by Khalid Bashir Gura
SRINAGAR: Kashmir has emerged so huge an abused brand that you pinch somebody and s(he) shouts– Kashmir. It is now the turn of Bollywood. After exploiting Kashmir for their masala films, now they have started invoking Kashmir to manage their personal issues.
Best Card Ever.#kangnaranaut #illegalconstruction #whataboutkashmiripandits pic.twitter.com/uDUCFHaX1M
— Mir Suhail (@mirsuhail) September 10, 2020
Kangana Ranaut is the latest trending ‘Kashmir’ Queen now. While verbally fighting with the Shiv Sena government, she would say that Mumbai is the new “Pakistan Occupied Kashmir”. In retaliation, when the BMC bulldozers rushed to her office for demolition, she said she understands the pain of Kashmiri Pandits better. BMC sees her office premises as an “illegal construction”.
I am sorry, but from the demolition of a wall you cannot understand the pain of Kashmiri Pandits. You do not know how it is when all your hair turns white in three days; you do not know how it is when old people die in exile, crying about their inability to see home one last time
— Rahul Pandita (@rahulpandita) September 9, 2020
When the actress invoked “Pakistan Occupied Kashmir” in her pre-demolition tweets, the first reaction came from Iltija Mufti, who wrote on Twitter: “Why use PoK as an example to highlight the murder of democracy and rule of law? Look closer home at Jammu and Kashmir mired in lawlessness and state-sponsored repression. Democracy was butchered here long ago.”
What happened to your film? Boss Sir not offering protection in Valley? Kahan shoot karoge ab? Ramoji? Ya Tashkent?
Aao tumhe mein dikhlata hoon Pulwama ki ik rangeen shaam, dekho, dekho, dekho, dekho, dekho. https://t.co/IJYdw7PoL7
— Rahul Pandita (@rahulpandita) September 10, 2020
Kangana is in news since the suicide of the Bollywood actor Shushant Singh Rajput and has locked horns with some of the Mumbai politicians and people in the film industry.
In a video that she released on social media post demolition said, “I now feel pain of the Kashmiri Pandits.” She has also vouched to make on a film on Kashmiri pandits.
Kangana’s statement divided the people in the film industry and has drawn a sharp reaction by the Kashmiri Pandits. However, Kangana is accused to be backed by some of the BJP people.
Rahul Pandita, journalist and writer of the film Shikara: The Untold Story of Kashmiri Pandits, bashed Kangana for comparing herself to Kashmiri Pandits. He wrote that she could not comprehend their pain ‘from the demolition of a wall’ in her office.
“I am sorry, but from the demolition of a wall you cannot understand the pain of Kashmiri Pandits. You do not know how it is when all your hair turns white in three days; you do not know how it is when old people die in exile, crying about their inability to see home one last time,” he wrote on Twitter.
Why use PoK as an example to highlight murder of democracy & rule of law? Look closer home at J&K mired in lawlessness & state sponsored repression.Democracy was butchered here long ago
— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) September 9, 2020
“For God’s sake, stop taking our name in vain. We refuse to be pawns in your battles of puny egos. Do not belittle our tragedy. Tomorrow your finger might get hurt somewhere. What will you say? I understand pain of Kashmiri Pandits? Pleaseeeee!,” he added in another tweet.
Another Kashmir Pandit journalist, Sagriku Kissu wrote on her twitter: “I am a KP & I dont support/endorse anything that Kangana Ranaut says. I believe my community is self-sufficient – we have poets, writers, politicians, journos, artists, etc – and we don’t need outsiders to use our miseries for their personal vendetta. Thankyou.”
Salman Nizami from the congress party took to social media and lashed out at Kangana and for using Kashmiri Pandits for a cheap publicity stunt. “In the last 6 yrs, BJP has failed to ensure return of KP’s, no package, no jobs. Let me remind her. It was late Thackeray sb who called Pawar sb & reserved seat to KP children in all of Maha colleges. BJP ne kya kia?” he tweeted.
Every Tom Dick and Harry sells our sad story to achieve their petty ends across India. “We Kashmiri Pandits initiated this indiscriminate and compulsive chest-thumping and offered ourselves for exploitation. Enough now,” said Dr Sameer Kaul, former PDP spokesman.
Every Tom Dick and Harry sells our sad story to achieve their petty ends across India. We #KashmiriPandits initiated this indiscriminate and compulsive chest thumping and offered ourselves for exploitation. Enough now.
— Dr Sameer Kaul (@Samkaul) September 9, 2020
It even triggered virtual brawls between the various crusaders of the Pandit cause. Vivek Ranjan Agnihotra who has been flying offshore to meet the Pandit diaspora for his Kashmir Files reacted to novelist Pandita’s tweets asking: “If you knew the pain so well why did you fail to show it in a 2 hr long film where you had full control? You chose to stand up with the SECULAR advocates of ‘let’s forget and move on’.”
After BJP having successfully marketed pain & agony of Kashmiri Pandits for electoral gains across country. Here's a politically motivated actress dragging KP's for personal reprieve. @ShivSena ensured a reserved seat for KP youth in education leading to economic stability. FYI. https://t.co/LBeu1nUaFP
— Mohit Bhan موہت بھان (@buttkout) September 9, 2020
Pandita’s retaliation was impressive: “What happened to your film? Boss Sir not offering protection in Valley? Kahan shoot karoge ab? Ramoji? Ya Tashkent? Aao tumhe mein dikhlata hoon Pulwama ki ik rangeen shaam, dekho, dekho, dekho, dekho, dekho.”
From a place and a society, Kashmir has moved as an item for exploitation. It is being hugely used in politics and now for personal reasons too.
The show goes on.