Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Tuesday came in support of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Jury Head Nadav Lapid’s remarks on “The Kashmir Files” movie, and said that the film has been politicized after its release and has caused more Kashmiri Pandits to suffer.
“It’s true about the Kashmir Files. There was propaganda by one party against another. A party and government were busy with publicity. But a maximum number of killings in Kashmir occurred after this film. Kashmir Pandits, security personnel were killed,” Sanjay Raut said while commenting on IFFI Jury Head’s remark.
“The film has been politicized after its release and has made more Kashmiri Pandits suffer. After the film, more attacks on Kashmiri Pandits started. Will we make a part 2 of it?” Raut said while speaking to reporters.
“Where were these Kashmir files people, when Kashmiri Pandits were being attacked? Some of the money earned from movies should be given to the Kashmiri Pandits,” he demanded.
IFFI Jury Head Nadav Lapid called the film “propaganda, vulgar” at the festival’s closing ceremony on Monday.
A video from the festival went viral in which Lapid is seen making controversial remarks about the film. One of the members of the festival’s PR team confirmed to ANI that the Israeli filmmaker made the remark at the closing ceremony.
“I would like to thank the head of the festival and the director of the programming for the cinematic richness of the programme, for its diversity, for its complexity. It was intense. We saw seven films in the debutant competition, and 15 films in the international competition, the front window of the festival. 14 out of them had cinematic qualities, defaults and evoked vivid discussions,” he said in his speech.
“All of us were disturbed and shocked by the 15th film, The Kashmir Files. That felt like a propaganda, vulgar movie, inappropriate for an artistic competitive section of such a prestigious film festival. I feel comfortable openly sharing these feelings with you on this stage. In the spirit of this festival, can surely also accept a critical discussion, which is essential for art and life,” he further said.
Lapid’s remarks sparked a row with politicians from all across the country reacting to his statement.
Rajasthan Leader of Opposition Gulab Chand Kataria also commented on the controversy and said many people watched the movie after its release. “I am not fond of movies. But I have heard that most of the Indians have watched ‘the Kashmir Files’,” said Kataria.
‘The Kashmir Files’ was released earlier this year in theatres and it told the story of the Hindu exodus in the 1990s and targeted killings of the Kashmiri Pandits.
The movie became one of the highest-grossing Bollywood movies of 2022 and Anupam Kher received acclaim for his performance.