Thirty-one years ago, 1990 to be precise, half million Kashmiri Hindus were ethnically cleansed of Kashmiri Valley by marauding Islamic gangs. Brutal murders and rapes followed. Even a judge of the Srinagar High Court was shot in broad daylight. While the then Kashmir Chief Minister, Farooq Abdullah, completely abdicated his responsibility, perhaps one should say colluded with the gangs, 500,000 Kashmiri Hindus had no option but to leave or stay back and die.
Many died in squalid camps and most moved on with their lives with pitiable scanty support from the Indian government, picking on their lives and hoping one day to go back to their homes — the homes where their ancestors survived six earlier genocides.
Even after 31 years, even after removal of laws that greatly contributed to this genocide, India has no solution to bring them back because it has lacked the courage to face the reality of Islamist fundamentalism and the courage to dismantle terror infrastructure. Worse, their story is hardly ever discussed openly in India even after 31 years, while any minor incident particularly that would portray Hindus in poor light turns into a high decibel campaign.
Filmmakers Vivek Agnihotri and his wife, Pallavi Joshi, have decided to change that. They have done what India has not done for 31 years — to show the real face of Kashmiri Hindu genocide in their film, The Kashmir Files, which is currently screened across many cities in the United States. The breadth and width of its coverage of Kashmiri Hindu genocide in the film even while being gentle to the capacity of the audience to take, is a feat by itself.
This movie could not be possible without enormous painstaking research, but that is only one part of the story; how to take that and weave into a story to tell the truth, nothing but the complete truth in all its aspects, takes skills and one has to deeply admire Vivek and his team on their stupendous work. The movie deeply touches you, it touches a raw nerve, wakes you up from your deep slumber.
The film is the story of Kashmiri Hindus, but is also the saga of all Hindus and perhaps all persecuted societies of the world — whether it is Jews by Christian Germany, Christians in Turkey by the Islamic Ottoman empire, or the native religions of Americas and Africa by Christian West and systematic destruction of Muslims and their countries by Western deep state today. More importantly, it is the story of Hindu India, perhaps the most brutalised societies of the world by fundamentalist Abrahamic religions where according to some estimates 80 million perished; it is the story of how a small community held on to its culture in spite of enormous travails; it is the story of the fountainhead of the most profound Hindu thought that originated in Kashmir that still is a beacon to all humanity; it is the story of spineless Indian governments and their whitewashing attitudes because they lack courage to face the reality.
It is the story of what happens if a society is not prepared to stand united and fight the brutal savages, trying to appease and negotiate with those who have nothing in mind other than your destruction. It is the story of Hindu rulers who have hardly learnt any lesson — from Prithviraj Chauhan releasing Mohammed Ghori and was later killed at the first opportunity, to the current BJP leadership like Ram Madhav who during his recent New Jersey programme boasted that the Centre could attract millions of visitors to Kashmir while it could not get few Hindus to live without fear.
It is the story of our political leadership competing with each other for minority appeasement and pandering. It is also the story of sacrificing our soldiers in the process of eliminating terrorists, but lacking courage (from the administration, judiciary, et al) to get to the root cause of terrorism. It is a continuous saga of death and destruction of the most advanced civilisation which is on its last thread of hope. Either it gears up to survive or be prepared to be perished in the not too distant a future.
The Kashmir Files is a movie that needs to be shown to one and all. It’s a reminder to the threats the Indic civilisation is facing and how it’s time we acted in a more resolute and forceful manner to deal with the threats it is — and has been — facing.
The writer is a US-based activist who has played a critical role in the introduction of paper trail for India's Electronic Voting Machines called VVPAT. Views expressed are personal.