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The Kashmir Files: Why is it making ‘liberals’ squirm so much

Inconvenient facts usually make people uncomfortable, especially when they were the ones who presided over the crime of ignoring a genocide the first time it happened

The movie The Kashmir Files by Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri that released on 11th March, 2022, has made many groups in India very uncomfortable.

Everyone in India is aware of the role of Pakistan and its intelligence agency ISI on terrorism. A movie that is a reminder that Pakistan and ISI are behind the terrorism, the ubiquitousness of weapons in Kashmir and resultant genocide of Kashmiri Hindus should not have been a surprise. We all know that Pakistan has been the perpetrator of terrorism anywhere in India, and hence behind the primary genocide of Kashmiri Hindus of 1990.

Instead, the movie shifts its focus on others who enabled and facilitated it. Other players who had hereto never been talked of. These are the people now getting restless because of this movie and engaging in active and tacit denial of the facts shown! The deniers include many parties today. Mainly, Kashmiri Muslims at large. But the ones that are losing their marbles most are – the Lutyens Media, the eminent Civil Society and of course, Congress party and National Conference.

In short – “The System”.

The perpetrators of the second genocide by way of silence and denial. Guilt of their own role in making this tragedy real is making them squirm now. The fear of tough questions that are going to be asked now, of the masks that have been stripped off. A simple analysis of each of these groups will make you understand the different reasons behind their discomfort. Let’s analyze and rip each of them one by one. The System and their masks.


Every non-Kashmiri, who comes out of the theatres after watching The Kashmir Files is asking just one question, repeatedly. “Why didn’t we know all these facts for past 32 years?” Well, simply because the facts were deliberately hidden from you. You were lied to. Deliberately, Repeatedly and Brazenly.

The duplicitous role played by Vishu ji (the journalist in the movie) sums it all…

The all-powerful media (which surely must have been free and all powerful then, since the fascism hadn’t touched India yet) not just maintained a deliberate silence, it made heroes out of the villains. Yasin Malik became “Yasin Sahib” for the TV channels.

Feted and hailed as a Youth Icon. Burhan Wani was only the innocent son of a school headmaster. Those who professed Jihad against India were branded Gandhians with gun and given ample platform to propagate separatist narrative. But the voice of minuscule minority victims like Kashmiri Hindus was muzzled.

At the India Today Conclave 2008, where Yasin Malik – the mass killer of Kashmiri Hindus was branded as Youth Icon, Kashmiri Pandit youth activists from a peaceful organization “Roots in Kashmir” were not just denied entry and opportunity to get their voice heard – but manhandled and put in lockup. All this while a man who should have been on gallows was on the hallowed dais. Irony anyone?

Today, the masses are discovering all this.

Instead of being the voice of the voiceless, likes of Barkha Dutt propagated narratives to blame Kashmiri Pandits themselves – by declaring the 2% minority as a predatory class that had seemingly cornered all the plum postings and power in the state, thereby leading to their alienation from the majority community, which thereby insinuating justification of the genocide.

Not once did anyone in media or intelligentsia bother to critically analyze this. How could a community which was so minuscule, that it could not even ever get one of its own community member elected as an MLA, which had absolutely no presence in the corridors of political power, baring token appointments it never had any faces in state cabinets – really be accused of this. Or what really were the jobs majority of Kashmiri Pandits held?

The one in 1990 was the 7th recorded exodus of Kashmiri Pandits over centuries of hostile rule in the valley. Over centuries, Kashmiri Pandits came to understand that the only asset that the barbaric rulers could not rip them off was our education. So its no wonder that the community always gave prime importance to education and has long prided itself as a 100% literate community, including women folk.

Is that cornering power and a sufficient reason for alienation to justify a genocide? The maximum jobs in state government that the KPs held were as teachers. Here is an open challenge. Ask any Kashmiri Muslim (aged 45 or above, and hasn’t studied entirely in madarasa) about their schoolteachers and you will find that at least half their teachers were Hindus. Not just 2%, half – or probably even more. Is that being privileged class? Even that – back in 1990, there were barely ~15000 out of 5lakh KPs in state govt employment. Is that monopolizing?

But when have facts ever mattered for the mainstream media. They happily blamed the victim. Wined and dined with the terrorists and cornered plum awards for themselves.

And old habits die hard. They still haven’t given up. The level of their obstinance is such that they are still creating new lies to confuse and deflect. Like journalist Piyush Babele creating the reverse timeline, pinning the happening of Jan 1990 as a repercussion of Advani’s Rath Yatra, which happened at the end of 1990. Time machine genocide.  

Piyush Babele’s tweets

And now, suddenly when the audience figured this out after the movie – everyone is now wondering, what else have they still hidden from us?

Mask#1 – Ripped off.

Civil Society

The symbolic portrayal of Urban Naxal narrative in ANU, recreation of some real bile spewed by likes of Nivedita Menon and Arundhati Roy in the movie by Radhika Menon lays bare the mindset with which the civil society has been gnawing away at the roots of India. The movie, while giving ample room to their point of view – shatters some of the lies they peddled for decades.

Civil society, JNU liberals, champagne intellectuals – all peddled in unison – Kashmir was never an integral part of India, but forcefully amalgamated by Patel in 1947. After all, how could an entirely Muslim population have anything common with Indian mainland. Evidently, by virtue of their dominant Muslim population they are naturally a separate nation. These ignited minds effectively stamped the two-nation theory over and over again in Kashmir debate (but will do a somersault and chant Savarkar on the same question on other occasions).

While peddling this narrative, in cahoots with the media, they also established some divine rights for the armed jihadis in Kashmir – and even elevated some to Gandhians with Guns. Radhika Menon’s picture with Bitta Malik and its real life version are viral for a reason today.

But is Kashmir indeed alien to India? Was Kashmir never really connected with mainstream India? The narrative was shattered subtly but conclusively by the movie. If Krishna Pandit’s monologue towards the end didn’t explain it enough for you – I would recommend you listen to some of the talks given by Sushil Pandit available on YouTube delving deep on the Indic roots of Kashmir or rather how Kashmir is the fountainhead of Indic civilization .

Mask#2 – Ripped off.

Congress & National Conference

Though names were never taken in the movie – references to ‘friendship before nation’, ‘chief minister who was only interested in golf and romancing heroines’, ‘the PMO which didn’t want to offend its friendly ally in the state’ and such give the audience enough homework to dig deeper into.

Chor ki daadi mein tinka, as they say. Even before the audience could do their homework on this, the guilt conscience of the culprits gone them angsty – resulting in the blame game, denials and deflection by Congress (refer tweets by INC Congress and statements of denial by several Congressmen and NC, Farooq Abdullah etc).

And their argument hinges on?

On 19th Jan 1990 – Congress was NOT in power in Delhi, as Rajiv lost the general elections in Nov 1989 paving way for VP Singh as prime minister – who was running a coalition govt (externally supported by BJP/Communists).

On 19th Jan 1990 – NC was NOT in power in the state, as Farooq had abruptly resigned on 18th Jan 1990 (and flown out to London, for more golf perhaps) – right in middle of the worst crisis in state, where terrorists were running amok and had brazenly declared to take over state on 26th Jan 1990.

On the face of it, it is all correct. VP Singh reappointed Jagmohan Malhotra as Governor to bring things under control. Jagmohan arrived in valley only on 21st Jan 1990… but things had collapsed beyond repair already by then.

Blaming VP Singh here is akin to blaming Bhagwant Mann right now, if a drug menace death were to happen in Punjab today. He is the CM today – but the menace didn’t erupt overnight after he took oath. Not that VP Singh govt didn’t do blunders – starting with the capitulation at his home minister’s daughter getting kidnaped by JKLF and release of five dreaded terrorists.

But lets look back a bit. Terrorists started killing innocent Hindus in the valley from Dec 1988. Bomb blasts and targeted killings went on unabated all through 1989. Tikka Lal Taploo was killed in Sept 1989. More than a dozen KPs before and soon after including Justice Ganjoo. All during Rajiv and Farooq reign.

Political commentator Sunanda Vashisht gave a crisp and brutal summary of their capability here.

But they did nothing. Instead, Farooq released 70 hardened terrorists that security forces had captured and enabled the immediate swelling of JKLF ranks, giving a big flip to terrorism in the state – just ahead of the 1989 general elections. Why? He was never hauled over coals for this by anyone.

Farooq’s hobnobbing and past affiliations with JKLF have always been well known.

Governor Jagmohan had been incessantly sending SOS messages to the central govt about the developing dark clouds in the state. But the Rajiv government stonewalled him, all to keep their buddy in Srinagar happy. The secessionist movement gained ground during this period of apathy from center and state through those years and resulted in Kashmiri Hindu genocide. So can Congress really wash its hands off, merely because they weren’t in power on 19 Jan 1990?

Congress is yet to respond to this open letter Jagmohan was forced to write to Rajiv Gandhi implicating him.

But they didn’t stop there. As Pushkar Nath alludes in the movie – Yasin Malik did indeed roam the corridors of power and hobnob with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, while the slain airforce men awaited their justice.

The duplicitous role of these two political parties can fill volumes, but the bottom line is – their role in Hindu genocide can not be dismissed. Its not for no reason that Kashmiri Hindus – who were almost entirely Congress supporters in Kashmir turned total Congress haters in 1990. Of course, smart-alecs will say that Pandits shifted loyalties in 1990 because of change in government in 2014.

Liberal Creative-wood

“Why make a movie that will hurt feelings. Art should heal and comfort…”

The film world maintained an eerie silence before the movie was released. Probably expecting it to pass off without getting noticed. Now that it has become a runaway success – sly compliments are being passed with sermons of how it should have been handled instead. For example, this tweet by noted actor – Adil Hussain demanded that the truth must be spoken tenderly and with beauty. 

Adil Hussain’s tweet

Maybe this is something only the creative minds will understand. For the non-creative me, I am left wondering what is he suggesting. How should the facts shown in this movie have been shown tenderly and with beauty?

  • Show BK Ganjoo dying of heart attack on a bed of roses, when he hears gunshot fired in background – instead of the brutal way he was really killed inside a rice drum?
  • Show his wife eating ‘red’ thai curry with rice – instead of blood soaked rice?
  • Show Girija Tickoo wasn’t brutally chopped alive with a saw – she died of bruises received from rose stalks hurled at her by a friendly mob?

Did anyone ever demand that Schindler’s List should have shown a more humane side of Hitler, his so-called vegetarianism, his good habits too.

Why is there no tenderness and beauty shown in art when the villains have a different colour?

Mask#3 – Ripped off.

The narrative

Their entire common narrative against the movie – of denial & obfuscation, primarily aimed at deflecting away from their owns masks that have fallen.

“Propaganda Hai… it’s all lies…”

So, all of them have resorted to discrediting the movie in unison – branding it “propaganda” and full of lies. Now, anyone who actually has seen the movie can go independently and validate all the events depicted in the movie. Every single incident is a real gory event that happened to some KP victim of the genocide. There is even no need to relist all the names here – BK Ganjoo, Girija Tickoo, Sarwanand Koul Premi & son, Neelkanth Ganjoo, Tikkalal Taploo and the massacres of Nadimarg, Wandhama etc. The discerning ones in the audience have got this clear already.

Yet – they will keep saying ‘propaganda’.

It’s actually quite unique. That the filmmakers put a very detailed ‘disclaimer’ at the start of the movie, which is hardly a disclaimer. It’s a statement of ownership of the movie and an open challenge to disprove. Unlike usual disclaimers, the filmmakers clearly state upfront that every incident shown here is based on true incidents.

Nevertheless, these Goebbelian deniers will keep saying “its lies, its propaganda…” without even one of them saying which thing in the movie are they contesting.

“Stop the movie. The movie will spread hate”

Someone said –

“If the truth makes you comfortable, don’t blame the truth. Blame the lie that made you uncomfortable”.

There is no better answer to this fig leaf of a criticism. What is this convoluted definition of love – where a perceived peaceful harmony is brokered by the silence on historic facts and denial of real events of history. If the real facts are bitter, and these facts emerged from real society, does burying head in sand make it go away?

“The movie is anti-minority”…

This is where the obfuscation reaches spectacular heights. Though it will get tough to judge which lie is more absurd, as read other such frauds peddled further below. Minority? Which minority are they referring to here? Kashmiri Pandits were a miniscule 2% or so minority in the valley, when the genocide was perpetrated. Did the media ever tell you these stats ever? Then why are we repeatedly reminded of the same stats when even a cricket ball hits a church window.

“This is no genocide. Only a few hundred were killed…”

These very people, who are the first to tell us how government statistics are not to be trusted ever, are hiding behind official numbers (219 dead). Since, the situation of lawlessness and chaos was such – where local police had joined hands with JKLF and the administration had totally collapsed in the valley, it is no surprise that not all killings and disappearances are recorded in police stations.

There is ample documentation (Panun Kashmir) of over 1400 KP’s killed by Islamist terrorists. And then, there was the second wave – of death and sickness forced on Kashmiri pandits by a life in hostile conditions of exile. KP bodies have documented in detail the post exodus trauma and its impact on especially on aged and women. Nevertheless – these very groups chant “even one minority person killed is a death of humanity” whenever there is even a single person from Muslim community is killed elsewhere in India. But any number of Kashmiri Hindus is insufficient for them. Maybe only the complete annihilation of our community is the bare minimum that would suffice.

By the way, UN Charter defines “Genocide” in Article II. Readers can read and decide for themselves.

UN charter

“Even the local Kashmiri Muslims were killed…”

Of course, no Kashmiri Pandit denies that, nor does this movie. The movie also states that moderate Muslims were killed by Islamist Jihadis as well. However, every movie has a story and this story is about the untold tragedy inflicted on a mere 2% minority population of Kashmiri Hindus in name of religion. The story of select moderate Kashmiri Muslims who were killed is another story and hopefully will unravel even more intriguing web of how terror sympathizers too (including some Hurriyat leaders like AG Lone and Mirwaiz Farooq) were killed by competing Islamist groups – because there was even a contest of who is the real follower of the ‘path’.

But none of that whataboutery takes away from the fact that KPs were targeted viciously and inhumanly – only and only for their religious identity.

“If it was religious, why weren’t the Sikhs of Kashmir targeted…?”

Firstly – its not that Sikhs weren’t targeted in 1989. There were multiple Sikhs killed as well and many families had to escape Kashmir for survival. A short film made by Ashoke Pandit in 1992 “And the world Remained Silent” now available on YouTube – you will see Sikhs as well in the refugee camps. But its true that Islamist Jihadis didn’t target Sikhs in as big a way – as they went after Kashmiri Hindus.

Why? This is an interesting question that everyone knows the real answer to – but no one dares say it.

But don’t take my version. Here is Amaan Bali, a Kashmiri Sikh author answers it in simple and clear words in his thread on Kashmir here:

But then don’t forget the Chattishsinghpora massacre of Sikhs later in March 2000 – just to make a statement to former US President Clinton. Guess Khalistan movement subsiding had changed the tide by then.

“Hey! No one evicted Kashmiri Hindus. It was a ploy of Jagmohan…”

Aaah, come on! This argument – a fig leaf used repeatedly and shamelessly by both the local populace and Congress/NC is so ludicrous, its almost hilarious. No point ridiculing it again here. This is amply addressed here. Congress and NC use it to deflect attention from their own role. Locals use it to wash their guilt away. And the most bizarre is media aiding them in this – because they aiding both all along obfuscating the truth.

“Don’t blame the local Muslims for what happened to Kashmiri Pandits. It was all handiwork of foreign jihadis and ISI…”

Amazing argument. And shameless too.

  • JKLF – the pioneer of the armed jihad in Kashmir was entirely formed of local boys who had crossed over to POK for arms training by ISI under General Zia’s Operation Topac project. They started killing in the valley from late 1988. 1989 was full of bomb blasts and targeted killings executed by JKLF… Foreign jihadis appeared on the scene a while later – flowing in from the subsiding Afghan war.
  • No further evidence is needed beyond Bitta Karate’s brazen and remorseless confession on video to Manoj Raghuvanshi (recreated in the movie), where he proudly admited to having killed dozens of Kashmiri Pandits on orders of his JKLF masters. Both Bitta and his JKLF supremos like Yasin Malik were entirely local muslims.
  • When these self-professed butchers returned back to valley, the masses thronged in thousands to give them a hero’s welcome. Is this any sign of disassociation from what JKLF had done to Kashmiri Hindus? Then how can the locals dare wash off this blood from their hands?

Here is Yasin Malik getting a hero’s welcome upon release from jail in 2002.

  • The lady who called back terrorists and pointed them to where B.K.Ganjoo was hiding to save his life – resulting in his brutal killing inside a rice drum – was that neighbour ISIS recruit?
  • When five dreaded terrorists were released in exchange of Rubaiya Sayed – who were the lakhs of people giving them in a hero’s welcome? Taliban?
  • Who were the people operating mosque loudspeakers on 19Jan1990 – and shouting the most threatening slogans (in Kashmiri) at the minority? Who said “Raliv, Galiv, Chaliv?” or “Yeti banne Pakistan, Battav Ros’, Batnevy saan”?
  • Who was identifying Kashmiri Hindu names mohalla-wise and putting up the target hitlists?

“More than 15000 Muslims have died in Kashmir since 1990. We live under the shadow of army now. Why fret over 3000-4000 Hindus killed then?”

Well… lets analyze this from the beginning. Tens of thousands of tourists used to visit Kashmir every year as tourists before 1990. Bollywood, Tollywood, Kollywood, the champagne chatterati of Lutyens… everyone. Any of them or Any of the readers are welcome to answer this. In any of your visits to Kashmir before 1989…

  • Did you ever see an army bunker anywhere in the valley before 1990? For that matter, did they even see a local beat cop carry anything but a wooden stick?
  • Ware there search and cordon operations happening anywhere before? Was there AFSPA imposed in the valley earlier?
  • Or any of things they today claim has alienated the youth forcing them to pick the gun?

They deliberately put the horse before the cart to confuse the narrative. Yes, there is AFSPA today. There are army bunkers and security checks etc. now because there are thousands of heavily armed terrorists in the valley. And eliminating the terrorists will not happen in vacuum – especially when they are sheltered and protected by the civilians. Side effects are unavoidable.

This is a case of a patient who smoked incessantly inviting cancer upon himself – and now complaining of the impact of chemotherapy.

There is an old adage in Kashmir “Anim Soy, Wavim Soy, Lajim Soy Panasyee” (I brought stinging nettle, I sowed stinging nettle, in the end stinging nettle stung me only). If you breed a snake pit of poisonous vipers, you will invariably get poisoned.

Or simply for others – “Boya ped babool ka, to aam kahan se hoye”.

It was the locals who invited the gun into the valley to attain the goal of pan-Islamic brotherhood… the Nizam-e-Mustafa. And when you make guns ubiquitous in the society, blood is only thing that will flow. Kashmiri Pandits, however, were neither partners to this script of death nor actors in this play – just sitting ducks for the target practice for the Islamist Jihadis. That’s why the burden of Muslims deaths in valley can not be laid at the door of Kashmiri Hindus, where as the reverse is entirely true.

Nevertheless, you won’t see the end of this obfuscation anytime soon. They have to cling on to this life line. They have no other choice. No other way to survive. The lies will keep getting repeated. Goebbels will be proud. The system still remains.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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A Soul in Exile. A Kashmiri Pandit Refugee in India. Tech wage slave in Bangalore. News freak in general.

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