Tendentious slur on Kashmiriyat

Sankar Ray

The Kashmir Files’, directed by Vivek Agnihotri, is neither a documentary nor a feature film, but a celluloidal design to mislead public opinion through half-truths and lies. Starring Anupam Kher and Mithun Chakrabarty inter alia, it claims that the valley witnessed “genocide” against the Kashmiri Pandits—a “forgotten” chapter in history. Ever since it was shown in the cinema halls and TV channels, this became handy for the saffron band of Indian politics, especially the Bharatiya Janata Party. Based on video interviews of Kashmiri Hindu Pundits and their exodus during the Kashmir Insurgency, Kher is in the role of Pushkar Nath, grandfather of a JNU student Krishna Pandit (played by Darshan Kumar). The grandfather narrates the massacre of Pandits. The falsity is exposed in a reply by the Jammu & Kashmir Police to a query under RTI: in contrast to killing of 89 Kashmiri Pandits, 1635 Kashmiris of other faiths, (overwhelming majority of them were Muslims) were massacred. Pity—perhaps not expected—is that India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi keeps screeching aloud that the truth about Kashmiri Pandits was always “suppressed”. Echoes of his propaganda are found in the mainstream media. Times of India exposes itself on the TKF. The second lead item of its entertainer supplement ‘Calcutta Times’ is captioned : ‘Vivek Agnihotri’s The Kashmir Files garners appreciation from audience’ only to be ridiculed in it Bengali morninger ‘Ei Samay’ in its popular weekly column by IndiPop, without naming TKF about an imaginary movie ‘Holwell File’. The Holwell massacre of 1756, IndiPop says, was a downright lie. US-based author Pankaj Mishra banters them as ‘hyper-patriotic media’. William Samuel Johnson prophetically said 247 years ago ‘Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.’

History-sheeters have been digging around since the very early 1980s after the restructuring of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh into the BJP with a futuristic plan of Hindu Rashtra. The RSS has an inbred conflict with historical facts. One of the ill-motives has been to deprive present and future generations to know that during October–November 1947, mostly Muslims were massacred in the Jammu region of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, many Muslims by extremist Hindus and Sikhs, aided and abetted by the forces of Maharaja Hari Singh, kingpin of the mega-genocide who opposed J&K’s accession to the Indian Union. The blood-stained activists belonged to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. Although there is no official (numerical) record of the killings, somewhere between 20,000 and 100,000 Muslims were massacred. Subsequently, many non-Muslims, over 20,000, were massacred by Pakistani tribesmen and soldiers, in the Mirpur region of Azad Kashmir, the Pakistan-occupied part of the valley.

Former chief minister of J&K, Omar Abdullah shot back at the history-sheeters that the killing of Kashmiri Pandits took place when Jag Mohan was the Governor, not during the chief-ministership of Dr Farooq Abdullah. He tweeted: “The pain & suffering of 1990 & after cannot be undone. The way Kashmiri Pandits had their sense of security snatched from them and had to leave the valley is a stain on our culture of Kashmiriyat. We have to find ways to heal divides & not add to them.”

Manipulation of truth suits the Hindu Rashtra-seekers who ape (just not imitate) Hitler’s minister for interior and propaganda, Paul Joseph Goebbles whose theory was to keep dishing out lies in order to make people believe they are truths.

Lambasting the tireless liars, Yusuf Tarigamy, former MLA from the Kashmir Valley and a central committee member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) asserts, "Kashmir is not a piece of land, but Kashmir is the name of a civilisation. We have a history of 5,000 years which cannot be erased”. He appealed to BJP ‘not to divide my tears and the tears of my friends’.

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Vol 54, No. 40, April 3 - 9, 2022