Hindu right-wing members disrupt Kashmir-related film, storm into NFAI theatre

A still from docudrama titled 'I Am Not The River Jhelum'.

Pune: Members of a Hindu right-wing organisation barged into the National Film Archive of India (NFAI) premises in Maharashtra’s Pune city objecting to the screening of a docudrama related to Kashmir.

Members of Hindu right-wing organisation, Samast Hindu Bandhav Sanghatana, barged into the National Film Archive of India (NFAI) premises in Pune, objecting to the screening of a docudrama titled ‘I Am Not The River Jhelum’, claiming it showed the Indian Army in a bad light, PTI reported.

The incident took place on Sunday when the docudrama was being screened as part of ‘A Festival of Contemporary Indian Films’ organised by the Pune International Centre and the International Federation of Film Critics-India Chapter.

Shouting slogans, the protesters demanded the screening be stopped, the official said. The protesters, belonging to Samast Hindu Bandhav Sanghatana, were detained and released after being issued notices under the Maharashtra Police Act, 1951, the official said.

Ravindra Padwal, president of the right-wing organisation, said they objected to the film after learning that some of the scenes in it “showed the Indian Army in Kashmir in a bad light.”

“Some people who were in the audience informed us about such a portrayal of the Army in the film. By the time we reached there, the movie was about to get over. We objected to the scenes and raised slogans in support of the Army,” PTI quoted Padwal as saying.

The festival was held from February 9 to 11, during which many award-winning films in Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Manipuri-Tangkhul, Rajasthani-Hindi, and Khasi-Jaintia-Garo-Hindi were screened.

In “I Am Not the River Jhelum,” the days feel like nights, and the nights are filled with nightmares. The filmmaker, Prabhash Chandra, envisions the Kashmir Valley as a place covered in grey and immersed in endless uncertainty.

The film is shot on streets that are eerily empty, except for the presence of armed forces, and inside dimly lit homes where characters dream of astronomy and peace. It provides a powerful and haunting glimpse into life in one of the most heavily militarised zones on the planet, as reported by

Using various techniques like a non-linear narrative, stylised acting, performance pieces, and readings of poems, the film creates an unsettling experience. It portrays a reality where normalcy is irrelevant, and everyday activities, such as going to school or running errands, are filled with anxiety.

Although the film was conceived before 2019, the year when the special status of Jammu and Kashmir was revoked under Article 370 of the constitution of India, along with special protections for the region’s permanent residents under Article 35A.

I Am Not the River Jhelum can be seen as a portrayal of life in a post-370 world. In this world, the film shows basic freedom of movement restricted and violence.

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