More on ‘The Kashmir Files’

‘The Kashmir Files’, the   controversial film tries to put the blame of Pandits’exodus in1990 on Kashmiri Muslims and blames the parties like National Conference and Congress for the same. It depicts the murders of Kashmiri Pandits selectively and resorts to falsehoods to prove its pre-conceived point.

When the Kashmiri Pandits left the valley, Farooq Abdullah was not the chief minister. Jagmohan was the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir. VP Singh's government was at the Centre, supported by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) .Why wasn't VP Singh's government shown in the film? One should condemn the killings of Kashmiri Pandits. But didn't Kashmiri Muslims and Sikhs lose their lives?

Kashmir, the land of Kashmiriyat (Synthesis of Vedant, Budhhism and Sufi traditions) (Land of Nooruddin Norani aka Nund Rishi and Lal Dedh) has been mired in the pain of alienation turned into militancy, which took the lives of Hindus and Muslims both. After India got freedom Kashmir’s Maharaja Hari Singh decided to remain independent. Jinnah wanted J&K to merge with Pakistan as it was a Muslim majority state. The tribal mercenaries were sent by Pakistan resorted to brutalities. In the face of this aggression, Harisingh’s representative and Sheikh Abdullah the President of National Conference, the major party of Kashmir, approached Government of India to send Indian army to counter the aggression of Pakistan.

India agreed to send the army and the agreement was that Kashmir will accede to India with full autonomy, article 370, which gave all the powers to Kashmir Assembly except in matters of defence, communication, currency and external affairs. Indian army halted the march of Pakistan army but by then 1/3rd of Kashmir was occupied by Pakistan. As matter went to UN, UN’s verdict was that referendum should be held in Kashmir with the options that Kashmir can remain Independent, or merge with India or Pakistan. The referendum was to be held under UN supervision. The condition was that Pakistan will vacate its aggression and India will reduce its military presence in the area. Pakistan did not vacate the aggression, plebiscite was not held.

 With Gandhi’s murder by Godse and Shyama Prasad Mukherjee insisting on forcible merger of Kashmir with India, Sheikh Abdullah was shaken and started a rethink about the accession. In 1965, Kashmir’s Prime Minister’s status was reduced to Chief Minister and Sadar-E-Riyasat was changed to Governor.

The alienated youth started and intensified their protests. They were duly helped by Pakistan in supply of weapons and military training. With Zia ul Haq’s Islamisation and the rise of radical Islam, planted by the American project to raise Al Qaeda-Taliban to fight against the Russian occupation of Afghanistan, the radical Islam started dominating the area. American money and arms strengthened the fantastic growth of militant Islam and anti-Hindu communal phobia.

In late 1980s the militants changed their track from Kashmiriyat to Anti-India and then Anti Hindu. While the political establishment kept changing hands; youth were disgruntled also due to lack of jobs and economic development. After the hanging of Maqbul Bhatt, many youth left for Pakistan for training in terrorism. The initial murders were those of pro India elements. The V P Singh Government signed on the dotted lines and many hard core terrorists were released worsening the social atmosphere.

As 3.5 Lakh Pandits migrated, close to 50000 Muslims also had to leave. The Film made on Gujarat massacre Perzania was not permitted to be screened in Gujarat. ‘The Kashmir Files’ just selectively shows violence against Hindus and presents local Muslims as collaborators in that. The responses in cinema houses are alarming. The crowds are giving dangerous slogans.    


Back to Home Page

Vol 54, No. 42, April 17 - 23, 2022