Bollywood Director Vivek Agnihotri of ‘Tashkent Files’ fame conducted a talk on ‘The Past, Present & Future of Kashmir’ at Nehru Centre. The packed house of varied backgrounds gave a thumping applause, as the creative guru championed for culture and creativity as the foremost tools – alongside abrogation of article 370, to counter subversive and divisive rhetoric.
Based on the research for his feature film ‘Kashmir Files’ and web series ‘Kashmir Unreported’ – planed for an Aug 2020 release, he also dwelled into the trials and tribulations of Kashmiri Hindu (Pandit) community and other minorities. He compared Kashmiri Minorities’ exodus to the Jewish holocaust and lambasted media apathy – including that of his own film industry colleagues, in highlighting the plight of the Kashmiri Hindus. Despite the umpteen threats to his safety, he pledged to carry on his fight for the people’s ‘Right To Truth’.
Vivek Agnihorti was critical of the previous administrations at the centre, for apathy towards the plight of Kashmiri minorities. He also blasted the previous local administrations for facilitating unabated radicalisation of the Kashmir Valley. The writer/director presented his quantitative analysis of what he called ‘the economy of ethnic cleansing’ and blasted the vote bank politics, which has misguided the Kashmiri Muslim community in the last three decades. He narrated his experiences of visits to Kashmir and how he saw that the closure of cinemas and systematic use of Television and Radio to brainwash the population. His analysis was preceded and backed by some Kashmiri Hindu victims who briefly narrated their first hand experiences.
The writer/director also brought to light, the lesser-cherished fact about Kashmiri culture. He shared insights into the resilience of the Kashmiri Hindu community, which is bouncing back despite all odds, by the dint of their hard work and positivity.
As the creative guru concluded his talk the enthralled audience of Indian and non-Indian backgrounds gave him a standing ovation. Some emotional audiences: such as the Kashmiri Pandit community and other PIOs chanted praise, while others – surprised and sad pledged their support to his cause.
The talk was followed by a Q&A session with questions from the audience. The event was followed by a book signing session – for Vivek Agnihotri’s bestseller ‘Urban Naxals’ and bookings for the special screening of ‘Tashkent Files’ at Westminster Kingsway College London on 4th December at 6:30 pm.
Agnihotri is in London interviewing victims of the Kashmiri Hindu Genocide and their families for an upcoming documentary series. This is the first ever attempt by a film maker to document hundreds of first person accounts of the Hindu Genocide victims.