The Kashmir Files

Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid highly critical observation regarding ‘The Kashmir Files’ has
created political feud and spiraled into a contraversy that is receiving stern reaction from the socio-political corner.

We draw a lot of influences from the cinematic representation of our society on day to day basis.
Cinema artists are known for the portrayal of harsh realities of our society in a most poignant form or empathic form.

Cinema also has played a significant role in building perception and setting a narrative in a new form altogether. Cinema is known for creating its footprints in the minds of the audience through a certain kind of artistic liberty in the portrayal of a story, no matter if it is a work of fiction or based on the true incidents from the socio- political scenario of our society.

Cinema is more often also known for depicting the saga of marginalized, oppressed, or displaced communities. Communities that have been uprooted from their place of origin or affinity.

Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid highly critical observation regarding ‘The Kashmir Files’ has created a political feud and spiraled into a controversy that is receiving a stern reaction from the socio-political corner. The filmmaker called The Kashmir Files a propaganda &; vulgar movie at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa.

Israel’s ambassador to India Naor Gilon today publicly denounced the filmmaker from his country for his extremely blunt and critical remark.

The Kashmir Files is a Hindi film directed by Vivek Agnihotri, which revolves around the mass exodus and killing of Kashmiri Pandits from the Kashmir Valley in 1990. The film has been mired in controversy. The film has been a huge success financially and received a grand outpouring of audience in the cinema hall.

However, the film received a mixed reaction from different segments of society. One part of popular opinion completely applauded the film for its depiction of Kashmiri Pandit’s ordeal and some critically dispelled the film as loose with facts.

The core problem with the whole outrage towards Nadav Lapid’s remarks is that the outburst is stemming from the political spin given to his observation by some parts of electronic media. Not so surprising is also the fact that the ones in outrage are the usual suspects known for branding people with tags like ‘Anti National’, ‘Tukde Tukde Gang’ or the one’s on ‘payroll to oppose’.

The political spin is very tactfully given by some part of electronic media to portray Nadav’s observations on ‘The Kashmir Files’ as questioning the very occurrence of the violent mass exodus of Kashmiri Pandits and calling it a propaganda film in that perspective but the fact of the matter is very simply to be noticed in his observation. Nadav in his observation is clearly seen and heard questioning the film’s artistic merit along with the substandard portrayal of real-life incidents.

Watch : IFFI Jury Head Nadav Lapid Slams The Kashmir Files, Israel Envoy Apologizes| IFFI Goa 2022| Festival

In this context, the filmmaker is calling the film in question a propaganda film and vulgar (not fit for artistic consumption). Nowhere in his observation is he questioning the occurrence or the legitimacy of the occurred incident that left a grave impact on the community that is still struggling to find its space of identity in its own homeland. One can ask more relevant questions to address some genuine concerns of the Kashmiri Pandits at present.

The kind of overwhelming response the film received and the economic profit made by the makers of the film, what exactly has changed for one’s suffered in the ordeal of mass exodus. Has there been any constructive intervention toward the resettlement and return to one’s homeland? Unless we ask some more relevant questions till then we will keep finding ourselves caught in the cobweb of political spin that is used by the ones in power to keep us distracted from genuine concerns.

The Author is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Shoolini University, Solan, Himachal Pradesh.  

(Views Expressed Are Personal)

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