamophobia.
It is also widely believed that the film has Bharatiya Janata party / Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh government’s patronage and support. The film’s director, Vivek Agnihotri, who is also a BJP supporter, has been accused of inaccuracies in his work.
Agnihotri’s previous film- The Tashkent Files- which alleged a conspiracy in the death of former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri – was also criticized for presenting rumors as facts. Shastri’s grandson sent Agnihotri a legal notice, saying the film was trying to create unwarranted and unnecessary controversy. Kashmir Files reception is also in stark contrast to a 2020 film, Shikara, which delves into same history. The rightwing Hindus had lashed out at the maker then, calling them “traitors” for allegedly whitewashing history.
Sanjay Kak says, “What this film does do is to tell the story exactly as the right-wing wants”.
Critics have accused the film of being a work of historical revisionism and consider it to be propaganda aimed at fostering prejudice against the Kashmiri Muslims. Overall, experts described the film as disturbing; a work of concocted and agenda driven historical revisionism, created with “no facts, lies, and plenty of distortions” and coupled with compelling performances and brutally intense visualizations, aimed at inciting hatred against the Muslims.
Kashmir Files has seen litigations by the educated and enlightened segments of the society. A Public Interest Litigation was filed by an Uttar Pradesh resident which was dismissed by a Bombay High Court on technical grounds.
Another law suit was filed by a widow of an Indian Armed Forces squadron leader who died during the mass uprising in IIOJK. The widow’s lawsuit said that the film portrayed a false depiction of events vis-à-vis her husband and sought a stay on its release.
According to the authorities in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir 219 Kashmiri Hindus were killed and 24,202 families had left the Kashmir Valley. More than 120,000 Muslims have been killed in the conflict in the last four decades, according to official figures and Indian media is trying to discuss loss of 500 or so Pandits, reasons are obvious and true to Indian character of misleading own population and international community.