By Akhlad Khan – Twitter @BawaNaaved
Controversy erupted after two videos from theaters showing a newly released Indian movie, ‘Kashmir Files’, went viral. The controversial movie left many theatre goers with the impression it is targeting women belonging to the Muslim minority Uttar Pradesh state in India. Samajwadi, a political party Member of Parliament in the Moradabad district Syed Tufail Hassan calls it a ‘Political Movie’. “This film seems to conspire to destroy the harmony. Venom is being sewn amongst the people of this country. What will happen if the documentary films are made on Gujrat, Meerut, Moradabad etc. riots? Where are we heading to as a nation?”, said Hassan.
“Muslims are 200 millions and not one or two. This political agenda of fueling hatred among citizens is destroying the brotherhood in India. The most condemnable is that the PM of this country is promoting this movie. Even police personnel have been asked to watch the film. This is very threatening. I am worried about the people of this country”, Hassan adds.
The Kashmir Files, which released across Indian cinemas on March 11, is based on the exodus of Kashmiri Hindus during the Kashmir Insurgency. Written, directed by Vivek Agnihotri and produced by Zee Studios, the film stars Anupam Kher, Darshan Kumar, Mithun Chakraborty and Pallavi Joshi.
It was declared tax-free in all the states ruled by BJP and has now become a box office success. Critics call it a propaganda piece to further their political agenda against the Muslims. The performance of the cast has been described as “compelling”, particularly that of Kher’s. Some have hailed the film as a work of “historical revisionism”.
However, the release of the film, The Kashmir Files, last week has put the issues of controversy on the front burner. In various video clips that went viral in UP’s Moradabad, the audience was seen shouting religious slogans and delivering controversial statements against women.
In one such viral video taken allegedly inside the theatre of PVR Cinema Hall, one person from the audience after watching the movie can be heard saying ‘If every Hindu boy of age 25 start marrying with Muslim girls then within the three generations their (Muslims) population will automatically reduced to half’. Urging the spectators to marry Muslim girls, the Man passes derogatory remarks citing ‘Marry with their (Muslim) girls, get babies. We are watching a movie here and they (Muslims) are increasing their population at home’.
The furious audience claps on the abusive words delivered by the Man in the theater.
Another gathering outside the theater in Moradabad’s Wave Mall situated at MDA (Moradabad Development Authority) area, most of them wearing saffron colored shawls and shirts while chanting Mahadev and Jai Shri Ram slogans. The video shows dozens of men and women including elderly people standing in a queue and chanting slogans.
However, speaking on the issue, BJP’s Member of Legislative Assembly Ritesh Kumar Gupta said, “People after watching the film are expressing their emotions. I have not seen the viral video of Moradabad though, but if there has been any such incident, then I advise the people to keep calm”.
There are several religious festivals/celebrations ahead be it Holi, Shab-e-Baraat or Eid-ul-Fitr, representatives of the minority sect believes that there are conspiracies in making to create unrest in the state.
Moradabad City Megistrate Mahendra Pal Singh, condemning the news of the derogatory remarks in the viral video, said “The viral videos will be thoroughly probed, if it contains any such content which goes against the constitution, or hurts any particular community, action will be taken after identifying the offenders. People must maintain peace and harmony amid the festivals”.
Writer – Journalist