Saturday, December 10, 2022

The Kashmir Files represents Bollywood’s new genre of ‘art for propaganda’

The exodus of Kashmiri Pandits happened under the watch of the VP Singh government, which was supported by the BJP. It has been argued by Victoria Schofield, in her book Kashmir in Conflictthat the repressive policy of the government, encouraged by the BJP, was one of the causes of the situation going to the point of no return.

The justice VM Tarkunde Committee, which visited the valley in March 1990 immediately after the exodus, found no enmity between Hindus and Muslims.

Other observers, notably Tavleen Singh, also found that Hindus faced no danger from Muslim neighbors.

A report in Asia Watch found government role, particularly that of the then Governor Jagmohan, in encouraging and even arranging the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits.

Former J&K Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah has made the same allegation.

The senior most bureaucrat in Jammu and Kashmir, its then Chief Secretary, Ashok Jaitley also confirmed the role of Jagmohan. He said, “What Jagmohan achieved in five months, they (the militants) could not have achieved in five years. (Victoria Schofield, Kashmir in Conflictpage 154).

The Tarkunde Committee also mentions that some Hindus left keys of their houses with their Muslim neighbors before leaving, which they would not have done unless they had good relations with them.

Then why is this movie arousing so much anger against Muslims?

Bollywood movies have rarely achieved high standards. Yet one yearns for movies of the ‘conspiracy era’ of the Congress rule, like Amar Akbar Anthony, in which three stranded children of a driver are raised by a Muslim man, a Christian Priest and a Hindu police officer. Films like these were Bollywood’s attempt to promote the elusive communal harmony that did not always prevail in India.


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