Jammu: Filmmaker Ashoke Pandit on Wednesday demanded a probe to find out the people involved in selecting Israeli director Nadav Lapid as the jury head of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI).
Lapid has mocked and made fun of the tragedy of Kashmiri Pandits, he said and added that strict action should be taken against those involved in the process of choosing him as chairperson.
Lapid, at the closing ceremony of the IFFI on Monday night in Goa, had termed the Vivek Agnihotri-directed ‘The Kashmir Files’ a “propaganda movie” and called it “vulgar”.
“It is a failure of our government, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and director of the film festival (for choosing Lapid as head of jury). You selected him without a background check”, Pandit, who is also the president of the Indian Film and Television Directors’ Association, told reporters here.
“I am demanding a probe into as to how he was selected as chairperson of the jury. Who are the officers in the information and broadcasting ministry who were involved in this process. Let the probe uncover them,” he said, claiming that Lapid “is a supporter of Palestine…Please check his tweets”.
Terming it a “big conspiracy”, he said the matter should be probed. He has mocked and made fun of the tragedy of Kashmiri Pandits, Pandit said.
The Kashmir Files film describes the truth of Kashmir that is the “genocide of Kashmiri Pandits”, he said. “This plan (of selecting Lapid) was aimed to destroy the credibility of The Kashmir Files which brought truth of Kashmir in public domain after 30 long years,” Pandit said.
Pandit also participated in a demonstration by Kashmiri Pandit employees serving in Kashmir demanding relocation to Jammu in the wake of selective and targeted killings by militants.
The demonstration entered its 200th day on Wednesday. It began at the Relief Commissioner’s office in May.
The filmmaker said Kashmiri Pandits will not be sitting ducks for target practice of terrorists in Kashmir in bid to show the world that situation is peaceful in the Kashmir Valley.
The demonstrators said they are not only protesting the “selective and targeted killings” in Kashmir, but also against “ignoring of their plight” by the lieutenant governor’s administration.
“You want to prove to the world that situation in Kashmir is normal because Kashmiri Pandits are still working in the Valley and living there. We (Kashmiri Pandit employees) cannot be made sacrificial goats to prove to the world that there is normalcy in the Valley,” Pandit told reporters. PTI