While this article about The Kashmir Files is very informative, there are a few things that made me feel that the article was an attempting to show that the sufferings of Kashmiri Pandits portrayed in the movie are not entirely true (Here are five things ‘The Kashmir Files’ gets wrong about Kashmir). In the fourth paragraph, there is a line that says “memory is not always reliable”. How can the author justify this? No matter how much time passes, such horrific incidents of torture and bloodshed always remain etched in the minds of those who have actually experienced that.
Then the author wrote that the film does not mention that Yasin Malik later gave up arms and professed to be open to talks. He also met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2006. How does it even matter? Can the killing or the torture done by him to those innocent be reversed through those diplomatic and ostensible talks? The article mentions that the exodus and mass killings took place in 1990 when there was Bharatiya Janata Party-supported government at the Centre. While it cannot be completely denied that the VP Singh government was not at fault, the tone of all that happened was set a few years back when there was Rajiv Gandhi’s government at the Centre and Farooq Abdullah was ruling the state. – Madhav Gupta
How come you are writing about the Kashmiri Pandits only after the film’s release? You were quiet for the last 30 years. – Sanjay Bist
Rather than appreciating and promoting this movie, you are finding mistakes in it. This is very shameful. – Divyanshu Gupta
This is a wonderfully articulated article with apt examples and a clear vision. Keep up the good work. – P Sinha
Who is responsible?
I am a Kashmiri Pandit myself and I noticed something was a bit incorrect in the article as per my understanding (How the BJP is promoting ‘The Kashmir Files’: Modi’s endorsement, tax breaks, leave from work).
“Several Opposition politicians have questioned the factual accuracy of the film and the communal tone of the discussion around it. They have pointed out that the Congress was not in power at the Centre when the Pandit exodus occurred and claimed that the governor of the state who facilitated the flight of the community had been approved by the BJP.”
I think it is worth noting that the Rajiv Gandhi government was in power from 1984 to December 1989, which was the period when troubles in Kashmir really started escalating (including election rigging, and mishandling Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front). All my life, I have heard people in my community blame Rajiv Gandhi for the events that unfolded – so this is not something new brought up in the film.
So yes, while technically there was a Janta Dal led government through 1990 followed by another one-year term of the Samajwadi Janta Party, the events that led to the exodus of Pandits in 1989-’90 very much happened under the watch of Congress and National Conference governments – and perhaps even exacerbated by the Centre’s decisions.
While I regret that our community has become a propaganda tool for the Bharatiya Janata Party – and it is not the first time – a large part of it is due to a lack of even-handed reporting regarding the events of 1990 and the preceding years. I think if there was more of a “truth and reconciliation” approach to the conflict by independent media like Scroll.in and The Wire, it would be far more constructive. Ultimately, whether Hindu, Muslim, or others, a lot of people suffered in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh since Partition. And I think all those stories need to come out without being weaponised. – Ojas Sarup
You cannot deny the history of atrocities on Kashmiri Pandits. You are criticising the government, but tell me what did you do to stop this genocide on the minorities of Kashmir? What was your role in the 1990s as a responsible fourth estate of democracy? – Upasana Bharadwaj
You have held Governor Jagmohan responsible for the exodus by writing: “the governor of the state who facilitated the flight of the community”. This is a canard. There is not an iota of evidence that Jagmohan facilitated or was responsible directly or indirectly for the exodus. This is a cowardly attempt to deflect the blame from where it should belong, namely the venal and corrupt Abdullahs and Sayeeds of Kashmir and the politicians in Delhi (especially the Nehru family). Governor Jagmohan took office on January 22, 1990, the night that saw the worst massacres and flight of the pandits. – Ramamurthy Sankar