Singapore bans hit Kashmir film over portrayal of Muslims – Report

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By Asia Samachar |
Singapore |

Singapore has banned a controversial Indian film over its “provocative and one-sided portrayal” of Muslims in Kashmir that officials fear could provoke religious and ethnic tensions in the city-state, reports AFP.

Released in March and one of India’s highest-grossing films this year, “The Kashmir Files” depicts in harrowing detail how several hundred thousand Hindus fled Muslim militants in Indian-administered Kashmir in 1989 and 1990.

The movie has been endorsed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and seized on by Hindu hardliners to stir up hatred against the country’s Muslim minority. Critics say it tackles themes close to the political agenda of Modi’s Hindu nationalist government, which has often been accused of marginalising and vilifying Muslims, the report added.

The media regulator in Singapore refused to classify the film, meaning it cannot be screened. The decision was due to the movie’s “provocative and one-sided portrayal of Muslims and the depictions of Hindus being persecuted”, the news agency quoted unnamed officials as saying in a statement late Wednesday.

“These representations have the potential to cause enmity between different communities, and disrupt social cohesion and religious harmony in our multi-racial and multi-religious society.”

The city-state’s population of 5.5 million are mostly ethnic Chinese but it also has large communities of ethnic Malay Muslims and ethnic Indian Hindus.

The film’s director, Vivek Agnihotri, lashed out at the decision, tweeting that Singapore was the “most regressive censor in the world”.

“A film on Kashmiri Pandit Refugees. Exodus of Kashmiri Pandits, we want to tell the story of this horrifying event to the world,” reads the introduction at the movie’s social media pages.

It revolves around a university student who learns about the death of his parents in the 1990s in Muslim-majority Kashmir, a disputed region split between India and Pakistan since 1947.

Three decades of insurgency in the region — with Pakistan’s backing, according to New Delhi — and a heavy-handed response by the Indian military have killed tens of thousands of people, mostly Muslims. Around 200,000 Kashmiri Hindus — known as Pandits — fled after the violence began in the late 1980s. Up to 219 may have been killed, according to official figures, the report added.



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2 COMMENTS

  1. My last sentance should be read as…. Rather than the movie taken in the light to instigat further wounds and disrupting…..

  2. Though it is a fact that a huge number of the population has been fleeing from troubled areas in the northern continent of the then Indus Valley and Mohandazoro settlement. There was little resistance to the then tyreny of the sovereignty ruling those areas by invaders who had earlier invaded Iraq, Iran and then the Indus civilization. People of these areas were practising a specific social set up and Hinduism as their respective religion. The invaders wanted to unify everyone under their ruling to one religion and Arabic script. So they had to either face death or convert to condone the religion they brought along with them. Kashmir was known to have a very large population of Brahmin Pandits as they were known as. In Iran Pahlavi script was the earliest used script but due to its limitation later was modified by the saintly clergy of Iran and named it Din Dabireh (“Script of the Faith”). This Script was forcefully changed into Arabic Script used in the Holy Quran brought by the Arab Invaders. They succeeded in doing this in Iran, Northern Indian continent today in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Whereas, due to the Indus strong literature of Sanskrit and Davangere only the spoken language changed and the script continued with natural evaluation. Prakrit language transformed into Punjabi, Sindhi language and Persian language mixtured with both of them formed Hindi (there is Definitely a very complex explanation to this) . I’m summarising the facts only.

    In this process people would have then faced tremendous social resistance. There was gross unhappiness, fear and uncertainty. Many fled to lands south in the continent.

    Then came the enforcement to unify the foreign religion in this area. Again a huge population converted and another equal number fled towards the south of the continent. Islam in the south had came much before it came to north India. In the south it was thought merchant’s influence as early as 7th Century (refer to Reference 1)

    The very same hindus who converted under tremendous fear, over the generations became staunch in their beliefs and started marginalising the minorities in their very region where in their fore-fathers were of the same breed. Religion took over the social sentiments and the lopsided ideology and implementation of zigya was to their whims and wits. This movie The Kashmir File perhaps portrays reality.

    This movie should not bring about communal issues, rather it should bring realisation and stronger bonding between people of different faith rather instigating further wounds and disrupting the harmony and leading to social segregation.

    Ref:
    https://www.americanbazaaronline.com/2019/05/18/north-is-north-and-south-is-south-the-great-indian-muslim-divide-437596/?amp=

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