September 20, 2023

Unpopular opinion: Why Kashmir Files is a Poorly Crafted Cinema

Amid huge success at the box-office the film yet again went into news after Congress MP Shashi Tharoor tweeted an information regarding the ban of film.

Kashmir Files once again went into news when Congress MP Shashi Tharoor tweeted an information which stated that the state of Singapore decided to ban ‘Kashmir Files’ as it felt that the film depicts one-sided portrayal of Muslims. Tharoor took the matter to Twitter and tweeted,”Film promoted by India’s ruling party, #KashmirFiles, banned in Singapore.”

Responding to this, Vivek Agnihotri too took to Twitter and replied,”Singapore is most regressive censor in the world. It even banned The Last Temptations of Jesus Christ (ask your madam)Even a romantic film called #TheLeelaHotelFiles will be banned.

Was Sunanda Pushkar a Kashmiri Too

Vivek Agnihotri didn’t stop there, in another tweet, he posted a screenshot and asked whether Sunanda Pushkar, Tharoor’s wife was a Kashmir Pandit or not and wrote “Is this true that Late Sunanda Pushkar was a Kashmiri Hindu? Is the enclosed SS true? If yes, then in Hindu tradition, to respect the dead, you must delete your tweet and apologise to her soul,”

Since release, Kashmir FIles has been into news for one or the other reasons, be it depicting of genocide of Kashmiri Hindus for the very first time in the mainstream media, objection from the opposition or the narrative which the film secretly tries to instill in minds of people via the documentary cum cinema using creative liberty at its own terms.

Before moving further, let’s first appreciate the efforts of Vivek Agnihiotri, Director of Kashmir Files, who showed the courage to document the pain that had not even been discussed in the nation so far seriously. This was one of the major reasons why Agnihotri’s attempt to portray the brutal killing aka exodus of the Kashmiri Pandits went straight into the heart of the people and thus turning the film an overnight success.

A still from Kashmir Files

Where did the film lack?

There’s no doubt over the fact that the exodus that happened during the 1990s was an issue that needed to be raised and worked upon, however no government was that much successful to pay the required attention. However, the film strongly aims at maligning a University which is best in the country and is one of the university across the globe too.

Why university?

Since the history doesn’t reveal much about the unfortunate exodus, thus it may be possible for even a kashmiri youth to slam the exodus and be forgetful about the past and thus Vivek Agnihotri yet again succeeded in slapping the system(government, both the word could be used interchangeably) which do not allow one to look into their history.
A still from Kashmir Files

However, the film deliberately targets JNU on account of ANU, depicting that both its professors and students do not believe in the feeling of nationhood(not even students of ABVP,LOL), the feeling of Indianness and aims at creating havoc in the country on the account of Azadi. A 53 year old university, which holds a proud history of delivering education in the most creative way, targeting universities for no reason should have been avoided.

Anupam Kher portrayed the role of a Kashmir Pandit in Kashmir Files

he film apparently targets Congress and Farooq Abdullah’s National Conference, however the film surprisingly(actually not) stays silent when actually the exodus happened. During the period of exodus(1990) VP Singh was in power and BJP was an alliance of the Centre that time. Shakil Akhtar, a journalist, says over the exodus,” The governor Jagmohan facilitated the transportation of the Pandits and did not provide them with the security. However, the film chose to stay silent over the fact.

Why Faiz Ahmed Faiz?

Agnihotri, through his cinema actually raised the voice of the Kashmiri Pandits, however why the film unnecessarily targeted Faiz’s ‘Hum Dekhenge’ is beyond understanding. Agnihotri cleverly portrayed the beautiful artwork of Faiz as a song of Communists or terrorists(waving of red flags & the song was being prepared and sung by the professor in the film). Well, before adding upto the length of the feed, one must know the history of Faiz’s work ‘Hum Dekhenge’ which he wrote against the leadership of General Zia-ul-Haq.
A still from Kashmir Files

Well amid all the controversies, efforts made for Kashmir Files should still be appreciated and should really watch it if not watched yet as finally someone decided to take up the issue to the general public.


Agnihotri announces his next project as Delhi Files, which would be reportedly based on the Sikh Riots. Surely it would be yet another chapter that might bring shame in the eyes of the responsible of the time, however, stil there are high chances that the film might again try over setting a certain agenda or narrative to the minds of people, which should be kept aside from cinema, ethically.