Indian govt using Bollywood industry to promote anti-Muslim narrative | By Shahbaz Ali

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Indian govt using Bollywood industry to promote anti-Muslim narrative

Pro-BJP film “The Kashmir Files” written and directed by an avowed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi fan Vivek Agnihotri is composed of “some facts, some half-truths, and plenty of distortions” with brutally intense visualizations and compelling performances, aimed at inciting hatred against Muslims.

The film was released in theatres on 11 March 2022. It has been a commercial success, seemingly benefitting from promotion by India’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party.

The movie has been attracting criticism for attempting to recast established history and propagate Islamophobia.

Authorities in India have made entrance to the film tax-free in many states, with police and others given time off to go to watch.

Numerous videos shared on social media which have shown people in cinemas calling for revenge and for Muslims to be killed.

In this film, Director Agnihotri lured the audience with facts only to distort and communalize them, and target those who are critical of the incumbent political government in India.

It seems that Indian film industry has come under increased pressure of BJP that’s why Bollywood has been making films that dovetail more with the BJP’s narrative.

The film is deeply Islamophobic, dishonest and a provocation, and even before the film was released its trailer had invited public interest litigation on the grounds that its inflammatory scenes are bound to cause communal violence.

In his defence, the filmmaker had insisted that every frame, every word in my film is true. A few days after The Kashmir Files was released, India’s PM Modi told a meeting of the governing BJP parliamentary groups, “The film has shown the truth which has been suppressed for years.

Even as a large number of critics found The Kashmir Files filled with factual inaccuracies, propagandist, and frightening in its relentless targeting of every Muslim represented on screen, the film continued its blitz across the box office in India.

Mobilized by the cadres of the right-wing, groups of men showed up at theatres waving the Indian tricolor.

Screenings frequently ended amid sloganeering and speeches, with people competing in their provocations, with brazen calls for violence against all Muslims, not just Kashmiri Muslims.

After this whole propaganda, The Kashmir File backed by Prime Minister Modi failed in all over the world, after that Modi tried to make this whole drama into reality in Kashmir, that’s why in this month target killing of Kashmiri Hindu pandits increased.

Modi thought that this real target killing of Hindu pandits will work but he did not know that his new tactic will raise many fingers on his government in Kashmir because due to his bloodshed policy in Kashmir many Hindu pandits are leaving their home and they said they did not feel safe in Kashmir but they don’t know that PM Modi’s own terrorist organizations were behind this target killing of Kashmiri pandits.

—The writer is contributing columnist.

 

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