Vivek Agnihotri slammed foreign media houses for the canceled pressure
New Delhi: Filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri on Thursday said that there was an international political campaign against him and his film ‘The Kashmir Files’ through the foreign media, prompting the Foreign Correspondents Club and the Press Club of India (PCI) to cancel their press conference.
Instead, the 48-year-old director held his press conference at a five-star hotel in the center of the national capital, less than a kilometer from the PCI. According to Agnihotri, the purpose of the press conference was to “dispel the myths, allegations and impact of The Kashmir Files”.
“It is very unfortunate that this anti-freedom of speech, anti-truth activity is in a state-owned bungalow or whatever that place is. This property is in front of the Supreme Court, which is the highest temple of justice. It happened on Independence Day, “said the filmmaker.
“On the same day they released a lot of reports on how the Press Freedom Index in India is declining. Also, it gives me a reason to believe that this is a campaign. In fact, press freedom is restricted by the international press. In my case,” Agnihotri said.
“The Kashmir Files”, published nationwide on March 11, depicts the expulsion of Kashmiri Pandits from the Kashmir Valley in the 1990s. The film, starring Anupam Kher, Pallavi Joshi, Mithun Chakraborty and Darshan Kumar, despite being called for problematic politics by some critics and writers, grossed Rs. Collected over Rs 350 crore.
Agnihotri said he had reason to believe that “international media outlets run by certain agendas that are actually political activists” are trying to interfere in Indian politics and pose a threat to its sovereignty.
The filmmaker said that the film was initially ignored by international media outlets and when it became a hit, he began to approach himself to talk about it.
“The question line is Hindu-Muslim only. No one bothered to ask me about all the victims. No one tried to ask me the facts I showed and whether they were right or wrong. They had two words – Muslims and (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi, moreover, that they were driven by the project. It gives me a reason to believe, “he said.
Agnihotri, who often compared his film to Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning film “Schindler’s List”, renamed the Hollywood filmmaker.
Those who failed to report the genocide of Kashmiri Hindus are saddened by the filming of the genocide.
“They did not dare ask the same question to Mr. Spielberg, who produced the Schindler’s List. Therefore, under this design, under this conspiracy, our press conference was canceled,” Agnihotri added.
Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online.
“The film was a historic success in the first four days. There is no doubt that the film will go down in history by Tuesday. Until then no one had said it was government support. But the Prime Minister spoke differently about it. In the context, it suddenly turned into government funding,” he said.
The director said that films like ‘Fisa’, ‘Fanaa’, ‘Mission Kashmir’, ‘Dil Se’ and ‘Haider’ made in Kashmir in the past were made in the 90s and dealt with the issue of terrorism without mentioning the plight of Kashmiri Pandits.
“They were all made by big production companies involving big stars. As it was, all those films were made in the 1990s. Not a single film mentioned anything about Kashmiri Hindus. Forget the genocide, as if Hindus never lived in that soil,” Agnihotri said.
He said the final moments of the film “The Kashmir Files” were also critical of the current government.
Agnihotri said the film did not promote Islamophobia in the country but spoke against “terrorism”.
“There is an international political campaign against the film. They accuse us of Islamophobia. I have categorically recorded that Islamophobia is being used as a political weapon against my film under an international political conspiracy. The film is actually anti-terrorism. The film does not even use the word ‘Muslim’ once in the film. Nor does it use the word Pakistan. This is an anti-terrorism film … “he said.
When asked about his next film “The Delhi Files” which was announced a few weeks ago, he said that the film will deal with events that took place in the past and are still happening in the national capital.
Asked if he had donated Rs 200 crore from the film’s profits to the PM Course fund, the filmmaker replied, “How can I donate Rs 200 crore? Which producer gets Rs 200 crore? That is not possible.”