Nadav Lapid refuses to change opinion regarding Kashmir Files

Israeli film maker Nadav Lapid who headed the jury at the recent International Film Festival in Goa has declined to take back his comments on Vivek Agnihotri’s, ` Kashmir Files’ and continues to maintain that what he expressed about the movie was his professional opinion. Lapid had stated that the said film was merely a propaganda and did not depict the sufferings of the Kashmiri Pandits who had to leave their homes after being targeted selectively by religious fanatics. The film maker’s remarks created a huge controversy and many in the film industry were outraged that he was attempting to minimize the tragedy of the Kashmiri Pandits. However, in an interview to a website, he said that he had criticized the movie and not the people who had gone through so much suffering and hardships. He empathized with them and was offering an apology to them but not to the makers of this film. The question which arises is that there are many movies made in the West which are also sheer propaganda. Even the coverage of the Ukraine -Russia conflict in multiple channels is one sided and inaccurate. The movies which were made after the second world war, over played the heroics of the allied forces and depicted the axis forces in a very poor light. Comics and novels written about the war were full of propaganda value which later found its way in newspaper articles in leading papers regarding the negative aspects of the erstwhile Soviet Union during the cold war in particular. The makers of the Kashmir Files claim that every incident shown in the movie was well researched and based on facts. Without questioning them, one can always argue that if there were certain discrepancies in the said movie on account of picturization or on how the characters were handled, they should be appreciated for their critical value. What has happened in Kashmir in the past three decades is very shameful and the manner in which Kashmiri pandits have been treated by their own Kashmiri brothers belonging to another community was highly condemnable. The Pandits in the valley are not safe at all and if many of them are declining to return back despite the Centre’s assurances, it is because they fear for their life. As it is, the Pandits became refugees in their own country and it is a matter of deep anguish for the rest of the countrymen. Such things should not happen to anyone. The reality of Kashmir has unfolded before the entire world and there is no way, the perpetrators can be defended. Nevertheless, one needs to learn to take critical comments regarding the movie in one’s stride. Film making is an art which has evolved over a period of time. A lot depends on how the subject is handled and shown on the screen. Sometimes a forceful point can be made in subtle manner. Those connected with the Kashmir Files may have had the best intentions in bringing the truth out into the open. The criticism of their effort does not in any way minimizes the great tragedy. Nadav Lapid had been invited to head the jury in Goa. However, those who disagree with his perspective, should not see the movie through his prism but with their own understanding of the issues involved. He has expressed his views but they need not be seen as the final word on this matter or the film. 

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