NEW DELHI – A few days into the controversy, the Congress and the National Conference broke their silence over the film ‘The Kashmir Files’. While senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh contended that the controversial Vivek Agnihotri directed movie incites hate and distorts history to promote violence, vice-president of the National Conference Omar Abdullah raised a vital point to discredit the firm.
The former Jammu & Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah said if ‘The Kashmir Files’ was passed off as a commercial movie, no one would have had an issue. But then, he pointed out that the film makers claim that it is based on reality whereas the facts are the other way round.
While conceding that the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits was a “stain on Kashmiriyat”, he said the movie was far from the truth as the film makers have ignored the sacrifices made by the Muslims and Sikhs who had also suffered from terrorism.
Endorsed by none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself the movie is getting tax free status in many parts of the country.
“When the unfortunate incident of Kashmiri Pandit migration took place, Farooq Abdullah was not the chief minister. Jagmohan was the governor. It was VP Singh’s government at the Centre which was supported by the BJP from outside,” Abdullah was quoted by PTI as saying while addressing reporters in Damal Hanji Pora of Kulgam district of South Kashmir. He wondered why this fact was kept away from the movie.
“Don’t manipulate the truth. It’s not the right thing. If Kashmiri Pandits have fallen victims to terrorism, we have utmost regret about that, but let us not forget the sacrifices of Muslims and Sikhs who were also targeted by the same gun,” Omar Abdullah said.
Condemning the misuse of the history to create communal divide Oma Abdullah said, “Today, there is a need to create an atmosphere where we could bring back all those who had left their homes and not create a communal divide.”
The former chief minister said an atmosphere would be created for the return of Kashmiri Pandits.
“But I do not think that those people who have made this movie, want them (Kashmiri Pandits) to return. Through this picture, they want Pandits to remain outside always,” he said.
“A common Kashmiri is not happy with what happened 32 years ago, that people were made to leave the Valley. Today, an impression is being created that all Kashmiris are communal, that all Kashmiris do not bear the people from other religions. What will be achieved by this? Will it make the road easier for their return?” Abdullah said.
Condemning the misuse of the history to create communal divide Omar Abdullah said, “Today, there is a need to create an atmosphere where we could bring back all those who had left their homes and not create a communal divide.”
Meanwhile, Jairam Ramesh of Congress said the controversial movie “The Kashmir Files” incites hate and distorts history to promote violence. The movie, he said though creates a divide among the people and spreads open animosity against a particular community, is being welcomed by Hindutva brigade. What’s more, they have gone overboard to encourage such movies.
Taking to Twitter, Jairam Ramesh said, “Some films inspire change. ‘The Kashmir Files’ incites hate. Truth can lead to justice, rehabilitation, reconciliation and peace. Propaganda twists facts, distorts history to whip up anger and promote violence. Statesmen heal wounds. Pracharaks exploit fear and prejudice to divide and rule.”
The film has been mired in controversy since its release on March 11 with the BJP and Opposition parties having conflicting views on it.
The movie starring Anupam Kher, Mithun Chakraborty, Pallavi Joshi, Darshan Kumaar and others revolves around the genocide of Kashmiri Pandits in 1990 and has been directed by Vivek Agnihotri, known for films like ‘Tashkent Files’, ‘Hate Story’ and ‘Buddha in a Traffic Jam’.
The theatres where the movie is being run have become no less than ‘Dharam Sansad’ of Haridwar where Hindutva leaders had given open calls for the genocide of Muslims. Viewers of the movie fed by half truths and biased rather distorted version of the history stand on their toes shouting slogan against a particular community and genocide calls are being given.
It is, however, a sad story rather unfortunate turn of time in the regime of Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party that a serene and peaceful coexistence is being stirred sowing the seeds of hatred through the medium of a movie in India. The movie apparently is an effort to target Muslim community of India as terrorists.