'Shameful': Anupam Kher on IFFI jury head's 'propaganda, vulgar movie' comment on The Kashmir Files
Veteran filmmaker Anupam Kher has slammed International Film Festival of India or IFFI jury head Nadav Lapid for calling The Kashmir Files, which is based on Hindu exodus from Kashmir, "propaganda" and "vulgar".
Speaking to the mediapersons, Kher, who played the lead role in the film, said, "If holocaust is right, the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits is right too. Seems pre-planned as immediately after that the toolkit gang became active. May God give him wisdom."
"It's shameful for him to make a statement like this. Coming from the Jews community and making this kind of a statement has sort of pained those people who have suffered holocaust," he added.
What is the controversy about?
Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid, who headed the jury, on Monday said at the IFFI that "all of them" were "disturbed and shocked" that the film was screened at the festival.
"All of us were disturbed and shocked by the content of the film Kashmir Files. It felt to us like a propaganda, vulgar movie inappropriate for the artistic competitive section of such a prestigious film festival.
"I feel totally comfortable to openly share these feelings here with you on stage. Since the spirit of having a festival is to accept also a critical discussion which is essential for art and for life," Lapid said in his address.
Directed by Vivek Agnihotri, the film is based on the true event of the exodus of Kashmir Pandits from the erstwhile northern state in 1990.
Apart from Kher, the film starring Mithun Chakraborty and Pallavi Joshi was featured in the "Panorama" section of the festival.
The film was praised by the country's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose government took the bold step of abrogating Article 370 from the Kashmir valley in 2019.