Why Singapore banned Vivek Agnihotri’s ‘The Kashmir Files’?
- Singapore has banned “The Kashmir Files”
- “The Kashmir Files” is a film about Hindu exodus from Kashmir in the 1990s
- Singapore government refused classification to the film for being “provocative”
Vivek Agnihotri’s film “The Kashmir Files” based on the exodus of Kashmiri Hindus has been outlawed in Singapore citing concerns over its “potential to cause enmity between different communities.” The Singapore government issued a statement Monday saying: “The film will be refused classification for its provocative and one-sided portrayal of Muslims and the depictions of Hindus being persecuted in the ongoing conflict in Kashmir.”
The film, when released in India, saw immense popularity among the right-wing ecosystem, but was criticised by others for presenting a partisan view of history. The Singapore government said the representations have the potential to cause animosity between different communities and “disrupt social cohesion and religious harmony in our multi-racial and multi-religious society.”
It further said that the city-state’s film classification guidelines refuse classification to any material “that is denigrating to racial or religious communities in Singapore.”
“The Kashmir Files,” while being lambasted for its partisan view, has found wide viewership in India. The film was praised by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other BJP leaders. A hit at the Box Office, Agnihotri’s film has been criticised for spreading “anti-Muslim sentiment and playing fast and loose with facts.”
Agnihotri, the film’s director, recently said that there is an international political campaign against him and his film by foreign media outlets.
Shashi Tharoor, Congress leader and former Union minister, shared the Singapore government’s statement and wrote: “Film promoted by India’s ruling party, Kashmir Files, banned in Singapore.”
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said on March 17 that the Indian prime minister should work on rehabilitating Kashmiri Pandits instead of spreading hate and division in society.
Opposition leaders from parties apart from the Congress have also spoken out about the film. Mamata Banerjee, West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress supremo, has described the film as a conspiracy and said it “was mostly fiction”.
Mehbooba Mufti, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister, accused the BJP-led Union government of weaponizing the pain of Kashmiri Pandits.
Arvind Kejriwal, the Delhi chief minister, criticised BJP’s promotion of the film so staunchly that BJP workers launched a protest outside Kejriwal’s home.