This is not a movie, it is a revolution, it is a revelation, it is an expression and it is an emotion!
Circa 1990, January 19: That dark night of Indian history when Kashmiri Pandits were asked to leave their homes unaware, in a most brutal manner, history is the witness of. Kashmir has always been a hotbed of terrorism, which I recollect since my childhood. I recollect – famous Kashmir Issues activist – Sushil Pandit joined my class in KV, Tagore Garden. He looked true blue Kashmiri but had a distinctively intense expression on his face, like today. I asked him once during lunchtime, where are you from? Your father got transferred to Delhi? He replied, “I am from Kashmir and no, we had to leave our homes in Kashmir overnight to take refuge here.” I was quite surprised at that…how can one leave their homes in breathtakingly beautiful Kashmir – Jannat on earth. But as a little girl, it was all beyond my comprehension.
My interest in Kashmir grew when a friend, who lived in the colony – a beautiful Kashmiri girl narrated to me the story of Kashmir…
Probably, it was all simmering underneath to lead to the incident of January 19, 1990, which is the mainstay of the movie: The Kashmir Files. Surprisingly no one talked about it, wrote about it, thought about it and felt about it, hiding all the brutal facts under the carpet. As I lived in Delhi, I came in contact with another friend from Kashmir, Gautam Jalali, who narrated to me the incident, this was 1990. I was moved to tears…such a beautiful state…such beautiful people…subjected to this fate.
I always wanted to go to Kashmir for my honeymoon like shown in movies then…but that was not to be!!
Cut to The Kashmir Files, I am yet to see the euphoria, frenzy, reactions, national pride, tears surrounding any movie…and I am a movie buff. There was an unnerved silence in the hall, everybody was watching in rapt attention, some sobbing, while some in deep thoughts. I have been following all talks/ press meets/ discussions around the film by Vivek Rajan Agnihotri (Director) and made up my mind to watch it.
The hero of the film is its research done on the subject, there is hardly any misplaced fact. Till now, Bollywood has been presenting Kashmir and terrorism in a different light. Vivek is brave enough to bring and present facts surrounding the genocide, which was marked as exodus till now. Not surprised to note that, it is the biggest genocide in the history of mankind. Five lakh Kashmiris were displaced in a night, but not before subjecting to loot, extortion, rape, murder…whatnot.
The acting of the entire cast: Anupam Kher, Mithun Chakraborty, Pallavi Joshi, Darshan Kumar, Bhasha … everyone is class apart. While you empathise with Pushkar Pandit, you detest Bitta and want to shake Radhika Menon, why make Krishna Pandit a mohra? I loved the song “Hum dekhenge…” The last speech by Darshan Kumar aka Krishna Pandit is an eye-opener. It was quite a revelation for me to know that the name Kashmir descended from Rishi Kashyap. The character of Anupam Kher as Pushkar Pandit moves you to tears, he was not acting, he lived the pain, the trauma of Kashmiri Pandits who wrote 6000 letters to the Government then to do away with Article 370. It took so many years to become a reality as it faced umpteen resistance from all quarters.
Indeed, it is a very brave attempt by Vivek Agnihotri to put a challenge before Bollywood in the form of this sordid saga, a true story, presented most honestly which garnered such rave reviews and passionate viewership, the world over. The film is a HIT. The reactions are worth noticing, absolute contrast – some are silent, some are violent!
Indians will not forget, the courts which opened at midnight for dreaded terrorists could not open the files of Kashmiri Pandits, even in the last so many years. I Hope, it is done now and our brethren get #righttojustice.
This is not a movie, it is a revolution, it is a revelation, it is an expression, it is an emotion!
Must watch to know the truth behind the Kashmiri Pandit genocide of the 1990s.
Watch the trailer here, to be in sync with the film:
3 thoughts on “The Kashmir Files: A heart-wrenching tale of the sordid saga”
Great review! There was already enough buzz around this movie and now your review totally makes me want to watch it.
You have summed it up so well!
Very heart touching. Good vivid and descriptive review.