New Zealand’s nationalist leader Winston Peters has supported the Hindi film ‘The Kashmir Files’.
The New Zealand First party leader and former NZ Deputy Prime Minister, Winston Peters, has supported the Hindi film The Kashmir Files after the New Zealand censor board put on hold its release.
In a Facebook post, Mr Peters said, “The ‘Kashmir Files’ has been shown in America, Australia, India and many other locations around the world. To date, the film has been viewed by over 1.1 billion people.”
“The film is about true and real events surrounding the 1990 ethnic cleansing of Hindus in Kashmir and today over 400,000 Kashmir Pandits remain in exile after 32 years,” he claimed.
However, many experts have questioned these numbers. Human rights activists and critics say the film has altered the facts and promoted Islamophobia and hatred against some parts of the community. As a result, it has received run-of-the-mill reviews from mainstream critics.
The New Zealand censor board has put on hold the release of the Hindi film The Kashmir Files after some community groups approached the board complaining about the film’s content.
The Kashmir Files had received a certificate that allows individuals above 16 to view it. However, now the board wants to review the certification.
Winston Peters, who has spoken against Muslim immigration in the past, says to censor this film is tantamount to censoring information or images from the March 15th atrocities in New Zealand, or for that matter removing from public knowledge all images of the attack on 9/11. In a speech made in 2005, he said New Zealand has always been a nation of immigrants, but not of Islamic immigrants.
“Mainstream Muslims have both in this country and around the world readily and rightly denounced all forms of terrorism on the basis that committing violence in the name of Islam is not Muslim. Neither should steps taken against Islamophobia mistakenly lead to the shielding of terrorists in the name of Islam,” said Mr Peters
“Terrorism in all its forms, no matter what its source, should be exposed and opposed. This attempt at selective censorship would amount to one further attack on the freedom of New Zealanders and people worldwide,” he added.
The film’s director Vivek Agnihotri has also tweeted, asking people to support the film in New Zealand.
The Kashmir files had received a certificate that allows individuals above the age of 16 to view it. However, now the board wants to review the certification.
“Some communal groups are trying to put pressure on New Zealand Censor to ban The Kashmir Files. I request all Indians to be united and oppose this undemocratic tactic by radicals with utmost humility and release this film about Humanity and Human Rights,” he tweeted.
The Kashmir Files is a fictional story about the events in the Indian side of Kashmir in the 1990s when thousands of Hindus and Sikhs had to flee their homes after Muslim fundamentalists threatened them. It tells the fictional story of a university student who discovers Islamist militants killed his Kashmiri Hindu parents.
Release of Vivek Agnihotri’s film The Kashmir Files has caused a veritable storm among India’s non resident Indian (NRI) population across the globe. Claims of propaganda have cropped up along with assertions of “depiction of truth” by the other side – a clear line divides viewers into two distinctly separate groups.
In his film, Agnihotri shows his young hero, Krishna, transform into a righteous, nationalist Hindu despite the machinations of a cunning and ‘liberal’ lady-professor. Coincidentally, in Germany of the 1930s, a film called Hitler Youth Quex, depicted a young man’s transformation from a communist sympathiser to an unquestioning follower of the Hitler Youth movement and the “new” Germany. In both films, the young man is transformed into a political property of the state.