Hyderabad: 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.
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.
The most evident reactions from right-wing supporters have begun to surface on the internet. Video reactions have surfaced from theaters across the country, wherein the usual chanting of ’Jai Shri Ram’ and abusing non-BJP political parties is being carried out.
What should have been the narration of the tragedy of Kashmiri pandits has become a weapon for Hindutva to fulfill its motives and spread anti-Muslim sentiments.
Vidoes on Twitter from from Telangana and Madhya Pradesh show viewers shouting slogans of ’Jai Shri Ram’ while urging people to boycott movies of Bollywood stars, especially the Khans, while as people appreciated that hate speech, with rounds of accord.
And of course, the usual ‘Desh ke gaddaron ko, goli maaro saloun ko‘, which has been heard at BJP rallies, and perpetuated by its own leaders as well (before the 2020 Delhi riots), was also raised by viewers.
The movie also triggered viewers to abuse leaders of the opposition including Bahujan Samaj Party’s Mayavati, Samajwadi party’s Akhilesh Yadav, Trinamool Congress leader Mamta Banerjee, and Telangana Rashtra Samithi’s K Chandrasekhar Rao.
In a post-movie review, speaking to media, outside theatres, a Hindu man from MP’s Pithampura warns people to ‘beware of Muslims’.
“I would like to warn my Hindu brothers that beware and maintain your distance from them. Be wary of them, they might attack anytime,” says the man with a tilak on his forehead, as he exits the theatre.
It is to be noted that in response to a Right to Information (RTI) filed over the number of deaths of Kashmiri pandits killed by terrorists since the inception of militancy in 1990, the district police headquarters in Srinagar revealed official figures that state 89 casualties as compared to 1635 deaths of people of other faiths, during the same time.