Promoted by India’s ruling party; banned in Singapore

The Kashmir Files, promoted by India’s ruling party, gets banned in Singapore for potential to cause enmity between different communities.

The ruling party at the Centre went gaga about it. The administration had gone all out in a bid to make it a grand event of all time. The manner in which the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government at the Centre had reduced itself to a film publicity agency for the film titled ‘The Kashmir Files’ will stay a blot in a secular republic like ours. Such have been the efforts rolled out by the government to make every Hindu watch the film.

Vivek Agnihotri and his team have enjoyed a major round of attention, with the right wing trouble mongers going all out to promote the flick. But then as they say, it happens only in India, and that too only under BJP rule.  Take a look at what the film has had to encounter in Singapore, in case you have a doubt!

Singapore concerned; flick banned

The film, which has the exodus of Hindus from the Kashmir Valley in the 1990s, as its central theme has been slammed with a ban order by the Singapore government. The ban, as we all would agree, stems from concerns over The Kashmir Files’ ‘potential to cause enmity between different communities’. Going by media reports, the film has been assessed to be “beyond” Singapore’s film classification guidelines.

Read more on that, and you would understand that the Singapore government has, in fact, thought much more than what the India government should have. A statement issued by the Singapore government has clarified that “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 statement went on to add that these representations have the potential to cause enmity between different communities, and disrupt social cohesion and religious harmony in the nation’s multi-racial and multi-religious society, according to various news reports.

Indeed, yes. Once you keep aside all affiliations and watch the flick, you would understand that the film indeed has the potential to trigger hatred between two communities. Watch it as a hard core Hindu holding aloft the new violent definitions of Hindutva and you would love the film. The India government must have kept aside its secular robe out of the door and watched the flick, and got itself into leading a publicity campaign for the flick, including offering tax-free dole outs.

The film and anti-Muslim sentiment

For the city-state of Singapore, “any material that is denigrating to racial or religious communities in Singapore” doesn’t deserve classification. The Kashmir Files was one such material, and thus Agnihotri’s opus turned out to be the material that deserved a ban.

Vivek Agnihotri’s film stars Anupam Kher, Mithun Chakraborty and Pallavi Joshi in prominent roles. The Kashmir Files, which hit Indian screens on March 11 this year, had been showered with praise by none other than the Cabinet ministers led by Prime Minister Narendra and also the BJP’s top leaders. With anti-Muslim sentiment playing loud, and devoid of facts, the film is still a raging hit. As Congress MP Shashi Tharoor tweeted, “Film promoted by India’s ruling party, Kashmir Files, banned in Singapore.”

That sums it all up. Leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party who are also ministers of a secular nation endorsing a film that is laden with religions sentiment isn’t something that is to be applauded. The ruling party has stooped to low levels by promoting the flick. And that, in fact, is a shame.

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