The Kashmir Files Director Vivek Agnihotri on Tuesday said he would quit filmmaking if intellectuals, including Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid, are able to prove that the events depicted in his film are false. A day after Lapid, who served as the President of the International Jury of IFFI The Kashmir Files “obscene and propaganda”, Agnihotri challenged his detractors, saying he would “keep fighting”. The Kashmir Files controversy: Vivek Agnihotri and Anupam Kher react to IFFI jury head Nadav Lapid’s comments on the film.
“I challenge the intellectuals and ‘urban naxals’ of the world as well as the great filmmaker from Israel that if they can prove that no shot, dialogue or incident in ‘The Kashmir Files’ is absolute truth, So I will stop making films. I am not one to back down. Issue as many fatwas as you want, but I will keep fighting,” the Indian filmmaker said in a video statement shared on his official Twitter page.
The comments made by Lapid, seen as an anti-government voice, came at the closing ceremony of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa on Monday. On Tuesday morning, Agnihotri had said in a cryptic social media post that “truth is the most dangerous thing” because it can lead people to lie. In his video posted in the evening, the filmmaker said being attacked by “gangs” who wanted to divide India was not a new phenomenon.
“Such things are often said by terrorist organizations, urban naxalites and ‘tukde tukde’ gangs who want to divide the country. What is surprising is how an event organized by the Government of India was used to support those terrorists Gaya who want Kashmir to separate from India and how many Indians living in India used it against the country?” Agnihotri asked. The director, who won the 2019 National Film Award for Best Screenplay – Dialogues for “The Tashkent Files”, said 700 people were interviewed as part of the research for “The Kashmir Files”.
“Were these 700 people whose families were killed and gang-raped who were spreading propaganda and obscenity? In a place that used to be Hindu-bhoomi (Hindu majority), no Hindu lives there. Even today, Hindus is marked for murder and executed in front.” Your eyes Yasin Malik, who confessed his crimes, is rotting in jail today. Is it propaganda or obscenity?” he said. Written and directed by Agnihotri and produced by Zee Studios, The Kashmir Files Portrays the exodus of Kashmiri Hindus from Kashmir after the killings of the community by Pakistan-backed terrorists.
The much-hyped film, which opened to polarizing reviews after its March 11 release, starred Anupam Kher, Pallavi Joshi, Mithun Chakraborty and Darshan Kumar. In an Instagram post, Joshi described Lapid as a genocide denier. The actress, who is married to Agnihotri, said it was unfortunate that a creative platform like IFFI was used for a political agenda “to preserve an old, false and worn-out narrative about Kashmir”.
“For decades the international community remained silent on the suffering of the Kashmiri Pandit community. After 3 decades, the Indian film industry has finally realized that it needs to tell India’s story truthfully and fairly.”
“…it is very unfortunate that a creative platform was used for a political agenda to preserve an old, false and shabby narrative about Kashmir.” Arvind Kejriwal says Vivek Agnihotri should upload Kashmir files on YouTube on BJP’s demand for tax-free status.
Joshi wrote, “We are overwhelmed by the way the people of India have risen to defend The Kashmir Files against the vulgar and vulgar statements of a genocide denier.” India Nor Gillon and Consul General of Midwest India Kobbi Shoshani for their support.
“If they themselves don’t like a film, you are welcome to say so. But if you are a jury member, you cannot use words like ‘obscene’, ‘propaganda’. The world has seen the film, pain and pain. The problems of Kashmiri Pandits which have been going on for the last 32 years,” the veteran actor said at a joint press conference with Shoshani.
Kher also brought up the “toolkit gang”, a reference to a Google document supporting the 2021 farmers’ agitation shared by environmental activist Greta Thunberg. The term came to be identified with anti-establishment voices. He said, “All these people belong to the ‘toolkit gang’. They gave a 30-second speech and it went viral.”