Last Friday, Bollywood got introduced to a new genre called reality. The Kashmir Files directed by Vivek Agnihotri tells a truth which is so bitter and difficult to digest that it will leave you numb and thinking on how humanity failed the Kashmiris in the 1990s.
This movie revolves around the eviction of Kashmiri Pandits in 1990 from Kashmir. The Kashmiri pandits are among the descendants of the ancient Saraswati civilisation. This community has faced persecution many times in the past but the one in 1990 was the latest. At the time of independence, the Kashmiri Pandit community was a minority in Kashmir. But as years went by this community started migrating from Kashmir and in 1990 due to unprecedented insurgency this migration reached its peak. This migration was not the simple movement of a community moving to another place and leaving behind their homes. The events that were taking place in Kashmir at that time, the real testimonies of Kashmiri Pandits about their exodus from their homes and all the brutality that they went through in that journey, the scars they got both mental and physical, the injustice they faced both at the hands of the government and fellow human beings-all these issues have been raised by Vivek Agnihotri in this film. He has told the truth very boldly and this boldness will definitely make every one of us think and ponder about the issues that plague our society even today, because this movie may have told a story about 1990 but the issues that it has raised are valid even in today’s time.
The star cast has done a tremendous job in displaying the emotions and playing the characters to the extent that it didn’t feel like they were acting. Be it Anupam Kher, Mithun Chakraborty, Darshan Kumar or Pallavi Joshi all have played their parts to perfection. This movie will definitely make you want to cry but the gut-wrenching reality that you will see in the three-hour duration will not let you cry. This movie can be compared to the famous Hollywood film The Schindler’s List. This film is not for the weak hearted and close-minded persons. The truth here has not been airbrushed. Names are named whether it is the neighboring powers, religious or ethnic communities, political leaders or even real persons. Every aspect of this movie is a truth that everyone deserves to know and the director has done this job with top class perfection and daring.
I would like to highlight a dialogue from the movie because everything else needs to be seen and it is a must watch for every adult in not only India but around the world. The dialogue goes as follows: “Yaha log akhbar padhte nahi sirf dekhte hai aur news samajhte nahi sirf dekhte hai.” (Here people only see the newspaper and don’t read it, and they only hear the news, don’t understand it). The Kashmir Files is not a movie, it is a reality faced by some unfortunate humans who were denied their basic dignity as fellow humans. And if we cannot face this harsh reality as seen on cinema then we as humans really have a long way ahead of us in becoming responsible human beings.
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