These days, a petition can be seen being shared on the internet regarding SS Rajamouli’s RRR. This is a kind of unique petition also because the platform on which it is on usually has not seen any campaign for any masala entertainer in the recent past. If the campaign was run for films like Karanan, Sardar Udham, Sarpatta Parambarai or Mandela, then it would have been understandable. But why does a successful masala entertainer like RRR in Indian cinema need such a campaign? The petition is being run from the platform of http://change.org India . There may be more such campaigns on other platforms. If not, then it can be said with so much impunity that till the time India’s entry for the Oscars is decided, many such and various other kind of campaigns would be witnessed.

The ongoing campaign regarding RRR on the http://change.org India platform is indeed a curiosity. The details with which the petition is on the respective platform- it was told that RRR is the best film of India in the year 2022 and it should be accepted. Also because the film has got positive reviews, has broken box office records and has also done more than 1000 crores business worldwide. The petition has directly requested the Film Federation of India to send Rajamouli’s directorial and Jr NTR and Ramcharan starrer RRR as India’s official entry in the upcoming Oscars.

Let’s accept it, RRR is the best Indian film of 2022. Besides garnering positive reviews, the movie broke records at the box office, earning over Rs 1000 crore worldwide.

Therefore, I request the Film Federation of India to nominate the SS Rajamouli directorial, starring Jr NTR and Ram Charan, as India’s official entry for the upcoming edition of Oscars.

In fact, this platform usually appears to campaign on many social issues around the world such as humanitarian, labor, racial, environmental and gender equality. Change.org also describes itself as a platform, committed to all socially challenging issues around the world. Its aim is to empower people engaged in the direction of change. Now the ‘Food for Thought’ is that what kind of change will happen with ‘RRR’ going to the Oscars and who is being empowered? Who’s cause is being served through the petition? Do the petitions being run in favor of the film on platforms like Change.org mean more than what is apparent, what is unclear and what is not visible?

The real character of Bollywood, films being sent to the Oscars for past these many years and the international interest suddenly being shown in favor of RRR in recent times compels us to explore many other aspects. The artificial appearance of these campaign raises doubts. Obviously, because all these things are not looking quite natural. Actually RRR reaches the Oscars or goes to hell – the motive behind the petition is not to get the film an Oscar. Actually, here RRR is being used as a weapon to serve vested political interests through it. The only purpose of the petition is to prevent ‘The Kashmir Files’ from reaching the Oscars under any circumstances. And the petition on change.org is not the first and not the last attempt in this direction. Since the release of ‘The Kashmir Files’, the discussion of sending it officially to the Oscars had started. There is no doubt that the government may do the same until otherwise under any ‘people’s pressure’.

Anupam Kher in The Kashmir Files.

The Kashmir Files had made it difficult for anyone from Kashmir to Kanyakumari object to the Vivek Agnihotri’s venture, barring a section that is on the edges and has become irrelevant in Indian society and politics. There was a strong and clear public campaign on the ground regarding the film. Now, The Kashmir Files can be stopped only when another best film for the Oscars is put in front of it and the government succumbs to pressure due to vote bank politics. Oscar has suddenly become an opportunity to the faction that has become irrelevant in Indian society and politics, which currently seeks to hit multiple targets with a single arrow.

A – The neverending South and Bollywood debates which has brought the select Hindi producers, actors and other film makers in a business crisis could be again entangled in the North Vs. South debate on the pretext of The Kashmir Files and RRR and back into their agenda-oriented creative illusion . Second – the narrative and propaganda of human rights, freedom struggle, oppression by the Indian armed forces that has been prevailing in international forums for decades – needs to be kept afloat and running on those forums and foreign lands. It is no secret that Pakistan gets all the funds because of its ability to keep India unstable on religious and political lines in the entire country including Kashmir. This is a huge source of its foreign exchange, which has now proved to be almost useless because of its inability to give desired results.

If The Kashmir Files make its entry into these film festivals and opens up a debate at the Oscars, it also means that the intellectual taint of separatists and terrorists getting exposed to the world. Also because prior to the release of the movie, many common Indians did not knew much about all these aspects of Kashmir. They didn’t knew much about the systematic genocide of non-Muslim Kashmiris; how they couldn’t write a book about these issues, their unending struggles, their long legal battles due to various types of barriers. But Vivek Agnihotri’s film made sure that all these sufferings of the Kashmiri Hindu community reaches the audience and the air around these things gets clear and clear in a jiffy. An endless tale of persecution that was in no way less than the historical experience of the Jews. On the basis of cinematic parameters, there should be no doubt that anyone can ignore The Kashmir Files from reaching the Oscars. The impact this film has made in India can also be international if it gets a platform and that’s what the lobby has been fearful off.

The Kashmir Files

When the film came out and it turned out to be a blockbuster hit – I was also wondering what was in the movie? When I saw it for the first time, it seemed that it wasn’t just a collage of some incidents. I may had read about all these incidents and in my capacity as an editor, I might had published many stories of oppression of Kashmiris as a part of History. While the heart contemplated something, the mind would have often taken it somewhere else. Never tried to know the side of Kashmiris. On the contrary, also sometimes was influenced by the opposite views too. But when the announcement of the film was made, I went out to listen to their sides of these native Kashmiris. After reading dozens of incidental video-articles and reputed books (which the Left have also recognized) I felt that how much I have wronged my fellow brethren. Like me, many people were ignorant about Kashmir. What has been shown in the film is not air! Rather inhumanity has rarely been shown or shown on much smaller scale. Things had been far more frightening than the movie itself then.

The thing which shook the audience was, that all this happened in the country and the cries that are heard about Kashmir – but the tune of that time was completely different. When I saw it again, I felt that this movie was a wonderful exhibition of craft. The movie has no climax in it and also the screenplay is pretty flat. No twist and turns in the movie. Despite this, the craft is in many ways more experimental than Spielberg’s Schindler’s list. What usually happens is that the climax almost determines the conversation and the subject of the film. Generally, a kind of ‘closed circle’. But The Kashmir Files in its texture has the ability to open closed doors. And this quality made the film a success. Despite not being in the entertaining category, it stunned people just because of its dialogue ability. The power of dialogue makes The Kashmir Files one of the magnum opus of Indian cinema.

This film has full potential which will pave the way to end the anti-India foreign politics regarding Kashmir forever and ever. The film can be expected to change the international debate on Kashmir and its agenda. Perhaps after this, Kashmir will not be the same like before in Indian politics. Anyway, after Article 370, despite all the efforts of the opposition, Kashmir has now become an irrelevant issue in Indian politics. However, if you want to understand, you can understand better than the essential analysis of Shekhar Gupta here . So it should not be surprising that stopping The Kashmir Files in India has become the primary task of all the indigenous and foreign factions. How will the film be stopped? Now the question is how will the film stop – that too a film like The Kashmir Files.

RRR

It will stop when another big film is set in front of it and a reactionary politics flourishes in its favour. And such public sentiment should be created in his favor that the government should refrain from taking honest decisions. Only RRR comes in this scale, not KGF2. Because when the RRR, fueled by nationalist sentiments, stands in front of the Kashmir Files as a rival, the marginalized section of Indian society and politics gets oxygen. How will any Indian oppose the content of RRR? Even if the government does not choose RRR, then the old debate of Hindi vs South for ‘North-South divide’ will be revived on this pretext.

Various systematic international efforts are being made to make RRR stand out as a rival. Keep watching the western media which has been working in a tremendous way. A magazine named Variety has released its Oscar prediction list, in the Contenders and Best Picture categories which includes RRR. Junior NTR has been included for Best Actor. Earlier, many British, American and Canadian filmmakers have praised RRR. In the eyes of filmmakers who shrink their nose from Indian films, they have never seen such magical films till date. There are many international reactions that are not really trying to create an atmosphere for RRR at the Oscars but to stop The Kashmir Files. Just the name of Kashmir files is not being taken directly. Anurag Kashyap was simply being silly as he had taken the name directly.

As far as Bollywood is concerned, its policy makers in no way want The Kashmir Files to travel till the Oscars. How films are sent to the Oscars and how they are stopped – many examples of this will be found in Bollywood. Examples are abound of how they have operated under international agendas and influence India’s interests for business gains. If you want to investigate, an example can be given in the context of Kashmir itself. People ask that if terrorists continue to commit massacres in Kashmir extensively, then why we could not understand them, where were the media leaders. The story of The Kashmir Files is from the post 90 era in the valley. In an era when the Valley was witnessing massacres/emigrations for religious reasons (not only Kashmiri Pandits, Sikhs and all castes of Hindus were also victims) – what was Bollywood doing and what was happening for the Oscars then?

Bollywood was actually then making ‘Hina’, a story of international love written by Khwaja Ahmed Abbas. The film was produced and directed by the showman called Raj Kapoor. This is the same blue-eyed Raj Kapoor who was made the apple of the eye by Communist Russia. He was loved by everyone from socialist Nehru to Indira and Rajiv. Socialist Raj Kapoor used to sit and watch matches with Dawood Ibrahim in Dubai till a few years before he took time out from his busy schedule to make ‘Hina’. It has been the mischief of Anil Kapoor’s opponents that that historical picture with Dawood was cropped and published on most occasions and Raj Kapoor sitting with other dignitaries just two rows ahead of terrorist Dawood Ibrahim, who carried out the terrorist attacks on Mumbai, was cropped. Through it was taken out of the frame.

By the way, Raj Kapoor died before the film was made. His elder son Randhir did the film. Randhir was the producer and his younger brother Rishi Kapoor was the hero of the film. Rishi Kapoor went to Pakistan before the film was made. Then Hina was made like an event as if the borders between India and Pakistan would be broken after this film because people of both the countries apart from politicians want so. Even smaller things related to the film were celebrated. What was happening in Kashmir – people may not know, but the sensation of Jeba Bakhtiyar making her Bollywood debut in the Hindi belt was so much before the film that people look for her after Hina till date, even though she is nowhere to be seen.

More interestingly, Hina, who came in 1991, was also sent to the Oscars. Whereas there is nothing like this in Rishi Kapoor’s film. If you see, you will beat your head. A much better film than this came exactly a year later – Bol Radha Bol. At least all the songs of the film give a tremendous feel. This very evil of Bollywood has not stopped till date….

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