- The film is another attempt to use the same false-flag operation to continue to forward the fraudulent narrative that somehow, this was about valley-based Muslims hating the Pandits.
I have not seen The Kashmir Files. I do not know if I will have the bandwidth or interest to see it (even if it has a brilliant actor like Anupam Kher in it). Because even without seeing it, simply knowing that it was made with a single point agenda of changing the known and accepted historical narrative to something that is tailored to fit the hate and bigotry-tinted lenses vision of the director, whose sympathies are quite well-known because of his own admission, is enough for me to know that it will not be worth my time or money, even if all those propagandists are telling me to see it.
That said, I am seeing some emotional exhortations from Kashmiri Pandits about why this is an important film. I am at a loss to understand it. For starters, they hardly qualify as persecuted people anywhere in India. The claims that they are a marginalized community (or worse still, hated for who they were) are far from true. Their claims that we Indians need to see why they deserve our empathy are churlish, given that they have received more than their fair share, indeed a disproportionate amount as compared to other displaced people anywhere in the nation.
And lastly, none of them seems to care about their actual history, which (not to put too fine a point on it) is rather well documented. I shall not bother to repost it here, but you can find it yourself if you look for it. Many of my friends have posted a rebuttal with facts, figures, data, and sources.
The whole sordid episode has the Hindu right-wing’s pawprints on it. If anything, the self-triggered exodus (on the behest of the Governor, appointed by Prime Minister V.P. Singh, and backed by the BJP and supported by the RSS) should be classified as a false-flag operation that has allowed the perpetrators to reap benefits from it over the last 3 decades. (Note: when I say, ‘self-triggered’, I do not mean the Pandits caused it themselves, but that the Hindutva right-wing caused it to happen with the hope that this will help their cause. The ‘self’ in that phrase is for the right-wingers and not the Pandits).
This film is another attempt to use the same false-flag operation to continue to forward the fraudulent narrative that somehow, this was about valley-based Muslims hating the Kashmiri Pandits (it might be interesting to read up about their exploitation of the valley-based Muslims for 125 years by the Hindu minority, by the way) and driving them away from their homes and livelihoods.
There is no doubt that there was animosity, fanned and fueled from across the border but also as a result of a century of repression, and that Mufti Mohammed Sayeed (who quit the INC in 1986 and joined the BJP-backed VP Singh in 1987) and his gang was probably responsible for instigating riots as the Delhi-appointed Governor provided the perfect cover.
But having said that, and I return to my main point, there was never ever a time when the internally displaced Kashmiri Pandits were seen by the rest of India as anything but Indians with equal rights and privileges. The kind of appeals to see a movie that negates known and recorded history are in themselves negating known and recorded history about so-called persecution and lack of empathy towards the Kashmiris.
Perhaps, I am prone to think, these people who speak of how Kashmiris are treated badly in the rest of India, are speaking of the Kashmiri Muslim students who are looked upon with suspicion and jailed for celebrating the wrong team’s cricketing victory. If that is the case, I agree. The rest of India needs to learn to be more sympathetic and understanding of the Kashmiris. But if by Kashmiris, they mean only the Pandits, they need to invite some perspective and proportion into their sad lives.
Lastly, about the whole comparison with the Holocaust when speaking about this film, let me say it is nauseating. I don’t even want to go into the differences between a state-sponsored, state-run, state-built machine created to exterminate a specific race, and succeeding (?) in murdering 6 million of them and what seems like a false-flag operation by the RSS to create a narrative and polarize the society in the late 1980s and early 1990s (the very years since India has been slowly but decisively slipping into the abyss of a fractured society, and that too by design).
Get a grip, people (especially the Kashmiri Pandits). And, as I suggested, some sense of proportion.
Kedar Anil Gadgil is a Principal Consultant at Druid Systems in Pune, India. In his words, he is politically promiscuous — who does not follow a specific political or social party or leader but, from instance to instance, chooses the argument that best suits his ideological stance of secular humanism. You can read more of his commentaries at kedar.gadgil.com.