Odisha: Hindutva goons storm theatre, demand screening of The Kashmir Files

A theatre in Odisha saw a screening of the film Bachchan Paandey being interrupted by local protestors, who demanded that the theater screen the film The Kashmir Files.

Eylex theatre in Odisha’s Sambalpur had sold tickets for the film however cancelled the screening following issues with the distributor.

A large group of men, some clad in saffron scarves, stormed into the theatre and interrupted the screenings of other movies, shouting slogans of Jai Shree Ram as they demanded that The Kashmir Files be screened instead.

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Film critic Sumit Kadel shared a video from the theatre with the caption, “Reportedly in Bhubneshwar a mob forcefully stopped the screening of #BachchhanPaandey .. This is totally UNFAIR and UNETHICAL .. #TheKashmirFiles is doing exceptionally well, why to sabotage other movie like this.”

The Kashmir Files is supposed to be a movie on the plight of Kashmiri Pandits who lost their lives due to targeted killings in 1990. Directed by Vivek Agnihotri, who is known for being right-wing, the movie is based on video interviews of first-generation Kashmiri Pandit victims. It was released on March 11 and has since sparked controversy.

A film that is based on the tragedy and exodus of Kashmiri Pandits has instead managed to become a propaganda tool that is being used to rouse anti-Muslim and anti-Kashmiri passions in the country, adding to the current atmosphere of anti-minority hate that has permeated deep in society over the last eight years or so.

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