The Kashmir Files: Kerala Congress Spins Stories About Kashmiri Pandits Exodus

By: Anand Singh
Updated: March 14, 2022 13:52

NEW DELHI: Stoking a controversy involving ‘The Kashmir Files’ movie, the Kerala unit of the Congress on Sunday blamed the BJP for the mass exodus of Kashmiri Pandits in 1990, and accused the saffron party of doing nothing to take Pandits back to the Valley.

Sharing some misleading “facts about Kashmiri Pandits issue” in a series of tweets, from the Karala Congress handle, it said that the issue of Kashmiri Pandits “suited BJP’s propaganda to create a fake outrage for the electoral gain”.  While the Congress top brass remained tight-lipped about the controversial tweets that were factually incorrect, the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party launched a counterattack and put the blame on the then Congress government led by Rajiv Gandhi for the genocide and mass exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley in January 1990.

Amit Malviya, the head of the BJP IT Cell said that Congress just can not whitewash the genocide of Kashmiri Hindus. Jagmohan the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir was appointed by Rajiv Gandhi government and Congress should get its facts right.

It all started with a series of tweeted posted by the Kerala unit of the grand old party.

Alleging that Pandits were forced to leave the Kashmir Valley under the direction of then Governor Jagmohan who, the party said, was associated with the BJP, it stated, “Pandits left the Valley en masse under the direction of Governor Jagmohan who was an RSS man. The migration started under the BJP-supported VP Singh government.”

In a now-deleted tweet, the party said that Kashmir Pandits were victims of terrorism “like other Kashmiris”. “It was the terrorists who targeted the Pandits. In 17 years (1990 to 2007), 399 pandits were killed in terrorist attacks. The number of Muslims killed by the terrorists in the same period was 15,000. After the terrorist attacks, instead of providing Pandits security, BJP’s own governor Jagmohan asked them to relocate to Jammu. A large number of Pandit families did not feel secure and left the Valley in fear,” it tweeted.

Attacking the BJP over the Kashmiri Pandits issue, the Kerala Congress said, “BJP-supported VP Singh government came to power in December 1989. Pandits’ migration started the very next month, in January 1990. BJP did nothing and continued supporting VP Singh till November 1990.” “Pandits are victims of terrorism like other Kashmiris,” it argued.

The Kerala Congress further alleged that the BJP ignored the plight of Kashmiri Pandits and was busy in “engineering a Hindu-Muslim divide in the country over the Ram mandir issue in Ayodhya during the migration”. “Pandits’ issue suited BJP’s propaganda to create a fake outrage for electoral gain,” the party said.

Accusing the BJP of shedding “crocodile tears” for Pandits, the grand old party said the ruling party “did not bring them back to Kashmir or resettle them despite being in power for two terms at the Centre and one term in Kashmir”.

In another tweet, the Kerala unit of the Congress said that 1,00,000 Kashmiri Muslims were killed in Jammu in the 1948 communal riots after partition but “there were no retaliatory killings of Pandits”.

Highlighting the works of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA), the party said, “UPA govt built 5,242 tenements for Pandits in Jammu and provided one-time assistance of Rs 5 lakh to each family in addition to students scholarships, assistance to farmers and welfare schemes worth Rs 1,168.4 crore.”

Directed by Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri, ‘The Kashmir Files’ is based on the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits following systematic killings of people from the community by Pakistan-backed terrorists in Kashmir. The film stars Anupam Kher, Darshan Kumar, Mithun Chakraborty, and Pallavi Joshi.

The film’s director Agnihotri and producer Abhishek Agarwal met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Saturday. As many as four BJP-ruled states Gujarat, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, and Karnataka have made the film tax-free, with its chief ministers urging people to watch the movie. Several BJP leaders have demanded that non-BJP states like Maharashtra and Delhi waive off the tax on the movie.

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