Hate floods in the wake of ‘The Kashmir Files’

Right-wing makes the most of the movie’s impact and calls upon Indian Hindus to “open their eyes”

Image Courtesy:sanatanprabhat.org

‘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 are going out of their way to make the movies accessible to the masses. There are no boundaries left to be crossed, it seems.

A day after the release of the movie supposedly narrating the exodus of Kashmiri Hindus during the Kashmir insurgency BJP Union Minister, state officials and other right-wing organisations set to work promoting the film from their own social media accounts.

Chief among them was Women and Child Development Minister SmritiIrani who asked people to watch the movie “history soaked in the blood of innocents may never repeat itself”.

Then there’s Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra who asked that state police personnel be allowed a holiday to go watch the movie. Mishra said that it is important that officers watch this movie especially considering a person from Bhopal plays an important role in this film.

This request came after Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh governments on March 13 allowed the movie to be tax-free. Accordingly, news reports on Sunday said Maharashtra BJP MLA NiteshRane wrote to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray requesting that the government also make ‘The Kashmir Files’ free of entertainment tax.

He wrote that this will allow people to see “for the first time the correct and true depiction of atrocities inflicted by Muslim terrorists on the Hindu community” in Jammu and Kashmir, said the Free Press Journal. Even Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Bommai exempted the movie from taxation.

It is interesting here that Ministers are encouraging people to watch a movie that reportedly provides a gory narrative of the incident. According to The Hindu by Anuj Kumar, ‘The Kashmir Files’ manipulates facts and half-truths and uses scenes of bloodshed and torture to induce reactions. In the movie, the media has been condemned for hiding the reality of Kashmiri Pandits while the previous government led by Congress has been squarely blamed for the sufferings. However, critics condemn the movie for either intentionally or inadvertently cherry-picking historical facts to cater to the right-wing ideology.

The result of this skewed perspective was a low rating on sites like the IMDB. Yet, instead of addressing this problem on the website in question, the IT Cell used this situation to condemn Muslims for “trying to hide” the reality of Kashmir.

Kashmir Files

The arguments even reached Wikipedia where people from both sides tried to manipulate the information of ‘The Kashmir Files’ page to address their concerns.

Kashmir Files

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


However, the mood was more violent inside the theatre halls where goons resorted to violent language to decry Muslim. One Twitter used RohitBishnoi shared a video clip where people yelled “Deshkegaddaroko, golimaarosaalonko” (shoot down the traitors using bullets) inside the hall, reiterating the words of hate-offender and BJP leadear C.T. Ravi.

When another Twitter user retweeted this with the caption ”this is terrifying”, Bishnoi replied by saying “Gaddaronko terrify honachahiye. Aavashyakhai. (Traitors should be terrified. It is necessary)”

In another instance, a man lashed out at the AAP-leader Arvind Kejriwal after watching the movie. In a fit of rage, the man claimed a man died a similar (like those portrayed in the movie) death during the North-East Delhi riots. He went on to call the movie “a message” rather than a mere film.

Even those accused in the Delhi riots showered praises on the movie. One of the alleged perpetrators of the violence Kapil Mishra also shared a caricature where a person wrapped in a shawl marked “Hindu” ‘comes to life’ on seeing the movie poster. The four people carrying the body are labelled “Jihadi”, “Congress-Left”, “Lutyens media” and “Bollywood gang”.

Kashmir Files

In yet another place, people entered the theatre hall and demanded if not screamed at people not to watch ‘Shahrukh-Salman-Amir-and-Saif movies’, targeting the four Khans well-known in the film industry.

Others to spew hate under the garb of promoting the movie were BJP Telangana President Bandi Sanjay Kumar, Bengal BJP Vice-President Rathindra Bose – who claimed the Congress was supporting militant jihadis by criticising the movie – and others like Kangana Ranaut.


Kashmir Files

Kashmir Files


Kashmir Files

Another loyal right-wing supporter to support the movie was former Rajya Sabha member and ex-editor of Panchajanya, the RSS weekly, Tarun Vijay and Central Waqf Council member and Minority Affairs’ Planning and Finance Committee Chairperson Rais Pathan.

Kashmir Files


Kashmir Files

On Sunday, BhagwaKrantiSena President, VHP leader and RSS member Dr. PrachiSadhvi made a swingular statement saying that those criticisng the movie had a “jihadi mentality”. She demanded that the movie be shown tax-free and even in colleges, claiming that the movie showed the reality of Hindu Pandits.

While the tussle between the two ideologies continue, the movie benefits with more exposure on both sides.


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