Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lipid adhered to this very holier-than-thou template when he criticised Vivek Agnihotri’s magnum opus The Kashmir Files as propagandist and vulgar (he had earlier slammed the playing of India’s national anthem at IFFI).But this is not new; countless Indian intellectuals have already done it. Mani Shankar Aiyar, for instance, simply denied the angle of terrorism by asserting, “The Kashmiri Pandits left the Valley in droves in 1990 because they were corralled and herded out like cattle by the cowboy-Governor of the day [Jagmohan].”
Better still, if you are able to somehow show Muslims as victims and Hindus as villains. Barkha Dutt, for instance, slighted KP’s exodus by attributing it to a class struggle between the privileged elites (i.e. Pandits) and miserable Muslims. Similarly, when KPs were being killed in tons, Khan Market intellectuals were busy sympathising with their perpetrators like Yasin Mailk, the poster boy of Kashmir genocide. It was not uncommon for media houses to interview Yasin sahib on his favourite books and movies. In fact, Yasin sahib was invited as Youth Icon at India Today Conclave 2008.
Vivek Agnihotri challenges Nadav Lapid to prove his film ‘wrong’
The Kashmir Files’ filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri, seemingly took a dig at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) Jury Head Nadav Lapid for calling the film “propaganda, vulgar” at the festival’s closing ceremony. Agnihotri took an indirect dig at the remark by tweeting, “GM. Truth is the most dangerous thing. It can make people lie. #CreativeConsciousness.” Lapid had called The Kashmir Files a “propaganda, vulgar film”, adding that he was “shocked” to see the film in the competition section of such a prestigious film festival.
The movie The Kashmir Files, however, is a tight slap in the face of intellectuals’ propaganda. It is an evidence-based rebuttal to the likes of Suzanna Arundhati Roy who have, for years, advocated Kashmir’s breakaway from the rest of India by depicting terrorists as victims, their jihad as rising and State as fascist. The movie has faithfully depicted the situation of Kashmir during 1990s and has given a voice to KPs, many of who were forced to be in gavah chust muddayi sust mode. It has chartered into hitherto unchartered realm wherein the religious motive behind the Kashmir exodus has been called out without any balancing act. The movie has made sure that BK Ganjoo, Girija Tikoo, Tikkalal Taploo will not remain just names and Nadimarg, Wandhama will not just remain random places. No wonder, the movie has jarred our intellectual class like no other piece of art in recent times.
Why The film is An Eyesore to India’s Intellectuals?
Let us understand the context: India is the only country in the world that could not be conquered by an alien worldview (e.g. Communism or Marxism or Liberalism) or an alien religion (e.g. Islam or Christianity). India’s indigenous spiritual tradition has historically presented a roadblock to the crusade of conversion-based religions and has challenged materialistic worldview of Macaulay-Marx putras. While the Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks, Mayans, Pagan Arabs, Tibetan Buddhists have all fallen to the missionary assault of these alien dogmas, India’s indigenous spiritual traditions have not only survived but are thriving. India remains a reminder to our intellectual class, which is nothing but a Marx-Missionary-Macaulay gang, of their failure.
Kashmir Files is stuck like a thorn in the throat of some people: Anupam Kher
Veteran actor Anupam Kher of the The Kashmir Files fame has said that it is “shameful” on the part of IFFI (International Film Festival of India) jury head Nadav Lapid to term the film “propaganda, vulgar” at the festival’s closing ceremony. During the closing ceremony of the IFFI on on November 28 Lapid termed ‘The Kashmir Files’ a “propaganda, vulgar film”, adding that he was “shocked” to see the film in the competition section of such a prestigious film festival. “If the holocaust was right then the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits is also right. This seems pre-planned because immediately after it the tool-kit gang became active. It’s shameful for him to make a statement like this even though he comes from a community of Jews who suffered the holocaust,” Kher said.
Referring to Lapid’s remarks, Anupam Kher also tweeted, “No matter how tall the lie is; it is always small in comparison to the truth.” n
This all confounds our Left-Liberals (LeLi) as their ideological mentor Marx had described India not as a nation, least of all a civilisation, but as “the predestined prey of conquest”. This also confounds Islamists, the bedfellows of India’s intellectuals, as the doctrine of Ghazwa-e-Hind prophesizes the decisive conquest of India by Islam. Both have a common villain: Hindus. As an Indian Marxist divides Indians into the haves (Hindus) and the have-nots (Muslims), Islam divides them into kafir (Hindus) and momin (Muslims).
Traditionally, with the right governments at the helm, and the capture of educational institutions and popular media, India’s intellectuals could call the shots and determine what was politically correct. Over the years, they sided themselves with the most obscurantist and bizarre opinions whether it be opposition to uniform civil code, glorification of invaders like Aurangzeb, downplaying of India’s civilisation or support for Article 370. In the battle of narratives, our intellectuals comfortably chose negation over truth, the problematised over the harmonised, cynicism over realism, sabotage over polyphony, the extreme over the median and the particular over universal. Instead of promoting an all-encompassing, inclusive and essentially Indian identity of Indians, our left-leaning intellectuals have inflamed exclusive, separate, monolithic and confrontational identities.
The Advent of Alternate History and Exasperation of Liberals
However, truth could not be suppressed for long. The laity understood, what Robert Harris once said, that history is too important to be left to the historians. Nationalist authors have gradually exposed LeLi’s intellectual hollowness beyond repair in a systematic manner. And as someone has said the funny thing about getting caught in a lie is that everything you ever said becomes questionable. Further, these intellectuals do not enjoy the same degree of intellectual hegemony in Modi’s resurgent India. With proliferation of social media, their lies and propaganda started getting called out. People do not fail to see their intellectual hollowness when a Digvijay Singh tries to label 26/11 as an RSS conspiracy or a Richa Chadha questions valour of our armed forces or when a Ravish Kumar sends laanatein to not Taliban but their bullets. Not long ago, they were bending over backwards to declaim how liberating the wearing of burqa in schools was! They termed Gurugram public roads as “Muslim prayer sites”. The hoi polloi is disgusted at seeing them peddling lies all these years while also managing to keep good conscience at the same time. Their audience is ever-shrinking and takers even narrower.
Lapid tenders’ apology, row continues
“I didn’t want to insult anyone, and my aim was never to insult people or their relatives, who have suffered,” remarked the controversial Leftist Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid, whose comments on The Kashmir Files made headlines.
“I totally, totally, totally apologise if that’s the way they interpreted,” he said in a TV interview. The controversy kicked off by his comments is far from over.
For his part, the maker of the film ‘The Kashmir Files’ – which has been a blockbuster – tweeted “People do and say things to hurt you because somewhere they are unhappy that you have got what they desired. That’s why they want to destroy you”.
He further wrote: “Letting such people hurt you is not just cowardice but self-destruction”.
The film starring Anupam Kher, Mithun Chakraborty, Pallavi Joshi, and Darshan Kumaar, released in March was a stupendous box office success and has provoked reactions from the ‘sickular’ establishment. Lapid was also among a group of 250 Israeli filmmakers that signed an open letter to protest against the launch of the Shomron (Samaria/West Bank) Film Fund. The Fund seeks to “distribute grants to Jewish settlers who reside in the West Bank (“Judea and Samaria”) and to productions by Israeli citizens filmed in the West Bank.” — Nirendra Dev
Post-hegemony guilt and insignificance has propelled our intellectual jamaat to make common cause with ever more reactionary elements rather than to introspect. Liberals have submitted their good sense to most radical of voices while discrediting themselves repeatedly in the process. In an attempt to not completely lose significance, their anti-Hindu propaganda is becoming more confrontational yet increasingly fatuous.
Rather than countering the events shown in the movie—despite the lucrative offer from Vivek Agnihotri that he would quit filmmaking if even one scene from the movie is proved wrong—their response has been equivocation, prevarication, red herring and whataboutery. Sample some of the intellectual arguments hurled at the movie: “How come there was a genocidal exodus if a few dozen Pandit families continue living in the valley to this day?” “Many Muslims too were killed which Agnihotri chooses not to depict in the movie.” “Ban the movie as it provokes audience.” “Where is the entertainment quotient—Do people go to theatres to lament?” “Truth must be spoken tenderly.” “There was no need to show terrorists as Muslims since terror has no religion.”
Israel’s Consul General Kobbi Shoshani Rebukes Nadav Lapid
Israeli Consul General Kobbi Shoshani called IFFI jury chairman Nadav Lapid’s controversial statements on “The Kashmir Files” a “big mistake” and said that he doesn’t represent the country’s opinion of the film.
Speaking of his own reactions on the movie The Kashmir Files, he stated that he cried when he watched it. “It was challenging to see the movie. I believe it was also broadcast in Israel. We Jews have endured terrible things, so I believe we must share in the suffering of others.” “I believe I have no power to make somebody apologise. Personally, I believe he should apologise for becoming involved in a political disagreement in India when he didn’t have to, ” he added.
Israel’s former Ambassador to India Daniel Carmon also criticised Lapid for his comments on the movie, ” Unfortunate comment which reflects only his (IFFI Jury Head) own views and lack of basic sensitivity or knowledge of what he talked about. He should apologise for his revolting personal remarks on historical facts without any sensitivity,” he said in a tweet.
The real issue of our intellectuals is unapologetic depiction of Muslims as perpetrators in The Kashmir Files— without any balancing act or false equivalence. A spade has been called a spade. This strikes at the root of their maxim that Hindus are always tyrant and Muslims as victims. Without a clear distinction and labelling of the haves (i.e. Hindus) vs. the have-nots (i.e. Muslims), battle lines cannot be drawn. When they had near monopoly on narratives, intellectuals had cleverly veiled the religious motive of Kashmir insurgency. However, it is a fact that the 7th wave of genocide against Kashmir Pandits in 1990s, like 6 waves of genocides before that, was driven by religious motive. Though Allah is claimed to be merciful, Kashmiri Pandit were killed in His name for 7 centuries since arrival of Islam in Kashmir! Consider following slogans that were raised during 1990s while deracinating KPs:
Ralive, Tsalive ya Galive (Convert, leave or perish)
“Pakistan se rishta kya? La ilah-e-illalah” (What is our relationship with Pakistan?—Islam and only Islam!)
Zalimo, O Kafiro, Kashmir hamaara chhod do (O Tyrants, O Non-Muslims! Quit Kashmir)
La Sharqia la gharbia, Islamia! Islamia! (From East to West, there will only be Islam)
Who is Nadav Lapid?
Nadav Lapid is an Israeli filmmaker with 13 films to his credit as a director. He was born in Israel’s Tel Aviv. He is best known for “hate” towards his own homeland, Israel. A Palestinian sympathiser, Lapid, 2019, talked about his film Synonyms to Now Toronto magazine and called the collective soul of Israel a “sick soul”. n
Clearly, terrorists themselves were wearing their Islamist motive on their sleeves yet our liberals want us, ‘the great unwashed’, to think otherwise. They left no stone unturned in proving the Islamic jihad against Kashmiri Hindus as some sort of revolutionary intifada. This is similar to Aurangzeb himself taking pride in destroying Hindu temples as per contemporary historians, yet our left-liberal intellectuals are hell-bent on proving his intolerance as “just little more than a hostile legend”. For those reluctant to look beyond ideological-political biases, terming the movie as vulgar and propagandist is not just the choice but lack of options.
Our intellectual class couldn’t care less about giving at least an honest earful to a movie that claims that the process of its making has involved the interviews of over 700 witnesses and going through 15,000 pages of documents. Their response to Mr Agnihotri can best be summarised as Ye Karnawun Chupe (Silence the baby) as one of the terrorist says in the movie while killing a weeping child.