The Kashmir files is hit because it is about the love of the Kashmiri Pandits for their roots and the Hindu religion, which they held onto in the face of threats to their life.
The great epic Mahabharat has a beautiful story about the power of Love. As the deadlock between Pandavas and Kauravas continues and the prospect of war looms over the horizon, everyone starts getting worried.
Yudhishthir, the eldest and the wisest approaches Krishna and confronts him. He tells Krishna that he knows that the war is imminent, and Krishna alone has the power to stop it. Krishna refuses to stop it, and then, interestingly, Yudhishthir claims he has the power to force Krishna to stop the war. Krishna mocks him and laughs at him, asking how Yudhishthir can stop a war that God has willed!
Yudhishthir gives an interesting answer. “Krishna, I will sit in deep meditation and worship you with all my love and devotion and pray to you to stop the war. I am your devotee, and even God cannot say no to the prayers of a true devotee,” he says.
Krishna understands and agrees but then begs Yudhishthir not to sit in prayer and not push for this unreasonable demand. He explains that war is nature’s means of correcting injustice and the destruction that will follow is a necessary consequence of the karmas of individuals. Krishna begs Yudhishthir to not come in the way of the operations for the law of nature, and Yudhishthir reluctantly agrees.
The moral of this story is about the supreme power of love. Love is the most powerful thing in the universe and has the power to change the course of nature.
Romantic Love of a man for a woman is one of the many dimensions of love, though that seems to have been the most popular and discussed dimension, especially for Filmdom.
Love of a devotee for the god, love of an artist for his art, love of a patriot for the nation, love of a human being for a fellow human being are all different dimensions of the supreme emotion of love.
“The Kashmir files” is successful and has resonated with the masses in India not just because it is the truth, nor because it has been made tax free, nor because the Government of the day is supporting it.
Many movies have been made on inconvenient truths like this before by more established filmmakers and with bigger budgets, but they didn’t see the same success. Governments had backed movies before and gave tax-free status to movies with a social message. None of these movies delivered the kind of success with moviegoers in a short period as Kashmir files has done.
On the topic of Kashmir, more than 15 films have been made with terrorism as a background.
The Kashmir files has done more than twice the lifetime value of the most successful film (Fanaa) so far in just the first 15 days.
The movie is hit because it is actually a powerful love story but unlike the romantic mushy love stories that Bollywood is used to. It is about the love of the Kashmiri Pandits for their roots and the Hindu religion, which they held onto in the face of threats to their life. It is about the love of the fellow Indians for their bravery and courage as they flock to the theatres to watch the story…. it is about Vivek Agnihotri’s love for telling the truth and his commitment to his choice of cinema. It is about the love for the Idea of Bharat as against the “pseudo idea of India” that glorifies terrorism and brushes everything else under the carpet.
It is convenient for many to call it propaganda or a hate story or a lie because it shows a side of the truth that has not been shown and cleverly hidden from mainstream cinema and media for 32 years.
Bollywood has been making romantic love stories for over 100 years now, and 99% of the time, the industry cannot see beyond the love story of a boy and girl.
As Ramgopal Verma, the maverick filmmaker, tweets, ”On March 11th 2022 , DADASAHEB PHALKE’s old BOLLYWOOD was brutally killed by #kashmirifiles in order to give birth to a new VIVEK AGNIHOTRI’s BOLLYWOOD ..In years to come all film people will be dying to get honoured with VIVEK AGNIHOTRI AWARD.”
Love is a sublime and powerful emotion, and “The Kashmir Files” has shown the way to explore love in its higher dimensions going beyond the cliches that Bollywood is comfortable with.