The movie called ‘The Kashmir Files’ has just been released a few days ago and already has set new records of success. Be that as it may, it is clear to every person after watching the film that it has a certain agenda. That agenda is to keep the sentiments of the majority constantly inflamed against the minority. In this the director is completely successful. Obviously, this provocation and hatred will not be limited to the Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir but will span nationwide. Earlier, a film on the subject of Kashmir, ‘Shikara’, had also come out on the same subject but it failed to arouse emotions to such an extent.
The film begins with a scene of some children playing cricket and being attacked by militants. The film depicts atrocities perpetrated on Kashmiri Pandits one after the other. It is clear what the director’s motive is behind the frequent inclusion of scenes of violence. There are also weeping scenes, sometimes with half-truths. The roles of Anupam Kher and Mithan Chakraborty are very important in ‘The Kashmir Files’. It is very difficult to distinguish between half truths and falsehoods. Kashmiris have not been spared in being portrayed as tyrants and terrorists.
Attempts have also been made to discredit JNU by using names similar to those of JNU and its professors. In an effort to make the film accessible to as many people as possible, several provincial governments have made the film tax-free. It is being said that every patriot should watch this movie as if those who do not watch it will get sick. It is as if hatred in the heart has become a necessary condition for a person to be patriotic. Any Bollywood actor who did not participate in its promotion is being branded as enemy of the country. Kapil Sharma, who hosts a popular comedy show, refused to promote the film in his show. So, a storm arose against him on social media. ‘Boycott Kapil Sharma Show’ started trending on Twitter. However, Kapil Sharma had stated in his show that the reason for not promoting the film was that no big star had been cast in it, and that he did not want to include such a film in a comedy show.
How far this film is from reality is worth considering. A scene in this film shows the martyred Squadron Leader Ravi Khanna. His wife has petitioned court that the scenes shown are completely untrue. The court then ordered the removal of the scenes. Ravi Khanna was one of the four Indian Air Force officers who were shot dead on January 25, 1990. His wife raised the question that when curfew had been imposed and there is a call for a public shutdown, when there is terror and murder everywhere, blood is flowing in the streets, in these circumstances children dressed in uniform with school bags offering flowers to the officers, and officers are distributing candies to children, how is that possible?
There is no mention of atrocities against Muslims on both sides, even though the Muslims were grinding in a double mill. To understand the truth, the Srinagar police headquarters’ answer to a question asked under RTI is sufficient, stating that since the beginning of militancy in 1990, 89 Kashmiri Pandits and 1635 people of other religions have been killed.
A patriotic filmmaker or actor should make films to promote peace, solidarity and tolerance in the country. The tradition of Bollywood has been to make films on the theme of love from the beginning. Eternal love stories have been repeatedly made into movies. Dozens of films have been made based on the stories of Laila Majnoon, Shireen Farhad, Heer Ranjha and Nar Kali. Films on any subject, be it social themes or bandits, thieves, thugs, smugglers, spies, have included the theme of love. The trend now seems to have passed the age of love. Once upon a time there was an intoxication of love, but now for a few years the intoxication of hatred has been popular.
Politicians promote hatred for the vote bank and to become rulers. Filmmakers are also making films to please the rulers that help fulfill their political agenda. If the tears of the people do not stop after seeing The Kashmir Files, then why there are no tears on Operation Polo (fall of Hyderabad), or on the massacre of Neeli, Delhi and Gujarat? In addition, for thousands of years in India, the untouchables have been treated worse than animals. Even today, examples of this can be found everywhere. The so-called patriots should have been heartbroken to see films like Shoudar The Rising, Article 15, Jay Bhim, etc., but not a single tear came.
Now look at who is commenting and praising this movie. One is the ruling class, whose agenda this film serves, and the other is the dock media anchors and reporters, who have no understanding of history. They have no understanding of the reasons for the country’s partition or the foundations of Kashmir’s accession to India. Even well-known journalists and anchors are unable to comprehend the reality of the scenes depicted in the film. As a result, a mediocre film is being presented as a historical document. Surprisingly, people not only come out crying after watching the film, but also blaming the Congress. They are unaware of the fact that on 19 January 1990, when millions of Kashmiri Pandits were evacuated from Jammu and Kashmir, the center was ruled not by the Congress but by Vishwanath Pratap Singh and this government was supported by the Bharatiya Janata Party. And RSS favourite Jagmohan was the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir. During this period, the BJP did not protest on the issue of Kashmiri Pandits but withdrew its support from Vishwanath Pratap Singh’s government a few months later, over the arrest of LK Advani in the Ram Janmabhoomi case.
The Kashmir Files, which was made at a cost of Rs 14 crore, has earned Rs 25 crore in just three days. Several provincial governments have made it tax-free. Ministers are urging people to watch the film. Holidays are being declared to persuade police and members of the armed forced to watch the film in theatres. Under the pretext of this film, hatred against Muslims will increase not only in society but also in the police and army. Obviously, the film does not show the complete truth, but even if a lie is told neatly, people believe it to be the truth.
The writer is a research scholar. [email protected]