Filmmaker and former censor board member Ashoke Pandit lost his cool and slammed a journalist recently who had called the movie ‘Uri: The Surgical Strikes’ as a propaganda movie.
As per reports, on 24 April 2019, producer Shailendra Singh had organised an event at a five-star hotel in Mumbai to launch his new song ‘One India My India’. The song is sung by Sukhvinder Singh and Zubin Nautiyal and music composer Mithun has composed its music.
As per reports, during the launch event, a journalist asked singer Sukhvinder Singh, “Under the BJP government there is a fearful environment in the country and ‘propaganda movies’ like Uri, The Accidental Prime Minister, and Indu Sarkar have been released”. He also added, “Bollywood is being used for the personal benefit of a political party which is something that has never happened before, so what is your opinion about them”.
Upon the branding of Uri, Indu Sarkar and The Accidental Prime Minister as ‘propaganda movies’, filmmaker and former CBFC member Ashoke Pandit took a strong objection. Ashoke Pandit, who was present among the audience as a friend of the producer, raised a strong objection to the journalist attempting to brand the said movies as ‘propaganda movies’.
It is notable here that the movie The Accidental Prime Minister (which was co-produced by Pandit) was based on the tenure of former PM Manmohan Singh and the movie Indu Sarkar was based on the period of emergency imposed by former PM Indira Gandhi. Both the movies were highly criticised by Congress leaders and their supportive media ecosystem as it showed the reality of Congress’ dynasty politics and how it undermines India’s constitution and democratic values regularly.
Uri: The Surgical Strikes was an action movie starring Vicky Kaushal which narrated the story of how the brave soldiers of para special forces had ventured into the PoK and had destroyed the terror launch pads supported by Pakistan’s army and ISI. It had got rave reviews and is one of the most commercially successful movies this year.
Pandit stated that mob lynchings had happened in 1947 during the partition too and there have been many mob lynchings ever since. He slammed the reporter’s attempts to brand the movies as propaganda movies and said that how can he make such allegations as it was not the BJP who had made these movies.
Speaking to Nav Bharat Times after the incident, Pandit stated that though the question was not directed towards him, it was politically motivated and prejudiced. He also asked why had they not questioned the mob lynchings of 1947 and thereafter. Pandit said that a lot of hard work goes into the making of movies and to brand them as politically motivated or as propaganda is wrong.
It is notable here that Ashoke Pandit belongs to the Kashmiri Pandit community and he often raises the issue of the genocide and systematic expulsion of Pandits from the Kashmir valley. He stated that while the genocide and lynching of Pandits in the valley get ignored by a certain group, Uri, which captures the valor of our defense forces, being called a propaganda movie had hurt him deeply.