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Vivek Agnihotri Takes On Vinod Chopra



By suggesting that Kashmiri Pandits should  forgive  the local Muslim population of Jammu & Kashmir for driving them  out of their  homes  in 1990, Vinod Chopra  has incensed many  who feel  this  gambit to promote his new film Shikara(based  on the  mass exodus  of the KashmiriPandits) is a bit thin on credibility and  sincerity.

Said  the director  who has earlier gone into Kashmiri militancy on  the Sanjay Dutt-Hrithik  Roshan starrer Mission: Kashmir, “Its like 2 friends meeting together after 30 yrs, who want to forget & move on!”

Netizens have erupted in a  show of mass solidarity against Chopra. They are asking for a boycott of his film Shikara.

Kashmiri Pandit filmmaker  and industry spokesperson  Ashoke Pandit says, “The genocide and ethnic cleanising  of Kashmiri Hindus can never be forgotten by them. It’s one of the biggest human tragedies of the world. This tragedy cannot be compared to a fight between two friends.This shows the immaturity of a filmmaker while addressing such an important issue.We are hurt and the pain of being rootless still continues . I can understand the pressures of pseudo-liberals around him. The truth cannot be hidden.”

Filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri who is currently shooting his own  film  The Kashmir Files  on  the mass exodus  of Kashmiri Pandits,  responded.

 Says  Vivek, “I seriously have no idea what he actually said because these days most  news clips are  edited  out  of context. Whatever he said is  his prerogative  and I  cannot comment on that. However what I know is, people can be forgiven  when they realize their  mistake and when they’re seeking forgiveness. You  cannot go and forgive someone  with a gun in his hand and is looking for  the first  opportunity to kill and  destroy  you. Rather than forgive, you to defend yourself against such an aggressor and  find justice,if possible,”

Vivek takes  a   dig at Vinod Chopra’s soft approach in  his new film Shikara. “Vinod  Chopra has made a love  story. When you make  a love story   about genocide you are  bound to be talking the language of  the pacifist.That’s his expertise.I have no comment on that. He has earlier made another love story 1942: A Love Story about love during times of a political crisis.”

Says Vivek, “My film The  Kashmir  Files  is based on the  genocide of KashmiriPandits. It is  based  on their real experiences. It’s a not a love story.It’s not a family drama. My film doesn’t preach on what they should do or how they should  heal themselves. Mine is an uninterrupted uninterpreted narration  of  the  horrors and  gut-wrenching stories I have heard and  recorded.I have travelled all over the world . By the end  of May we would have covered  every corner  of the world where there is an aggrieved Kashmiri Pandit family.We are  looking for  families who have  suffered , spending time with them recording their trauma. This is  something the  government of India  should  have done  thirty years  ago. Since they failed, we are with our limited  resources searching and researching for the last six years  on what the Kashmiri Pandits have gone through .”

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