New Delhi: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday said ‘The Kashmir Files’ has brought out the true history of the valley and the film will be remembered for long.
He made these remarks at an event organised to felicitate the actors of the film Anupam Kher, Pallavi Joshi and the director Vivek Agnihotri at the India International Centre here.
The cast and director of ‘The Kashmir Files’ film were honoured by the Global Kashmiri Pandit Diaspora (GKPD) in the presence of Mr Gadkari. The event was also attended by senior BJP leader Shyam Jaju.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Gadkari, the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, said the history of Kashmiri Pandits have a great and rich history.
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“It is true that Kashmiri Pandits were harassed and forced to move out (of the valley). Vivek Agnihotri has rightly portrayed the plight of Kashmiri Pandits. I thank him for revisiting the history,” Mr Gadkari said.
He said the true history of the Kashmiri Pandits was not known to people and “efforts were made to hide the truth”.
The minister added that the way Agnihotri directed the film, he has put forth the truth and real story for the public.
“This movie will be remembered for long. The movie will also make the new generation aware of the history of Kashmiri Pandits. I thank Vivek Agnihotri for this,” Mr Gadkari said.
The minister said that pseudo-secular people are not taking interest in the movie.
Other than Mr Gadkari, the invite of the event has names of Union ministers Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Sripad Naik and VK Singh and RSS National Executive Member Indresh Kumar. But apart from Mr Gadkari no one else made to the programme.
The hall of India International Centre was packed with people, mainly Kashmiri Pandits and many of them had come from abroad.
As soon as the star cast of the movie and Mr Gadkari reached the venue, the hall reverberated with chants of “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” and “Jai Shri Ram”.
Further addressing the gathering, Mr Gadkari said that through the film, Agnihotri has shown that fundamentalism destroys democracy and secularism.
“If in any country has more than 51 per cent fundamentalists, then there will be no democracy, socialism and secularism in that country. Tolerance is the speciality of our nation. Nationalism is our soul and I am happy that the real history of Kashmir in the same perspective has been portrayed by actors and director in the movie,” Mr Gadkari said.
The organisers also played a recorded video message of RSS leaders Indresh Kumar where he said that ‘The Kashmir Files’ is a true story of a painful tale.
“It is a trailer of a big painful truth. Anyone who denies this fact is the enemy of humanity, Hindutva and constitution. The thinking of those leaders, who termed the movie as a lie and said that it promoted hatred between Hindu and Muslim, is communal and influenced by the vote bank,” He appealed to the people to criticise those who perpetrated the heinous acts of killing of Kashmiri Hindus and Sikhs in the valley.
“We should make efforts to ensure that such painful events never take place in Kashmir in future. Kashmir is an integral part of the county and it will always remain so,” Mr Kumar said.
Speaking on the occasion, Bollywood actor Anupam Kher, who is one of the main characters of the movie, said stories and the plight of Kashmiri Pandits that were hidden have come out now.
“This was one of the few movies in which I acted by heart. I’m not focusing on those who criticise the film. I think no other government has done the amount of work this government has done for Kashmiris so far. This government has abrogated Article 370,” Mr Kher said.
Mr Kher said the movie is based on optimism and “a lot of files will be opened now, you’ve just seen Kashmir files”.
Director Agnihotri said the film is not doing any propaganda and did not criticise anyone.
“Our aim was not to criticise anyone. We haven’t used the word Pakistan. We haven’t criticised the Muslims. We have just highlighted the plight of a group of people.
“This film is not doing any propaganda, I can say that with complete responsibility. Some people have been spreading false narrative about this film,” Mr Agnihotri said.
Actor Pallavi Joshi said there was no advertisements on the newspapers or elsewhere and efforts were made to not publicise the film.
“We knew this will be an issue and we’ll get threats. We were aware that we have to overcome a lot of hindrances. We have got fatwas and criticism, but we saw that coming. We’re not scared of it anymore,” Ms Joshi said.