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Shikara gets into controversy: ‘Hindu Janajagruti Samiti’ urges boycott

Soon after the release of the movie, the hashtag of #BoycottShikhara started trending on Twitter

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Boycott Shikara, Hindu Janjagruti, ShikaraThe recently released film Shikara that opened on February 7 has been produced and directed by Vidhu Vinod Chopra. The film is based on the Exodus of Kashmiri Hindus from Kashmir.

Soon after the release, the film got into a controversy because it commercialises the plight of Kashmiri Pandits. A communiqué in the matter says that it is being widely felt that the movie fails to depict the persecution of Kashmiri Hindus in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s as thousands of Kashmiri Hindus were killed, women raped, thousands of temples destroyed and 4.5 lakh people were displaced to other places.

The communiqué felt that Vidhu Vinod Chopra has suppressed the brutal and blood imbrued history of Kashmiri Hindus. Instead of consoling the grieving Kashmiri Hindus, Chopra has rubbed salt on their wounds, the wounds that remain uncured for the past 30 years.

This is not the first time that any Bollywood movie has been mirred in controversy and is suggested by the audience to boycott a movie. In the past also there had been movies which were been into several controversies such as The Accidental Prime minister, Padmavat, Udta Punjab among others.

Soon after the release of the movie, the hashtag of #BoycottShikhara started trending on Twitter. Even it is reported that a woman belonging to the Kashmiri Pandit community broke down after watching the film as she felt that Chopra “commercialised the plight of Kashmiri Pandits in the movie.”

After that on February 11, Hindu outfit ‘Hindu Janajagruti Samiti’ appealed to the public to boycott ‘Shikara.’ Ramesh Shinde on behalf of the organisation issued an official statement and said that the movie rubs salt on the wounds of Kashmiri Hindus.

When AV contacted Shinde he said, “Since Mr. Vidhu Vinod Chopora wanted to gain publicity initially, he kept the title of the movie as Shikara – The Untold Story of Kashmiri Pandits’. Also, he himself belongs to Kashmir, people were expecting that he will show what all had happened then. However, it turns into a big disappointment after he changed the title on the release day. People were thinking one but he dished out something else and I think that made people to boycott the film.”

Shinde labeled such depiction of a monumental tragedy as ‘a psychological atrocity’ upon the Kashmiri Hindu community. “Indian society will never forgive this in humaneness by Vidhu Vinod Chopra.

The organisation claims that the during the promotion of the film, the director advertised the film as being based on the lives of Kashmiri Hindus as the movie posters read ‘Shikara – The Untold Story of Kashmiri Pandits’. However, on the release day, the poster of the film was dramatically changed to ‘Shikara – A Timeless Love Story in the Worst of Time’.

On the other hand, Ashoke Pandit took to Twitter after the controversy took it to the top of the Twitter trends. The filmmaker accused Chopra of ‘whitewashing communal crime’ with a ‘coat of secular paint.’ The filmmaker also said that the movie was a massive attempt at ‘whitewashing Islamic terrorism’, something he claimed Kashmir were the biggest victims of.  He also asked Chopra to stop ‘glorifying terrorism’, something he claimed the latter was doing again after Mission Kashmir.


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