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RSS Mouthpiece Claims Vidhu Vinod Chopra's 'Shikara' is a 'Betrayal of Kashmiri Hindus'

A poster of the film Shikara

A poster of the film Shikara

'Panchjanya' alleged that the film was made in order to 'portray Kashmiri Jihadis as secular and innocent' and garner sympathy for them.

New Delhi: 'Panchjanya', the Hindi mouthpiece of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), on Tuesday panned the Vidhu Vinod Chopra film 'Shikara', alleging it was a "betrayal of Kashmiri Hindus".

'Shikara', released on February 7, is a historical drama that revolves around the lives of two Kashmiri Pandits, Shiv Kumar Dhar and Shanti Dhar. The film, set in the early 1990s, highlights the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley.

According to the cover story titled 'Sharaarat ka Shikara' (or the 'Malice of Shikara') in its latest edition on February 23, 'Panchjanya' claimed the film was made in order to "portray Kashmiri Jihadis as secular and innocent" and garner sympathy for them.

"This is not an untold story of Kashmiri Pandits but an attempt to portray Kashmiri Jihadis as secular and innocent. It seems as if the film has been made in order to garner sympathy for them," said the article.

"The promotion of the film suggested as if this was a story about grave atrocities committed on Kashmiri Hindus by religious Jihadis. It felt as if there was someone in Bollywood, full of flag-bearers of secularism and supporters of anti-national elements, who had the courage to tell the story of Kashmiri Pandits for the first time in 30 years," it added.

There were reasons for such hope, the article said, despite the movie coming from someone like Chopra who also directed 'PK' in which "Hindu gods and goddesses are deliberately mocked". That was because Chopra was a Kashmiri Hindu himself, it added.

"Vidhu thinks that there are many facets of truth. But the truth is that there is only one face of the truth," said Ranjan Shrivastav who wrote the article. He said the movie showed a cricketer who became a terrorist after his father died from police beating.

"Vidhu had earlier also made 'Mission Kashmir' in which a child was shown to have become a terrorist just because one policeman killed his father... The movie showed that people picked up guns because of state atrocities... Vidhu and Rahul Pandita dealt with the issue of terror, jihad, and atrocities on Pandits in the valley, only for name sake," said Shrivastava.