In a video that has gone viral, a Kashmiri Hindu woman identified as Divya Razdan can be seen breaking down after the screening of Shikara.
Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s Shikara, which recreates the horrific exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from their homes in 1990, has raised the hackles of many from the community who feel betrayed by the soft stance Vidhu has chosen to take in his film.
In a video that has gone viral, a Kashmiri Hindu woman identified as Divya Razdan can be seen breaking down after the screening of Shikara, accusing the director on camera of commercialsing the pain and anger of the Kashmiri Pandits who she said suffered unbearable pain.
“Ye aapka commercialism aapko mubarakh ho (To hell with your commercialism). As a Kashmiri Pandit, I disown your film, I disown it,” the woman is seen screaming at the filmmaker, who responds feebly and unconvincingly.
Truth be told, many Kashmiri Pandits feel Vidhu has severely toned-down the genocide that the community suffered 30 years ago for the sake of a universally palatable cinematic narrative. Members of the film fraternity who are closely attached to Kashmir and have witnessed the rise of militancy and bloodshed in the Valley secretly feel the filmmaker has sold out the community for the sake of a box office success.
“He probably wanted to keep it nice, clean and wholesome to ensure success. He hasn’t had a hit as a director for a very long time. His last directorial was Eklavya, and that came 13 years ago. I can understand his need to make a hit film, but the genocide of Kashmiri Pandits is not a subject open to such compromises. You can’t make a film about the Nazi holocaust and ask audiences to forgive Hitler. Some wounds are beyond healing. What happened to Kashmiri Hindus is one of those those pains that no amount of time can remedy. Vidhu can forgive and move on. We can’t,” says a prominent member of the Kashmiri Pandits from Bollywood.