New Delhi: On Friday, Hindi filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri’s directorial Kashmir Files on Kashmiri Pandits hit screens in India, and the audience was seen making ‘genocide calls’ against Kashmiris and Muslims.
Social media was abuzz with hypercharged reactions about the film. While few blame the director for the wrong depiction of characters and events, most in India lauded him for showing the ‘reality’.
In various video clips, the audience was seen shouting slogans against the Muslims of Kashmir.
— Rohit.Bishnoi (@The_kafir_boy_2) March 11, 2022
In one such video taken inside the theatre, the audience after watching the movie can be heard saying ‘shoot the traitors’.
The furious audience also hurled abusive words blaming the current populace of the valley.
“We will keep going like this, after Kashmir Files, the next places will be Kerala, West Bengal, East Delhi, and many more places,” said a man, who praised the BJP and held Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal responsible for not allowing them to file RTIs.
Pertinently, in July 2021, the Delhi High Court ruled that the disclosure of personal information, which has no relation to any public activity or interest and revelation of which can cause “unwarranted invasion” into the privacy of an individual, cannot be disclosed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
In another video, the audience vows to boycott movies of Salman Khan, Amir Khan and Shahrukh Khan, the three Muslim superstars of the Indian cinema, and take revenge from those responsible for the migration.
People outside Cinema hall can be heard chanting Anti Muslims slogans and inciting people around.. "Jage the jab Partap / Shivaji, [email protected] bhagaye [email protected] [email protected]… Jag0 to ek baar H!ndu jag0 toh". #KashmirFiles pic.twitter.com/mXuuggeOkQ
— Mohammed Zubair (@zoo_bear) March 14, 2022
Another gathering outside the cinema in Delhi, most of them wearing saffron shawls and Kurtas, chanted Vande Mahtaram slogans and also called for ‘revenge’.
One video shows dozens of men and women including elderly people standing in a queue and chanting slogans like “We want justice, Kashmiri Pandits still exist, Punish the culprits”.
Last week, a court in Jammu barred the producers of the film from representing late IAF Squadron Leader Ravi Kanna in the film, for depicting his character in a ‘wrong and unprofessional’ manner.
The order came after Nirmal Khanna, wife of the Indian Air Force officer, approached the court seeking removal or amendment of scenes depicting her husband claiming it was contrary to facts.
“Given the facts as stated in the plaint the defendants are restrained by way of temporary injunction from showing the scenes depicting the acts pertaining to the husband of the plaintiff namely martyr squadron leader Ravi Kanna in the movie The Kashmir Files,” Additional District Judge Jammu, Deepak Sethi said in the order.
However, he said the order is subject to objections, alterations or modification if any by the other side.
The court further observed that if no relief is granted to the applicant without serving prior notice of the application on the defendants, the suit of the applicant will become infructuous and hence would be defeated by delay.
Pertinently, the movie director is no stranger to controversies as his unfiltered comments often grab headlines.
Last time in January 2021, when the director along with his team was in Kashmir shooting for The Kashmir Files, he sought the change in the Kashmiri Wazwan, and was brutally trolled by the netizens forcing him to delete his tweet.
Wazwan is a multi-course mutton cuisine usually served to guests during functions in Kashmir. The spicy and flavoured cuisine ranges from seven to 25 mutton dishes.
It all started when Agnihotri, who is also a member of India’s Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), posted two pictures of him and his team having food that looked like a vegetarian Thali in some local hotel.
The director claimed it to be “Vegetarian Wazwan” and this didn’t go well with Kashmiri netizens who accused the director of defiling the Traditional Kashmiri cuisine, “Wazwan”.
“Nobody knows how to make a vegetarian Wazwan in Kashmir. But I am here to bring about change. #TheKashmirFiles,” he tweeted.
However, the Kashmiri Twitterati were quick to react.
One of them while replying to the tweet wrote: “Those who know Kashmir and Kashmiri culture, know it well, there is no such thing as ‘vegetarian Wazwan’. Don’t prove yourself a fool yet again by pressing these statements!”.
Another wrote, “Little knowledge is dangerous thing Vivek. (Firdous) Wazwan is a traditional food of Central Asian countries. It has no religious color that you want to show it to stupid people. What do you want to call Central Asian art & culture such as carpets, handicrafts, shawls & saffron?”.
For the last many years, Agnihotri, known for his Hindu right-wing bigotry, has been in the news due to multiple reasons.
In 2018, an Indian film actress accused him of inappropriate behaviour during the film shooting.
He is also being accused of sharing misleading content on Twitter by fact-checkers.
In September 2018, Twitter locked his account until he agreed to delete a tweet abusing Swara Bhaskar. The tweet was interpreted as calling Swara a prostitute.