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Singapore bans ‘The Kashmir Files’ 

The film is found to be ‘provocative and one-sided portrayal’ of Muslims; official fears it would create communal tensions

Sabrangindia 11 May 2022

The kashmir files

Singapore has banned ‘The Kashmir files’, reportedly over its ‘proactive and one-sided portrayal’ of Muslims in Kashmir. The city-state's officials fear it could provoke religious and ethnic tensions.

According to The Wire, Singapore authorities assessed the Hindi-language film to be beyond Singapore’s film classification guidelines, as per a joint statement issued by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

“The film will be refused classification for its provocative and one-sided portrayal of Muslims and the depictions of Hindus being persecuted in the on-going conflict in Kashmir. These representations have the potential to cause enmity between different communities, and disrupt social cohesion and religious harmony in our multiracial and multi-religious society. Under the film classification guidelines, any material that is denigrating to racial or religious communities in Singapore will be refused classification,” Channel News Asia quoted authorities.

According to reports in Singapore’s local newspapers, the authorities are sensitive to anything that could trigger ethnic and religious tensions. Singapore occasionally bans films and publications for fear of inflaming divisions, leading some to ridicule it as a nanny state. 

Critics say it tackles themes close to the political agenda of Modi's Hindu nationalist government, which has often been accused of marginalising and vilifying Muslims. 

The media regulator in Singapore refused to classify the film, meaning it cannot be screened. 

The Film was written and directed by Vivek Agnihotri is based on exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Kashmir Valley the 1990s due to terrorism.

Brief background

‘The Kashmir Files’ hit theatres on March 11, 2022 and Hindutva-driven hate followed its wake, spreading on social media with cries of India’s Hindus to open their eyes. While it is not surprising that right-wing extremist elements would resort to such actions, what is shocking is that this time BJP ministers and government officials went out of their way to make the movies accessible to the masses. This Lent credibility to even parts of the movie where makers had taken creative liberties, and help build a strong anti-minority sentiment.

Media reports of people exiting the theatre showed how people were moved by the performances, regardless of the distortion of facts used to tell the story. Some people said that Indian Hindus must watch the movie that has told a truth hidden by the liberal groups. 

However, the mood soon started getting heated inside the theatre halls where goons resorted to chanting slogans that often took an anti-Muslim hue. One Twitter used Rohit Bishnoi shared a video clip where people yelled “Desh ke gaddaro ko, goli maaro s***on ko” (Translation: Shoot the traitors) inside the hall, reiterating the words of hate-offenders who had originally given the call during Delhi elections, and more recently, BJP leader C.T. Ravi.

“The Kashmir Files makes resident Kashmiri Pandits unsafe,” the Kashmiri Pandit Sangarsh Samiti (KPSS) had said at the time. The group had been closely observing the hate generated online and offline soon after the Bollywood movie was released. The Samiti is an organisation that has for decades worked to address the concerns of resident Kashmiri Pandits and Hindus who have stayed back in the Valley.

As the hate continues to brew, it is also making the Kashmiri Pandits, as well as Muslims feel more vulnerable and unsafe now. This is especially true in the aftermath of this controversial film.

Related:

Hate floods in the wake of ‘The Kashmir Files’

The Kashmir Files making resident Kashmiri Pandits feel unsafe

The Kashmir Files backed by PM, FM, CMs; continues to fuel divide

Maintaining harmony is responsibility of Muslims: Assam CM

Singapore bans ‘The Kashmir Files’ 

The film is found to be ‘provocative and one-sided portrayal’ of Muslims; official fears it would create communal tensions

The kashmir files

Singapore has banned ‘The Kashmir files’, reportedly over its ‘proactive and one-sided portrayal’ of Muslims in Kashmir. The city-state's officials fear it could provoke religious and ethnic tensions.

According to The Wire, Singapore authorities assessed the Hindi-language film to be beyond Singapore’s film classification guidelines, as per a joint statement issued by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

“The film will be refused classification for its provocative and one-sided portrayal of Muslims and the depictions of Hindus being persecuted in the on-going conflict in Kashmir. These representations have the potential to cause enmity between different communities, and disrupt social cohesion and religious harmony in our multiracial and multi-religious society. Under the film classification guidelines, any material that is denigrating to racial or religious communities in Singapore will be refused classification,” Channel News Asia quoted authorities.

According to reports in Singapore’s local newspapers, the authorities are sensitive to anything that could trigger ethnic and religious tensions. Singapore occasionally bans films and publications for fear of inflaming divisions, leading some to ridicule it as a nanny state. 

Critics say it tackles themes close to the political agenda of Modi's Hindu nationalist government, which has often been accused of marginalising and vilifying Muslims. 

The media regulator in Singapore refused to classify the film, meaning it cannot be screened. 

The Film was written and directed by Vivek Agnihotri is based on exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Kashmir Valley the 1990s due to terrorism.

Brief background

‘The Kashmir Files’ hit theatres on March 11, 2022 and Hindutva-driven hate followed its wake, spreading on social media with cries of India’s Hindus to open their eyes. While it is not surprising that right-wing extremist elements would resort to such actions, what is shocking is that this time BJP ministers and government officials went out of their way to make the movies accessible to the masses. This Lent credibility to even parts of the movie where makers had taken creative liberties, and help build a strong anti-minority sentiment.

Media reports of people exiting the theatre showed how people were moved by the performances, regardless of the distortion of facts used to tell the story. Some people said that Indian Hindus must watch the movie that has told a truth hidden by the liberal groups. 

However, the mood soon started getting heated inside the theatre halls where goons resorted to chanting slogans that often took an anti-Muslim hue. One Twitter used Rohit Bishnoi shared a video clip where people yelled “Desh ke gaddaro ko, goli maaro s***on ko” (Translation: Shoot the traitors) inside the hall, reiterating the words of hate-offenders who had originally given the call during Delhi elections, and more recently, BJP leader C.T. Ravi.

“The Kashmir Files makes resident Kashmiri Pandits unsafe,” the Kashmiri Pandit Sangarsh Samiti (KPSS) had said at the time. The group had been closely observing the hate generated online and offline soon after the Bollywood movie was released. The Samiti is an organisation that has for decades worked to address the concerns of resident Kashmiri Pandits and Hindus who have stayed back in the Valley.

As the hate continues to brew, it is also making the Kashmiri Pandits, as well as Muslims feel more vulnerable and unsafe now. This is especially true in the aftermath of this controversial film.

Related:

Hate floods in the wake of ‘The Kashmir Files’

The Kashmir Files making resident Kashmiri Pandits feel unsafe

The Kashmir Files backed by PM, FM, CMs; continues to fuel divide

Maintaining harmony is responsibility of Muslims: Assam CM

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