Vivek Agnihotri has portrayed the massacre of Hindus in Kashmir in 1990 in a shocking manner. The film not only talks in the light of facts but also raises some questions.
The truth buried in old files is sometimes disturbing. After Tashkent Files (2019), director Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri has now turned the pages of more than three decades old files of Kashmir. His film makes him restless. While watching the film, one remembers the lion of Nida Fazli, ‘Why doesn’t this pain stop without a name, why doesn’t what has passed?’ It is not that people do not know this disturbing truth of Kashmir that how terrorists evicted Kashmiri-Hindus from their land. brutally murdered. Shameful atrocities were committed on their women and children. How the Kashmiri people, despite the forces like the state government, local administration, police, and media, after migrating from their land, remained as refugees in the country itself and till date they did not get justice. This pain, passing through the old generations, is running in the veins of the new generation.
The story revolves around retired teacher Pushkar Nath Pandit (Anupam Kher) and his family. Shows the wounds and sufferings of Kashmiris on their pretext. When his young grandson Krishna (Darshan Kumar), studying in JNU, Delhi, reaches Kashmir, Pushkar Nath’s old friends IAS Brahmadutt (Mithun Chakraborty), DGP Hari Narayan (Puneet Issar), Dr. Mahesh Kumar (Prakash Belavadi), and journalists Vishnu meets Ram (Atul Srivastava). There he is faced with reality. He also encounters the terrorist Farooq Malik Bitta (Chinmay Mandlekar), who is responsible for the destruction of Kashmir along with his family. Krishna, who shouts slogans to separate Kashmir from the country in the Vishwavidyalaya, comes to know the truth there and the curtains are removed from his eyes. Vivek Agnihotri has tried to bring the propaganda related to Kashmir in his film, but has not been very vocal about it. While in the Tashkent Files his focus was on the politics surrounding the mysterious death of former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, in the Kashmir Files he focuses more on the violent developments there and the conspiratorial thinking that broke Kashmir from India.
The violence seen in the film shakes at some places. In one scene, when a terrorist sieves the son of a pandit hidden in a rice hut with bullets, his blood-soaked rice is scattered. The terrorist tells the daughter-in-law of Pandit that if she eats this rice, then only her life and other family members can be saved. She eats rice. In another scene, terrorists in police uniform make 24 Kashmiri-Hindus stands in a row and fires them with bullets. Do not spare even a small child. They raise slogans insulting Kashmiri-Hindus and India. There is brute violence, humiliating women in every way.
While the first part of this nearly three-hour film focuses on the horrific genocide that took place in Kashmir in 1990, in the second, the director shows the confusion of the new generation on the pretext of Krishna, which has been told and the truth is something else. In the film, the director brings to the fore the confusion of the new generation by expressing the intentions of terrorists and separatists in the pretext of slogans of Kashmir’s independence, videos of Benazir Bhutto and Faiz Ki Nazm Hum Dekhenge. Pallavi Joshi as Prof. Radhika Menon, a left-wing liberal with a black dot, represents the misguided youth here.
The film is based on the true stories and documents of many victims. Kashmir Files goes into flashbacks time and again and doesn’t play in a straight line. Due to the excessive emphasis on facts, at times it also looks like a docudrama. From Article 370 to the plight of Kashmiris in refugee camps and the insensitivity of politicians on it, the director has also raised here. Kashmir Files reveals many such things, which people should know. This is not a film of entertainment, but of sensation.
The film continues to highlight the atrocities committed on Kashmiri-Hindus, with the undertone questioning who will account for it and when will they get justice? All the actors including Darshan Kumar and Mithun Chakraborty have done their job well in the film. But Anupam Kher’s acting is the high point. As Pushkar Nath Pandit, Anupam portrays the pain of a person who, after being evicted from his land and home, passes through this world, dreaming of going there again for the rest of his life. Kashmir is the truth of India and there are many truths to this truth. For the past many years, everyone has been telling the truth of Kashmir in their own style. Kashmir Files also shows truth and that too should be seen.