Tuesday, Aug 16, 2022
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Kashmir Files: Flawed Narratives Of The Fault Lines

Once again, Kashmir is the altar on which India is trying to refashion its national identity, this time with a distinctive majoritarian flavour

Veer Munshi’s Terrorist on floating land envisages the water of Dal Lake turning red with blood of innocent people.

Hardly anyone in Kashmir has seen the movie that is being vigorously debated in op-eds, social media and drawing rooms. They couldn’t have. Cinema halls, like several other manifestations of life, were closed down during the height of militancy and remain so. “You’ve come from India. You must have seen it. How’s it?” people ask.

Not many in Kashmir know that the Indian Army screened The Kashmir Files at its Chinar Aud­i­torium in Srinagar’s cantonment for a week, three shows a day, to spread the “nationalistic message”. Overlooking the snow-clad Himalayas, the auditorium had glistening army shops by its side, one of which was selling qua­lity liquor. Present during a matinee show among army men and their families, I, perhaps the only civilian in the hall, found people che­cking on their phones which JNU professor the character of Pallavi Joshi was based on. Two men, in the dark of the auditorium, googled Arundhati Roy and separatist leader Yasin Malik, seen together in a photograph in a scene of the movie.

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