As the matter of exodus of Kashmiri Pandits has become the most discussed topic after the release of The Kashmir Files, BBC News Hindi recently published an article intending to cover the views of displaced Kashmiri Pandits who were relocated in the Jagti Township of Jammu. The piece amplified the voices of two residents in the colony – Shadi Lal Pandita and Sunil Pandita, whose critical views against the release of The Kashmir Files have been touted as voices of the entire Kashmiri Pandit community settled in Jammu by BBC.
‘ये फ़िल्म 2024 चुनाव के लिए स्टंट है’— BBC News Hindi (@BBCHindi) March 16, 2022
‘इस तरह के फ़िल्में दूरियां पैदा करेगी’
‘द कश्मीर फ़ाइल्स’ फ़िल्म पर जम्मू में रहने वाले कश्मीरी पंडित क्या कह रहे हैं?
वीडियोः मोहित कंधारी, बीबीसी के लिए
एडिटः देबलिन रॉय pic.twitter.com/4DhXOpBuMc
On March 16, five days after the release of The Kashmir Files, The BBC Hindi published a video covering views of re-settled Kashmiri Pandits in the Jagti township of Jammu. Captioning quotes like ‘This Film is a stunt for 2024 elections’ and ‘Such films will further create divisions’ styled as voices of the Kashmiri Pandits over the film, The BBC was doing open propaganda on Twitter while the film had already become a massive hit. Soon the tweet was quoted by several opposition politicians wherein they started peddling a narrative that these are the only real voices of Kashmiri Pandits who should be listened to.
BBC published a report citing the views of ‘real’ KPs over #TheKasmirFiles, which garnered 1mn hits, promoted by INC, CPM & entire left cabal.— The Hawk Eye (@thehawkeyex) March 20, 2022
Let’s take a deep dive if they really represent ‘real’ voice of KPs or are just used as tool for BBC’s propaganda.#TheHawkEyeThread
In the video attached to the tweet, a resident Sushil Pandita can be seen voicing his strong opinion on the release of the film. According to Pandita, such films will further create ‘animosity’ within the communities living in the valley. He said, “Since 1990, only films have been made in our names but nothing substantial has been done. While the film is being made, it doesn’t serve my relocation in the valley, nor does it serve Jammu and Kashmir or India in any way. We have been used as political tissue papers.”
Pandita further added, “While we as a civil society filled the gaps between the communities, films like (The Kashmir Files) will widen them. The Hawk Eye, a page that does independent investigative journalism on Twitter claimed that Sushil Pandita is a local ‘India against Corruption’ activist. While the BBC superimposed views like those of Sushil Pandita as voices of the entire displaced KP community, The Hawk Eye revealed the ire he faced from the other residents living in his vicinity for his controversial views.
Another person who delivered the ’tissue paper’ dialogue is Sunil Pandita, a local ‘India Against Corruption’ activist. He shared similar views about the film on social media & the rest is history. Check the harsh comments he received from FELLOW KPs from the vicinity.— The Hawk Eye (@thehawkeyex) March 20, 2022
Another resident, Pyarelal Pandita urged through the video that ‘The Kashmir files’ is a one-sided film serving the cause of Kashmiri Hindus. “Some other filmmaker should step in to show the other side of the genocide as well. What the majority community is facing in Kashmir alongside the Minorities should be collectively thrown light upon. What the majority community faced was also sponsored by Pakistan,” he added. The video further featured Shadilal Pandita who happens to be the president of the society. In the video, he said, “It is true that we have faced much in the valley. We were boycotted and slogans were given to throw us out. But it is also true that Kashmiri Muslims and Sikhs were also killed, which has not been shown in the film.”
He added, “The BJP government has done nothing for us since eight years while they put allegations on others for the same. We have been exploited and thrown out of the valley. Yet not a single work has been done in favour of us.” As reported by The Hawk Eye, Pandita is known for his anti-BJP stance and is currently leading a protest against the government for a relief demand which is supported by local Congress.
Vid started with a ‘resident’ Shadilal Pandita (accompanied by a few), who happens to be society president. Currently, he is leading a protest against govt for relief demand supported by local Congress. He appears to be staunch anti-BJP by his SM posts & public interviews.— The Hawk Eye (@thehawkeyex) March 20, 2022
The location where the video was shot was Jagti society in Jammu. Developed as a township for displaced Kashmiri ‘migrants’, it was inaugurated by ex-PM Manmohan Singh and then CM of Jammu and Kashmir state Omar Abdullah. The BBC highlighted this fact by shooting a video of a resident in the backdrop of the society plaque. However, this was the same society where allegations of favouritism had risen from the Kashmiri Pandits in the allotment of over 6000 housing units in the society.
The lady was shot purposefully in front of the society plaque which is inaugurated by then PM Manmohan Singh & Omar Abdullah. We shall not focus today on the corruption & favoritism charges on the flats allocation that eventually led to evict notices to many illegal occupants.— The Hawk Eye (@thehawkeyex) March 20, 2022
In a single video that has grabbed over a million views until now, the BBC managed to juxtapose voices of a select few Kashmiri Pandits as voices of the whole community. In an attempt to suggest that the film does not capture the condition of KPs in totality, the British news agency ended up with subtle propaganda which was then peddled by left-sympathetic circles. The fact remains that The Kashmir Files has been upheld as an arbitrator of the truth of the Kashmiri Hindu genocide by the global mass of the KP community itself. It is also for the first time, that ordinary Indians are standing with their Kashmiri Hindu brethren while doing everything to promote and support the film.