The movie Shikara gave the Kashmiri Pandits a rare glimmer of hope that their plight will finally get a platform to be showcased to the entire country. The exodus of the Kashmiri Pandits remains a blot on the history of India and their exodus continues to be one of the most misunderstood and under-reported genocide which was done by the radical Islamists.
The makers of Shikara marketed in the name of telling an unadulterated version of the story of Kashmiri Pandits but in reality they toned down the movie in what seemed as a pathetic attempt to downplay the massacre. With such a show, it was obvious that Shikara was in for its own Chhapaak moment, and it so it has bombed at the box-office despite all the hype. The film has managed to muster in a measly Rs 3.05 crores at the box office in its first two days of its release.
Shikara seems to have been rejected by the audience based on the response the film received at the ticket window, collecting Rs 3.05 crore since its release so far. The Vidhu Vinod Chopra directorial earned Rs 1.2 crore on its release day and Rs 1.85 crore on Saturday.
The makers of Shikara marketed the film in the name of Kashmiri pandits but did a huge disservice to their story, downplaying the brutality of the genocide, and masking the ideology that gave way to it.
The anticipation of Shikara’s release made huge waves among nationalist circles and even unnerved and unsettled left-liberals who have historically allied with Islamofascists in Kashmir. But people were soon disillusioned when they heard Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s views and with a pathetically apologetic, condescending tone of the two co-writers, Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Rahul Pandita went on to sell Kashmiri Pandits short.
When the film came out, it turned out that the Kashmiri pandits’ story was reduced to a mere condescending love flick. It angered many Kashmiri Pandits and other viewers who were earlier excited to think that the Kashmiri Pandit story will finally be told to the masses.
The movie which is full of minority appeasement has seen Vidhu Vinod Chopra reducing the ethnic cleansing to a mere fallout between two friends. As he discussed 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 this and added, “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.”
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”
It seems that the audience has seen through Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s agenda and have squarely rejected the movie. It is a huge lesson for those who think they can capitalise on a community’s plight without even doing justice to their story.