‘Naqarkhwaney main tootey ke awaaz’

Shiban Khaibri
Many a time, a writer requires words of specific Indian languages to use to convey a point rather forcefully or in absolute sense via literary emphasis or through an often used analogy. That, tiny Singapore (island) has decided to ban Vivek Agnihotri’s movie “The Kashmir Files” as it was ”beyond” Singapore’s film classification guidelines, sounds queer and seems to be driven by sheer absurdity. However, trying to interpret the caption which is in chaste Urdu , it means futility of the feeble voice of a tiny bird in a drum house blaring and trumpeting with loud and heavy sound decibels. Naqarkhwana remains abuzz with loud beating of drums heard far away and amidst that deafening sound, if some stupid bird tries to ”speak” something out , one wonders who can hear it and what importance would such bird get in its pursuit. Singapore’s tumultuous journey right from its slavery of the British to suzerainty of Japan to merger with Malaysia to separation from Malaysia and emerging as a sovereign and independent state have probably made heaps of history books and documents of its rise and fall and a continuous process of scrambling for an economic model that would result in making Singapore a fast developing state and more importantly , how it braced all along racial riots, suffered terror threats and had some terrorist attacks too giving even some minor details about that would mean more of space and time. It is, therefore, beyond comprehension as to why it should, with the stupid ban, suppress facts and facts only.
However, a country with the population of a few lakh reportedly not watching some facts of the persecution, genocide and forcible exodus, lock stock and barrel, of indigenous inhabitants of Kashmir- the Kashmiri Pandits- from their thousands of years’ roots, would make hardly any difference. Not only millions of Indians have watched how those who projected and represented Kashmir in the cogent real sense , even if it is said being as owners of Kashmir – not being any exaggeration or any overstatement , not even in the least, but hundreds of millions of people the world over, have watched this movie with a heavy heart and the process is still going on and amidst that , if 58 lakh Singaporeans do not watch it , what difference does it make? And note, if anything is banned anywhere and in any form, it is used and craved for more than it would have been in the normal course. Kashmir Files is not yet complete . It is still in the making as targeted killing of innocent Kashmiri Pandits is still going on in Kashyp Rishi’s Kashmir and is exposing hateful , narrow minded and bigoted mindset behind it .
What is intriguing is that ”secular” Congress leaders take keen interest in such developments and thus find an opportunity to strengthen appeasement policy . Shashi Tharoor has found the opportunity to target Prime Minister Narendra Modi through the mode of Singaporean ban on Kashmir Files terming it as the “Film promoted by India’s ruling party “. That way, even if his statement is partially true, it means that had very unfortunately there been the Congress Government in the country during the very planning of making the movie, it would have been caused to be aborted right in its conceiving stage let alone giving it a classification certificate . That means what befell the poor ,innocent, highly peaceful , enlightened and patriotic natives of Kashmir in 1989-90 and even thereafter, should have continued to remain in a highly disguised and masked form , shrouded by an indefinite cloak of suppressed facts and finally buried under the debris of the flawed policies of Mr. Nehru and successive Congress Governments or at most, satanically and mischievously termed the so called “migration” due to the manufactured canard of “Jagmohan nay nikaala”.
The year 1986 in the district of Anantnag in Kashmir, it may be recalled, was just a small rehearsal of what was going to be tested and executed in an unprecedented way in 1990. Hindu temples were burned down, desecrated and destroyed in Vanpoh, Luk Bhawan, Salar, Akura, Fatehpur etc. Not only temples but many shops , homes and properties belonging to Kashmiri Hindus were attacked and looted . The silent exodus of Kashmiri Pandits had started right from 1986 to ”safer” places like Udhampur and Jammu. Call it as the first wave of exodus of Kashmiri Pandits mainly from Anantnag. Tharoor and his ilk in the Congress Party do not want it be known by anybody hence feel jubilant over some tiny island like Singapore not inclined to accord certification to the movie which has to some extent revealed the travails of Kashmiri Hindus . It can equally be apprehended that the anti India and anti Hindu lobbies working overnight within and outside the country must have moved heaven and earth in influencing the Singapore government taking a step which goes against the tenets of respecting human rights in that, at least, somewhere having been brazenly violated not to be aired or known through modes like the one under reference. We must not be bothered about the regressive policy of Singaporean Government in respect of the movie but definitely over how Congress leader Tharoor felt euphoric about it. Should he be siding with Indians especially the victim Indians or with foreigners doing something wrong that is core Indian ? The tragedy is that in the burst of jubilation over Singaporean move, he even is reported to have cropped certain unsavoury remarks made by Singapore in respect of Kashmir but shared only that portion which suited him and thus his party.
The frivolous and unsubstantiated ”charge” against the film by Singaporean Government being one sided portrayal of Muslims and the depiction of Hindus being persecuted in the “ongoing conflict ” in Kashmir is mischievously perverted and is tantamount to shutting eyes to the realities. Hence, such biased and brazen one sided view is all swamped with prejudice and glorifying the oppressor. Even after 32 years of perpetual state of exodus and virtually being declared as “persona non grata” , Kashmiri Pandits are selectively killed and while writing these lines, only a day earlier, an employee whose connect with his Kashmir has been not of five or six hundred years but of more than five thousand years, was killed in cold blood while he was busy working on his table in the Government office.
So, Kashmir Files is not complete as yet , it is very unfortunately still in the making . New dimensions are getting added to it or into the sentiments behind it. If Singapore banned the one already made , it cannot possibly ban the other one as and when made since their persecution and denial of live and let live heaped on them in their motherland Kashmir continues. Newer types of threats are scaring those trying to ”adjust” to pass their days in Kashmir. Tourism is at its peak in Kashmir, footfall of tourists is breaking records of decades, developmental projects worth hundreds of crores of Rupees are being executed and built with speed, commerce and trade is humming , number of air flights from and to Srinagar airport is breaking all previous records , schools, colleges and offices are opening and working as usual, frequent ”hartals” are stories of the past , what is, however, all not normal is about the safety, security, liberty and freedom of the original indigenous inhabitants of Kashmir- the Kashmiri Pandits. If Singapore bans Kashmir Files and Congress leaders like Tharoor Ji are rejoicing, take it that it only adds salt into the oozing wounds, excruciating pain and ache of which is duly felt and ”noted” as well. Singapore, instead, should work for abhorring , detesting and openly condemning terrorism of which India is the victim like no other country in the world and for over four decades , Kashmiri Pandits as a result hounded out from Kashmir , the second largest human migration after the partition of 1947.