I hope you have already read the first part. You could have a look at that here: The Kashmir Files – Part 1. I had described my observations regarding the movie.
It is not that The Kashmir Files is the only movie talking about Kashmir or a Genocide or terrorism or cruel things that humans do to other humans. We have seen far more gruesome movies, depicting violent crimes- against children, women, old and young. We have seen far worse terrifying acts, rapes, gangrapes and what not. You name it and I will find a movie for that. Then why so much ho ha for this one? What’s the problem? Moreover, I am not even talking about the politicians or journalists who might have been directly or indirectly related to or at least relevant to some aspects of the story line. I am talking about the common man, who has nothing to do with what the movie was all about. What’s bothering them? Why are they so agitated and perturbed by the movie?
I thought about it. A lot! Then I realized why so many people are behaving the way they are behaving. It is natural for them to react this way. And it is not their fault.. at least not entirely. To some extent they are responsible but not completely.
We all grew up watching a particular style of movies, living a particular lifestyle and believing a particular truth. We grew up watching movies like Fanna or Mission Kashmir or Fiza where we developed a soft spot for a terrorist; didn’t we? Not because it was played by Aamir Khan or Hrithik Roshan (Yeah, I had to find a Hindu and a Muslim actor, so that nobody discards this article as a communal rant), but because the story was written/directed in such a way that it would create a soft spot for a terrorist. We grew up watching movies promoting Love, peace and harmony, Hindu-Muslim brotherhood. Literally in every other movie we would watch characters like Rahim Chacha, who helps anyone and everyone who is in trouble, even at his own life’s cost. We grew up watching movies like Main Hoon Na or Veer-Zaara; love, peace, or Aman ki Aasha. SRK is a brand ambassador for love and peace. I mean what’s wrong with that? Love, peace, harmony, liberal democracy, hindu-muslim brotherhood etc. are such novel and divine ideas, no person in his/her sane state of mind can be against them. Can you?
Also read: The Sacred Games we were always a part of
The problem is that they conditioned many of us in such a way that we started believing it was the reality. The “Imagined Reality“! Over the course of time, certain media houses, entertainment houses, political parties, corporations reinforced this imagined reality to such an extent that it left no space for any other truth, howsoever real it may be. And if and when something happens which exposes this Imagined Reality, finger pointing and blaming happens. Of course you know who to blame. Before 2014( when BJP won majority for the very first time) Hindus and Muslims lived in peace, before 2002 (when Gujarat riots happened) Hindus and Muslims lived in peace, before 1992(when Babri Masjid was demolished) Hindus and Muslims lived in peace before 1985(when Shahbano case happened/or Ram Mandir gates were opened) Hindus and Muslims lived in peace so on and so forth; if you want I could keep on writing and find out events for each and every decade without a miss.
I simply don’t understand when was the time when there was peace, love, harmony, hindu-muslim brotherhood. When was that time? When was the time that majority of Indians were living in peace and harmony?
Was it during the British rule? Or going even a little further when we were ruled by the Mughals? Yeah, that was a peaceful time! So, in short peace and harmony, love and brotherhood prevailed only when Hindus were slaves. Is that the case? You might not like it, but that’s the case according to many. Akbar was the Great!! Wasn’t he? As a matter of fact Dr. Shashi Tharoor, honorable member of parliament, writer, diplomat and what not went to British, house of commons asking for reparations for British Empire ruling India. However, when it comes to Mughal Empire in India he says they became us.
Everyone who has any interest in history, knows that one of the two main things that a large empire has to do to sustain, without failing, is, dissolve the us vs them distinction. Either the ruling elite converts and becomes the same as the one being ruled or the ones being ruled convert and become the same as the one ruling. Or at the very least, do things to pretend that there is no “them” anymore and everybody is “us”. I don’t remember anywhere reading that Akbar became Akbar Agrawal or Aurngzeb- Aurngzeb Gupta? How did they become us? By inducting Hindu girls in their harams as wives or sex slaves?
If British Empire had survived for a century more, Dr. Tharoor would have been saying the exact same thing for the British Raj. They became us!
As a matter of fact, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi popularly know as Mahatma Gandhi, was very eager to become a part of them; learnt the language, moved to England; immersed in their lifestyle; became a barrister; started doing their bidding; even raised an army for them; but unfortunately somebody threw him out of a train in South Africa shattering his dream of becoming one of them. Looks like his return to India and his struggle was less for the sake of nationalism but more out of revenge; his crushed pride. Had he not been thrown out of the train, he might have very well fought alongside British instead of Indians. He had already fought along Brits in the Second Boer War in 1899-1902 and Zulu War in 1906 as a Seargent-Major of the British Army.
Or probably he did become one of them but pretended to be one us, that would explain why he expelled Bose and did not support Bhagat Singh and many other things that are a taboo to talk about.
The point is, this movie, which unfortunately is one of its kind has punctured the very imagined reality that by now had become one and the only reality. There was no Rahim Chacha in the movie, but there was an Abdul, the neighbor who reveals the hiding place. There was no lost, confused, victim of the situation militant, but there was a terrorist who was crystal clear on what he was doing and why. There was no love, peace or harmony, but there was a child being beaten for cheering Sachin. There was no Durga falling in love with Sardar Khan, but there was Sharda who was being sawed in two halves for not falling in line.
The people who are agitated are not agitated because of the movie but are agitated because of the very fact that they were living a lie all these years. How would you feel if you were told that you know absolutely nothing? Or whatever you know is a lie? Everybody has got some ego.. isn’t it? How can we be so wrong? That’s not possible. That’s why I say, you should not watch it if you think you know it all!
By the way, this concept of Imagined Realities and us vs them; I did not invent it. It has been in existence for long. You could have a look at a book called Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari, it explains beautifully these ideas.