Lakhs of Kashmiri Hindus were forced to flee the Valley by Islamists. The neighbours turned against their Kashmiri Hindu neighbours overnight. The stories of their grief, sorrow and hardship have rarely been told.
This will change with the release of the film The Kashmir Files on January 26.
The film, directed by renowned director Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri, is the story of Kashmiri Hindus. It’s the story of how they were forced to flee the Valley by Islamists and Pakistan-sponsored terrorists.
Shri Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri is currently in the United States for the special screening of the film.
“The Kashmir Files is based on the genocide of Kashmiri Pandits in 1990. Nobody has made a film based on this subject before this but I just wanted to tell you why we are in the US even before the film has released in India” Shri Agnihotri told ANI.
He added “The theme of the film is right to justice and we believe that in a democracy, the most fundamental pillar is justice and the Kashmiri Pandits haven't got justice. We thought this film can become the soft power and it can enlighten people outside India to understand how hundreds and thousands of people were forced to not just leave their homes but they were killed. It happened because there are some evil people who do not understand the value of humanity. And that's why with this film, we tried to show to the world the importance of humanity and the right to justice.”
In late 1980s, terrorists in the Valley started killing Kashmiri Hindus with impunity. Then chief minister of Kashmir, Farooq Abdullah, did nothing to prevent the cold-blooded murders.
Kashmir had a rich art, culture and music. But Islamists destroyed it. Narrating the damage done to the culture of Kashmir, Shri Agnihotri said even today the fear of Islamists, terrorists is such that young people who worked with us in the shooting of the film don’t want their names on it.
On August 5, 2019, the Union government abrogated Article 370 which provided special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir. The state was reorganised as the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir and the Union Territory of Ladakh.
As part of the US tour, Shri Agnihotri delivered a talk in Capitol Hill.
He said that Kashmir is the land of Shiva and Shiva is all about oneness. The first principle of humanity, oneness, comes from Kashmir.
Describing the glory of Kashmir, he said that Kashmir was all about knowledge, art, culture, music and food, before Islamists destroyed it.
He narrated how there is no concept of “other” in his Indic philosophy because it is driven by the concept of cosmic acceptance. The concept of “otherness” comes when the modern Western world teaches about Humanity, keeping in mind their geopolitical vested interests.
Unfortunately, today Kashmir’s most famous identity is as a conflict zone. Shri Agnihotri said, “This is so painful as Kashmir has so much more to offer.”
Through his movie and tour, Shri Agnihotri is trying to change that.