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Shikara an attempt to speak of unimaginable pain without spreading hate: Vidhu Vinod Chopra

In an open letter, Chopra said he is being accused of commercialising the 'subject of Kashmiri Pandits' and that he'd have made a sequel to Munnabhai if he wanted to make money.

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Dear young Indians,

Taking a cue from Shiv Kumar Dhar, a Kashmiri Pandit refugee in my film Shikara who writes letters hoping that his voice will be heard, I’m writing this letter to you. You are the future of this country. Which is why I feel the need to have a conversation directly with you.

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 could not go back home – she died in exile in Mumbai. While most of you know me for producing films like Munnabhai and 3 Idiots, I’ve actually been making films for the last 40 years – my first short film was nominated for an Oscar in 1979. 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.

Now I’m being accused of selling my soul, of commercializing the subject of Kashmiri Pandits. 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. 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.

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.

Violence will only beget violence. I have seen my home destroyed by hate. Do not let it consume you.

I want you to have a future that is different from my past.

This was originally on Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s Facebook.

Also read: Shikara review: Beautiful but not the untold story of Kashmiri Pandits it is marketed as


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  1. A very well crafted movie. My humble Handfold Namaskar to Mr Chopra.

    Firstly it is a genocide issue and I a kasmiri Hindu myself (kashmiri pandit is a localising term and isolates the community within the Hindu clan ).

    Mr Chopra has done a great favour to the community in bringing to light FIRST TIME ON SCREEN this plight.

    Many of My kasmiri pandit clan may differ in the intensity of the genocide picturized, but it is a highly sensitive issue and could have led to banning of the movie by extremist and local political activists for their personal gain.

    This way he has kept the issue alive to the new generation of India that may have no concern. Media has a great role to play in highlighting this issue.

    Remember, he never asked for financial support for the project. And to believe that since he mentioned the carnage of Kashmiri hindus in the trailor that is all he should show as desired by kashmiri s. Guys it is his call.

    Mr Anupam Kher is also a champion in spreading awareness towards this issue, that is taken so lightly BCOS politically kashmiri Hindus are too small a community to turn the tide of votes without support of the Indian Hindus .

    A must watch for every kasmiri migrant…to contribute his part in encouraging such a cause. Don’t just criticize this first such screen endeavour.

    I can well imagine Mr Chopra’s pain as he silently brings on screen the ruins that lay of this mother’s house.

    Thanks to short sighted and over emotional kashmiris pandits ( Hindus actually) nobody will ever reflect on making a movie based on their exodus and ethenic cleansing form KASHMIR.

  2. Showing truth can be cathartic. Hiding ugly things under the garb of “do not want to spread hate” is hypocrisy of the highest order.

  3. Zulm saha hamney aur zalim b kehlai Gaye.
    -a secular Kashmiri who has a dream of independent secular Kashmiri.where I have a freedom,freedom of expression, freedom of religion, equal rights more important where I will not be used for vote bank.
    Jab aapko ye movie banane hi thee tou iss sayy pehleyy kyu nhii banayee.This is a total propaganda to divert people from the real issues to these hindustan,Pakistan,Kashmir’s dirty politics who is responsible for bloodshed in Kashmiri.

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