"Gar firdaus ruhe zamin ast, Haminastu, haminastu"
This line from a song of the 2016 movie Fitoor states that if there's a paradise on earth somewhere, it's here (in Kashmir). Whenever we think of Kashmir the ultimate picture we have is of beautiful landscapes and idyllic colour, a glittering valley surrounded by snowy mountains. A place which has always been portrayed by films as an ideal backdrop for romance wherein a beautiful couple sails on a boat to spread nothing less than love. All these sums up the image of Kashmir as 'heaven' for us. But wait, is there something else that we are yet to fathom, the answer is yes, and it's "hatred" in the garb of ideology and truth.
Well, truth has a very unique trait to offer that it can be consumed the same way by every soul but interpreted differently, resulting some void always left to fill. And that's where a radical mind takes over by filling this hiatus leading to deception. Now you might wonder where this argument is leading to, don't worry you will find it soon.
The File is finally opened and it has blood clots:
On 11th March 2022, very few theatres were ready to open their doors for the much awaited film, The Kashmir Files, written & directed by Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri, starring Darshan Kumar, Anupam Kher, Pallavi Joshi, Mithun Chakraborty.
The film is based on the genocide that took place against the Kashmiri Pandits in the state of Jammu & Kashmir in the year 1990 by the extremist groups.
From the standpoint of screenplay or the back and forth way of storytelling film never dissapoints, also the dull and grey tone of colour grade adds much intensity needed. The gorilla technique of camera work is appreciable putting forth raw and realness at top, excluding the blank camera cuts which could have been avoided.
Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri chronicals several ghastly events that took place in the valley of Kashmir by separatists or the terrorists of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front, from high court judge Neelkanth Ganjoo to Tikalal Taploo or the horrible horrible killing of Girija Tikku with creative liberty. From the character Krishna Pandit portrayed by Darshan Kumar to the professor played by Pallavi Joshi each one stands out with their respective roles. The monologue by Krishna during the final scenes of the movie where he calls out kashmir the rich source of knowledge and literature and accounts the reasons for his statement stands out as an ultimate reason for claiming Kashmir as heaven.
Honestly, I believe there's no point in simply rejecting a venture on the basis of claiming it as a pro government vehicle, in that sense we will be doing a disservice to the community who are still living in their own country as refugees. See, we all have read about Jallianwala Bagh massacre but when the event was finally displayed on the screen through the movie Sardar Udham, barely one had been able to stop their tears from rolling, (that is how an art as a medium works) It's because of the sheer excellence with which the scenes were recreated leading us to see the pain people went through for independence.
The Kashmir files is yet another recreation but this time a story of suppression, that our people went through which never got the chance to receive the light it deserved.
I remember, once i asked my senior who is a Kashmiri pandit that - why the community never retaliated, to which he responded saying that the persecution is not just 30 years but 700 years long and before the kasmiri pandits, the suppression took place against the KASHMIRI BUDDHISTS whose existence is extinct. So the fear is instilled and the least we want is that our future generations should never face what we did, the only hope we tend to hold is of education which will generate torchbearers.
The point I am trying to make here is that kashmiri pandits stood as the most intellectual community taking the side of education than retaliation putting an end to destruction. Maybe they never allowed a radical mind to fill the truth gap because their truth is what they lived and their pain is what they suffered. This film is a step towards justice.
~Dhanraj Reddy- A mass comm. student from Delhi University, who has a deep love for cinema, and is a freelance script writer with a zeal to deliver certain degree of positive contribution towards the society.
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