Tuesday, November 29, 2022
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Opinion: “The Kashmir Files” and its depiction of present social ecosystem

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The Kashmir files is not an ordinary film. It’s not made for the purpose of entertainment. It’s an art film based on true events and the characters portrayed in it were/are very much real. Now, the purpose of art is to make people uncomfortable, to make people question and to make a revelation. And this movie was both a revelation and an uncomfortable watch. It left me feeling disturbed and suffocated, gasping for breath even though I was prepared for what was ahead. My heart goes out to our very own Kashmiri Hindu people who were robbed of their homes and livelihoods, forcefully thrown out, killed, murdered and raped by Radical Islamists and Pakistani insurgents. They were completely abandoned by the then government and made to live as a refugee in their own country.

It is tragic that the Kashmir which derives its identity from the Kashmiri Pandit community, who were the original residents, who made its culture rich and even warmly accommodated people of other communities, were never given back what was snatched from them. We no longer know Kashmir as the land of Adi Shankaracharya, Ramanujacharya, of scholars and gods. More than half our present generation doesn’t even know these names because apparently, they find their own civilisation so ‘uncool’.

It’s a shame that it’s been 30 years and justice hasn’t fully prevailed. It’s a shame that whole nation and the then government just became a mute spectator, indifferent to the sacrifice that this community was forced to make. It’s a shame that our history textbooks have no mention of this horrific genocide! The media, the then government and the so- called intellectuals have been successful in depriving the present generation of the truth by twisting narratives and brainwashing the youth of the country for their personal benefits. We too failed as a society and became a pawn, never questioned them.

We failed our own people. So- called journalists justified this genocide by saying that Kashmiri Pandits were “the privileged elites who monopolised govt. jobs”. No one ever spoke for the cause of Kashmiri Pandits until now. Thankfully, the present government has been making changes under the rehabilitation scheme and abrogation of article 370 was also a much-needed decision.

Coming back to the movie, it also raises some pertinent questions on present social ecosystem with a specific focus on certain educational institutions and in fact, the plot of the movie is primarily driven by a young man named Krishna, who is a president of a student organisation. Despite the presence of so many important characters, Krishna Pandit, becomes the lead protagonist who is on a quest to know his truth, his identity. His transformation by the end of the movie as a person with a vision and his clarity of thought is something that gives me hope (I am trying not to give spoilers).

Young millennials believe that Kashmir needs ‘Azaadi’, without knowing from whom and without knowing who is the victim and who is the perpetrator. Some of our educational institutions have become a breeding ground for dirty politics. They are making students intolerant and anti-establishment just to secure their personal agendas.

Now, why does the opinion of present generation matter? It matters because they will be the future administrators and policy makers of this country. And if they do not introspect or learn about their civilisation and its brutal past, without filters and without change in narrative, they will never understand the true interests of this nation, its pluralistic values and their countrymen.

Today, the pain of Kashmiri Hindus in being shared and acknowledged. It is important to do that because it makes them feel listened and valued. Our youth also needs to hear their story out because someone has rightly said, “Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it”.

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