Following the unexpected success of ‘The Tashkent Files’, director Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri’s next project is all set to infuriate some influential folks in the left liberal intelligentsia. Vivek Agnihotri will now focus on the trials and tribulations suffered by the Kashmiri Pandits community, in his next project, which is temporarily titled ‘The Kashmir Files’. According to the director himself, the film will begin shooting within 6 months with an ensemble cast like ‘The Tashkent Files’.
To quote an excerpt from the director’s interview with the popular tabloid ‘Mumbai Mirror’, ‘I’ve been wanting to make a film on the Kashmir issue for a long time and after my recent success, I have the confidence to tackle the sensitive subject. Little kids were shot, women raped, and people told to leave their houses at night; the film will be an honest investigation into one of the biggest human tragedies.’
The mass exodus of Kashmiri Hindus from Kashmir Valley is probably one of the biggest tragedies of India, where the victims have still not got justice. Millions of Kashmiri Hindus, especially the Kashmiri Pandits were ordered to leave the valley by 19 January 1990, following which a combined militia of Islamic terrorists, separatists’ and scheming politicians unleashed mayhem throughout the Kashmir Valley.
While most were forced to leave their homes, others were either, maimed, murdered, and even raped and mutilated beyond recognition. The saddest part about this Kashmiri Holocaust is that none of the murderers have even been arrested, forget being punished for their actions. Interestingly, while explaining his modus operandi of making this film, Vivek also rued over the fact that in the previous Kashmir based films, the armed forces haven’t been depicted in a fair manner either.
To quote him, ‘I’ve been working closely with the activists in Kashmir and have spoken to the top politicians. Initially I was planning a book, now it’s a film. Unfortunately, films on Kashmir have portrayed the army mostly in a poor light and have justified terrorism. That’s a wrong narrative based on propaganda. I’m going to break this myth.’
Vivek Agnihotri, who has had a mixed profile with projects like ‘Chocolate’, ‘Goal’, ‘Hate Story’, turned towards covering sensitive subjects with his iconic project ‘Buddha in a Traffic Jam’. Despite being heckled, mocked and jeered for the same, Vivek went ahead with releasing the film, which targeted the Naxals and their sympathizers from the urban intelligentsia.
Following the success of the film, Vivek went ahead with his next project, ‘The Tashkent Files’, based on the mysterious death of Lal Bahadur Shastri, India’s 2nd Prime Minister. Once again he had to go through the ordeal of heckling and jeering, with some ‘pretentious critics’ refusing to review his film altogether. Despite the challenges, ‘The Tashkent Files’ not only withstood major films like ‘Avengers: Endgame’, ‘Kalank’ and ‘De De Pyaar De’, but is running successfully in the theatres till date.
In this context, he is probably one of the best people who can handle the sensitive subject of the Kashmiri Pandits without any trouble. We hope that Vivek Agnihotri portrays the subject in truthful light, which might pave way for the justice that was and still continues to be denied to the Kashmiri Pandits.