Facts & Fiction.........
distortion for appeasement..........
|It is just to share with the community as well as with the rest of the world that we as a community do not subscribe to the practice of unnecessary censorship or distortion of facts & that we respect freedom of expression in any form that is acceptable within the social & legal norms. And that we also exercise our right to counter any misinformation campaign whenever & wherever possible.
It is quite intriguing that the film maker Rahul Dholakia choose to describe mere petitions from Kashmiri Hindu Pandits as ‘protests’ against his film “Lamhaa” (“Separating truth from fiction” / Delhi Times/TOI/New Delhi/Jan01, 09/front page) & finally changing his stance blamed the ‘presence of security personnel’ for his woes (“We have to go back to Kashmir for filming” /Q/A /TOI / DEL / Jan 12, 2009).
In a desperate bid to appease the Kashmiri Muslim separatists who had reportedly interrupted the filming earlier, to allow him to finish the shooting in Kashmir, Rahul Dholakia unfairly blamed the security personnel whose ‘presence’ is vital , not only for him & his crew whenever he is in the valley, but also for the safety of the common Kashmiris. In the face of the threats & coercion, recent massive electoral turn out would have been impossible in absence of the ‘sense of security’ courtesy these very much abused security personnel.
In the Delhi Times report he had also admitted having made the script fictitious since there were protests from ‘Kashmiri Pandits’, ‘Kashmiri Muslims’ & a ‘few from abroad’- interestingly putting ‘Kashmiri Pandits’ first in the list .
Fearing misinformation against the beleaguered community living in exile many Kashmir Hindu Pandits must have approached him particularly when the noted Director’s hobnobbing with the known Kashmiri pan Islamists was reported in the local media but there were no ‘protests’ as such.
Following letter is one such plea that by no standards could be described as even a ‘letter’ of ‘protest……???……
Mr. Rahul Dholakia,
Dear Mr. Rahul,
My apologies for this submission. Under the normal circumstances this was unwarranted. But unfortunately the ongoing almost two decades old bloody drama in Kashmir leaves very little that could even remotely resemble any thing but ‘normal.’
It is quite heartening to learn that you are working on a project that as reports indicate revolves around Kashmir. It is only in the wake of these reports that suggest that you have met some Kashmiri Muslim separatists who are spearheading this pan Islamic violent movement that seeks secession of the Muslim majority Kashmir valley from secular India, that I am prompted to approach you with a humble request to do justice to the subject.
There is a propensity to pick & selectively use everything as propaganda material by these self appointed separatist leaders & their under ground as well as over ground supporters to further their cause. This only leads to more & more of credulous Kashmiri Muslims falling prey to the indoctrination. Santosh Sivan’s latest work has evoked columns even in prominent national dailies much less on the quality of the film & more on the perceived pro separatism content in the film.
It has become a routine to quote the number of the dead & the missing (often exaggerated/ different groups claiming different count at different platforms) that invariably includes those as well who are in POK & Pakistan getting trained & waiting for the formal induction in to the jihad. Hundreds of wailing mothers, orphans & widows have to be contended with the (mis) quotes from the ‘holy’ scriptures justifying the death of their dear ones in clashes with the security forces as martyrdom.
It is so uncommon now to see a teenager hurling a grenade in to a tourist bus for an incentive of just Rs.50 in a place that boasted of near dismal crime rate in the country till the advent of what is locally described as ‘gun culture’ in 1989-90. It was only in 1989-90 that the Kalashnikov wielding zealots wearing symbolic shrouds & inscription laden headbands appeared in the streets & killed the minority Hindu Pandits in cold blood. The aboriginal Pandits were subjected to ethnic cleansing because one they were Hindus & two that they symbolised Indian presence in the valley. And you know that they did not live in ghettos. Hindu families lived even in ones & twos across the length & breadth of the valley.
It will also be interesting for you to study the background of all these separatist leaders & commanders-almost all of them at onetime or the other have in one way or the other been part of the main stream politics. It is very unfortunate that the civil society in general has shown total indifference even when they all together (including the ones from the main stream political parties) exhibited rabid intolerance in the streets of Kashmir recently against the allotment of a mere 100 acres of land for the development of temporary facilities along the arduous Amarnath pilgrimage route at those uninhabitable heights.
Today, the much cherished Kashmiriyat- the social fabric of Kashmir stands ruptured what with one whole generation of Kashmiris growing on two sides of Pir Panjal ranges.
Contrary to the malicious propaganda not all Kashmiri Muslims support this foreign sponsored pan Islamic terror violence in the valley. It is the fear of the ‘gun’ coupled with the religion based emotional blackmailing as well as the generous flow of foreign funds that is sustaining the ‘movement’.
In absence of pan Islamic fervour & the foreign sponsored ‘gun’ Kashmir ceases to be an issue.
I only hope & pray that your work turns out to be sufficiently thought provoking & that Kashmiri pan Islamists are unable to flaunt it as yet another piece of ‘approval’ from the civil society.
Best wishes & warm regards
PS: Please go through my review of this documentary. You may find it interesting.
…. Poignant waters…. Review of Rajesh Jala’s Floating lamp of the Shadow valley……
………… It is a pity that the writers, columnists, artists, film makers & intellectuals & the civil society in general continue to be lackadaisical towards the growing political stature of those responsible for founding the ‘gun culture’ in the valley, who have a vested interest in the on going strife, while the vast majority of hapless Kashmiris continues to mourn the tragedy of their venerated MAUJ KASHIR in silence……...
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*Lalit Ambardar: A Building Design Consultant, presently based in Delhi. Has been a ‘programme coordinator’ for foreign TV & Radio bureaus. Regularly writes on 'Kashmir' in response columns of national dailies. Interests include acting & modelling.
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