Let us get to some truths about The Kashmiri Files

It has neither been banned nor censored in New Zealand so far

Venkat Raman
Auckland, March 20, 2022

Like all issues of public importance and discussion, ‘Kashmir Files,’ a film made in India, is suffering waves of misinformation, fake news and wrong interpretation.

For a start, it is important to note that the film, which is a box office hit in all centres of its release worldwide so far, has not been banned in New Zealand.

It has also not been censored, thus far.

Thousands of Indian Newslink readers have expressed their opinion over the past four days on our various platforms including in Indian Newslink WhatsApp Groups that the film should not be banned and that the people have the right to know the truth. All of them have expressed a singular view: “We want to see the film.”

The right channel to contact

While Indian Newslink has carried your views to the authorities, my request to you is the following:

The decision to rate, delay or ban a film is taken by the Office of the Chief Censor, not that of the Prime Minister or any other Minister. It is the duty of the Chief Censor to consider any opinions that may be presented to him before (or even after) a film is released. Therefore, please raise your concerns thus:

https://www.classificationoffice.govt.nz/about/contact/
Email: info@classificationoffice.govt.nz
Phone: +64 4 471 6770; Freephone: 0508-236767; You can also copy the message to your local Member of Parliament.

Not Fiction but truth

It is wrong to say that ‘Kashmir Files’ is a fictional movie. It relates to the victims of the Kashmir Insurgency that occurred in 1989-1990. As a reporter for a daily newspaper in the Arab Gulf at that time, I had visited India and interviewed scores of people to get to know the facts and report them along with the views of people.

According to some reports, there are more than 500,000 such victims- known as ‘Kashmir Pandits’ or Kashmir Hindus who were displaced.

(Scenes from The Kashmir Files)

The Kashmir Insurgency or the ‘Kashmir Intifada was a separatist militant insurgency against the Indian administration in Jammu & Kashmir, a territory of India.

In August 2019, the Indian government abrogated Article 370 of the Indian Constitution to redefine Jammu and Kashmir as Union Territories and to grant equal rights to property and other matters to all Indian citizens, hitherto denied to Hindus.

‘The Kashmir Files’ became a box office success but the reaction has been mixed. The cinematography and performances of actors are reportedly compelling but the film has been accused by some of historical revisionism.

On Friday, March 19, 2022, the Indian government extended special security (Level Y) to the film’s producer-director Vivek Agnihotri, as he had received death threats.

The issue in New Zealand

The film was due for release in New Zealand Cinemas on March 25, 2022, but following complaints by some members of communities, the Chief Censor of the Ministry of Interior has been obliged to review the Rating of the film prior to release. Therefore, it is the duty of the Chief Sensor to take into account public views (sometimes even after a movie has been released) and reconsider the rating of a film. This has happened several times in the past in New Zealand.

We understand that the Chief Censor has spoken to the distributors of the film who have no ‘issues of its release being delayed,’ and also to many politicians about the concerns that he has received from various communities.

The truth must be told

‘The Kashmir Files’ is not the only film relating to the events in Kashmir.

The State’s tumultuous past has inspired many books and films but only a few have focused solely on the vast exodus of people- mostly Hindus.

According to Rahul Pandita, a Journalist and author, who was forced to leave his home State of Kashmir when he was 14 years old, said that ‘The Kashmir Files’ has attracted a strong reaction because the Kashmir Pandits have always felt that their story has been stifled.

“They are experiencing, if I may call that, an emotional catharsis,” he said.

Mr Pandita’s book, ‘Our Moon Has Blood Clots: A Memoir of a Lost Home,’ is based on his experience of fleeing Srinagar as a teenager. He said that he continues to be surprised by how little people across the country know of this chapter of Kashmir’s history.

“My book is into the 10th year of its publication, and I still receive at least three-four emails every single day from people from all corners of India, or some from outside of India, saying we had no idea about the quantum of this tragedy,” he said.

There have at least been 45 films based on the Kashmir Insurgency over the years released in Hindi, Tamil and other languages. However, none of them has raised public discussion and sentiment as ‘The Kashmir Files’ has done.

Why Now?

Thirty years are usually allowed to lapse before classified information can be deemed unclassified and released on the public domain.

Vivek Agnihotri, who produced and directed ‘The Kashmir Files’ researched his film for about two years, interviewing more than 700 Kashmir Pundits. Pallavi Joshi, who also produced the film and played the role of Professor Radhika Menon in the film, conducted her independent research.

Not that there were no problems with its release in India.

Agnihotri said that he fought with the system in India for two years to have ‘The Kashmir Files’ released in theatres.

“I got many offers from OTT platforms like Netflix. They offered me vulgar money, and that would have made me richer. But I wanted people to experience the film in theatres first. I want this film to succeed a little, and if it can encourage and give hope to people in society to come up and make such films, my job will be done. I want it to work so that others can also make such beautiful and real films.”

As I have mentioned above, please express your views calmly to

https://www.classificationoffice.govt.nz/about/contact/
Email: info@classificationoffice.govt.nz
Phone: +64 4 471 6770; Freephone: 0508-236767; You can also copy the message to your local Member of Parliament.

 

 

 

Share this story

Related Stories

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Indian Newslink

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement