In an interview with The Kashmir Files director Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri, Kerala-based Malayalam news channel Mathrubhumi journalist Mathu Saji asked him why he made a film on a genocide which took place years ago.
About 11-minutes long interview was aired on Friday (April 29), editing the parts which exposed Saji’s lies and ignorance.
A 44-seconds long edited clip of the interview was put on Twitter. The conversation goes on like this:
Journalist Mathu Saji: “Why are you spreading hatred via an art form?”
Vivek Agnihotri: “Killing thousands of people is okay?”
MS: “Happened decades back. Why should you dig the grave?”
VA: “So Schindler’s List should not have been made?”
VA: “Have you seen the film?”
VA: “So you are interviewing me without viewing the film?”
Host: Why spread hate ?
Vivek: Killing thousands of Kashmiri Pandits is okay?
Host: Surprised Pikachu face. 😹
— pizza (@Pizzaslayze) April 28, 2022
Directed by Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri, The Kashmir Files is a movie about the genocide of the Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley in 1990. The film was released in theatres on March 11 and has done a business of over 350 crore rupees.
In the interview, Saji asked why was Agnihotri spreading hatred through his movie, to which he replied, ‘Is showing the plight of the Kashmiri Pandits a crime?’ Saji also said that there were slogans raised against minorities. Agnihotri replied that there were just two videos where some people could be seen raising slogans.
The journalist had barely done any research about the topic she was going to interview. She was just blaring out the lines of propagandists that there was a governor’s rule in Jammu & Kashmir when the genocide happened in January 1990, and there was a coalition government at the centre, which was supported by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The vested interests made multiple attempts to stop the production of the movie. Even before the movie was released, NDTV called it a propaganda movie and the Leftist platform ‘Film Companion’, a platform run by the wife of director Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Anupama Chopra, said, “The Kashmir Files is a defensive and dishonest drive into the past.”
It added, “The filmmaking in The Kashmir Files is exploitative. None of it stems from a genuine space of understanding or curiosity.”
While addressing the BJP Parliamentary Party on March 15 in Delhi, PM Modi had said, “The entire Jamaat, which claims to be the flag-bearer of freedom of expression, has been furious for the last 5-6 days. Instead of reviewing the film on the basis of facts and art, there’s a conspiracy to discredit it.”
He added, “Those who think that this film is not right should make their own film. Who’s stopping them? But, they are surprised that the truth that they kept hidden for so many years is not coming out. Those who live for the truth have a responsibility to stand with the truth at such a time.”
Prime Minister said that the genocide of the Kashmiri Pandits was such a big incident, but no genuine movie was produced based on it because attempts were made to hide the truth about it.
In a very unusual move, on March 14, the Rating platform IMDB changed the rating system on its website and downgraded The Kashmir Files from a rating of 9.9 to 8.3.
Explaining the move, IMDB had said, “Our rating mechanism has detected unusual voting activity on this title. To preserve the reliability of our rating system, an alternate weighting calculation has been applied.”