Filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra is once again in the news, but this time for the wrong reasons. The director-cum-producer recently visited the studios of India Today in a bid to promote his upcoming movie ‘Shikara’, based on the ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Pandits, wherein he not only trivialized their sufferings, but also labeled the entire pogrom as ‘fallout between two friends.’
As he discussed about his upcoming movie in the studio, Vidhu Vinod Chopra said, “See, I have spent more than two years in Kashmir for this movie, and more than half of my crew is Muslim. They knew what this movie was about, and yet they helped us. It is because of Kashmir’s Muslims that this movie was made possible. This is the Kashmir we know, and this is the Kashmir where we shall go back and live our lives that we used to. Ek Din yeh Kashmir Wapis Ayega.”
However, Vidhu Vinod didn’t merely stop at singing paeans for the Kashmiri Muslims as he went on to say, “This film is about healing, this is about coming other. This film is about the fact that it has been more than 30 years about this tragedy. We should say sorry, and move on. This is like when two friends have a little fallout and after 30 years, they say forget this. They say sorry to each other and hug each other.”
The very first thing that comes to one’s mind would be: Is this some kind of joke? Is the horrifying genocide of Kashmiri Hindus that began with the murder of Tika Lal Taploo in 1989 just a friendly fallout for Vidhu Vinod Chopra?
On the dark night of 19 January 1990, what happened in Kashmir Valley was nothing less than a brutal genocide that reeked of deep contempt towards the Kashmiri Hindus. Millions of Kashmiri Pandits were ordered to leave their homes at once, failing which they were subjected to brutal torture, murder, rape, arson as the list nauseatingly went on and on. This can simply not be a ‘little fallout between two friends’, as Vidhu Vinod Chopra wants us to believe in.
If we go by Chopra’s logic, then the genocide is nothing but a fallout between two friends where one friend not only forces the other to leave his home, but also raped and killed his family. And after all these, Chopra believes the ‘two friends’ should say Sorry and move on. Sickening it is.
Needless to say, calls to boycott ‘Shikara’ began trending on social media under the banner of #BoycottShikara. To quote a Twitter user Dr. Shraddha, “Anti Hindu placards in Shaheen Bagh is just repeating history! Shame on Vidhu Vinod Chopra for calling a planned massacre of Kashmiri Hindus, their brutal murders as a fight between 2 friends while none of the culprits have been punished. Time to #BoycottShikaara” –
Anti Hindu placards in Shaheen bagh is just repeating history!
Shame @VVCFilms for calling a planned massacre of kashmiri Hindus,their brutal murders as a fight between 2 friends while none of culprits is been punished!
Time to #BoycottShikara pic.twitter.com/TtkPoPooxR
— Dr Shraddha (@drshraddha16) January 21, 2020
Likewise, another user named Un Bhadralok Bangali tweeted, “Vidhu Vinod Chopra explaining Kashmiri Pandit ethnic cleansing: ’30 yrs have passed. Let’s say sorry & move on. It is like two friends who have a fallout but they love each other’. Genocide of Kp’s was fallout & a friendly fight according to him. Pukeworthy explanation.” –
Vidhu Vinod Chopra explaining Kashmiri Pandit ethnic cleansing :
'30 yrs have passed. Lets say sorry & move on. It is like two friends who have a fallout but they love each other'.
Genocide of Kp's was fallout & a friendly fight according to him.
Pukeworthy explanation. pic.twitter.com/wShskK5Rbv
— Un-bhadralok bangali (@goonereol) January 20, 2020
Ironically, the mother of Vidhu Vinod Chopra is herself a Kashmiri Hindu, who could never go back to her home in Srinagar. Even more ironic is the fact that a popular author and journalist and a Kashmiri Pandit himself, Rahul Pandita, has written the story of the upcoming movie. Yet, the way Vidhu Vinod Chopra has tried to romanticize and whitewash the breed responsible for making the Kashmiri Pandits refugees in their own country is nothing but pukeworthy to say the least. If Vidhu Vinod Chopra is trivializing the sufferings of millions of Kashmiri Pandits like that, only God knows what he would further portray in his upcoming movie ‘Shikara’.