Suryakant Jena

Acclaimed filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri's directorial movie ‘The Kashmir Files’ has not only taken the box office by storm but also created ripples in the political waters of the country. 

Billed as one of the most important yet unreported story of contemporary Indian history, ‘The Kashmir Files’ chronicles the tragic tale of the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the valley in the 1990s and the genocide that took place. 

The Anupam Kher-Mithun Chakraborty starrer movie, initially slated for release on Republic Day 2022, but later postponed due to Covid, has now earned massive attention from the audience since its release in theatres on March 11. 

It has already raked up more than Rs 15 crore in its first three days of release despite tough competition from star-studded flicks like Prabhas starrer 'Radhe Shyam' and Alia Bhatt's ' Gangubai Kathiawadi.

But the heap of appreciation for the movie has also attracted some naysayers. From some views on Bollywood's conspicuous silence to stopping the movie from screening in Jammu, to Kerala Congress' "Kashmir Files Vs Truth" narrative, the movie has become the hottest topic in the country now.

Amid the clamour, the maker of the film Vivek Agnihotri on Monday came in full defence of the idea behind the movie. Addressing a presser, Vivek gave an eye-opening account of how his hard-worked project is much more than any conventional sort of entertainment but a lesson for the entire world on diplomacy's victory against conflict. 

Vivek recounted how his days during the month-long special screening of the highly-anticipated movie last year in the United States, was indeed diplomatic victory for India. 

In his recount of a tour to US in 2018-19 to introduce the Kashmir Files, Vivek said, "I found massive hoardings in Times Square and New York airport which were put up with funding from some Indian people with message 'Free Kashmir'. But in reality a hate campaign was run in the US to show how Kashmir is not an integral part of India. Back then, many Indian authors and columnists also did not back down from to tarnish the image of our country. So we decided to take up the project and took up immense pains to show our idea - The Kashmir Files - to expose the reality of Kashmir issue, the struggle of Kashmiri Pandits. We did not have any motto to show the film to Indians in the US, but to people across all lines of demography and geography.” 

Vivek said that the pre-release screenings took the US by storm and was received with such fervour that a special Congressional reception was hosted at the Capitol Hill. During the event, even those Congressmen who were indirectly involved in the Anti-India Kashmir campaign, had to accept that it was 'not an exodus but a genocide'. 

It is such a massive diplomatic victory for India whose importance can be felt in years to come, said Vivek.

'The Kashmir Files' is not only for India, but for the entire world. 

The noted filmmaker further explained that in the aftermath of World War II crisis, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) sought cooperation from Hollywood if it could contribute to propagate America's superiority across the globe. The cine industry too pledged to work as soft power to picture the country's rising status of a global superpower. And we know what has been happening ever since. How Hollywood films have managed to picturise America as the strongest country in the world, that even a slum kid from anywhere in the world would say so, he said. 

Vivek justified the reason behind choosing the idea behind the The Kashmir Files so that movies would begin portraying India's rise as superpower just like Hollywood does for the US. 

Amid the change in the present world order, as the entire globe starts to realise the India's rise as an unstoppable power, we also continue to face numerous attacks from all around. And one of the most sensitive issues which have been used to target India is the Kashmir issue, said Vivek.