‘Nonsensical’: Vidhu Vinod Chopra reacts to accusations of ‘commercializing’ Kashmiri Pandits

The Hush Post | 7:20 pm | One-minute read |

Filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra has lashed out at his critics who have accused him of ‘commercializing’ Kashmiri Pandits. Chopra’s new film Shikara revolves around the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits. In an open letter Vidhu Vinod Chopra, himself a Kashmiri Hindu, termed the accusations as ‘nonsensical’.

Vidhu Vinod Chopra wrote on Facebook, “The recent incidents related to Shikara have deeply disturbed me. I am an affected Kashmiri Hindu. My house in Kashmir was ransacked and my family members attacked. My mother who came with a small suitcase to Bombay for the premiere of Parinda (1989) could not go back home – she died in exile in Mumbai.”

The Munnabhai director said he has been making films for the last 40 years. “My journey in cinema has been extremely satisfying and I have never felt even an iota of doubt in my mind that I ever strayed from the commandments of the iconic filmmaker Ingmar Bergman who said that Thou Shalt Entertain but that Thou Shalt Entertain Without Selling Your Soul.”

Reacting to the accusations, he said, “It’s a nonsensical accusation because if I wanted to make money I would have made the sequel to Munnabhai or 3 Idiots. But the reason I made Shikara is because I have witnessed first hand what the loss of a home means. And because most of you are unaware of the extent of our tragedy”.

Addressing the youth, he said, “You weren’t even born when we were thrown out of our homeland in 1990. And if you don’t know history, you will be condemned to repeat it.”

Explaining his movie Shikara, Chopra said, “The movie (Shikara) is my truth. It’s is my mother’s truth. It’s my co-writer Rahul Pandita’s truth. This is the truth of a community which despite going through such trauma did not pick up a gun or spread hate. Shikara is an attempt to do the same – to speak of unimaginable pain without sowing the seeds of violence and animosity. And to begin a conversation that will hopefully enable Kashmiri Pandits to return to Kashmir”.

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