On November 29, Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid, invited as a jury member at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), labeled the acclaimed Indian film The Kashmir Files “vulgar” and “propaganda.” He said that he was “shocked” and “disturbed” by the film’s inclusion in the competition. This tone-deaf comment by the filmmaker, who has a long history of peddling leftist and Islamist narratives, was not just insensitive and offensive to the people of his host country; it also mad a mockery of the suffering of the Kashmiri Hindus, who went through even worse than what is showcased in the movie.
If Lapid doesn’t have the gall to admit the ugly, frightening, hideous truth, he should not agree to grace the jury’s seat. One needs stronger intestinal fortitude to face reality which, unfortunately, is not always comforting. Uninformed comments such as those made by Lapid don’t just negate the suffering of genuine victims; they embolden the perpetrators to continue their rampages with impunity.
Just days after his offensive comments on the portrayal of the Kashimi Hindu genocide went viral, the Kashmir Fight blog, a mouthpiece of The Resistance Front (TRF), released a hit list that featured the names of 57 Kashmiri Hindus. The Resistance Front is Pakistan’s new terror outfit in the region, and is recognized as an offshoot of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) jihad terror group. The Kashmiri Hindus named on the TRF’s hit list are teachers employed under the Prime Minister’s Rehabilitation Package (PMRP). The package is an attempt to rehabilitate Hindus whose families were driven out of their homes by Muslims some three decades ago. Muslims who have settled in the Valley detest the Hindus and are aggravated by the endeavor to bring them back to their land. Hence the threatening letter.
The Islamic terror organization declares in the open letter that it will continue attacking Kashmir’s Hindus. It raged about non-locals and Kashmiri Hindus stealing employment opportunities from the locals and grabbing their land. The fact that Kashmiri Muslims enjoy the undisputed right to work and engage in trade anywhere across the length and breadth of India needs to be highlighted here, because the sentiments of hate reflected in the threat letter were not challenged or refuted by any Kashmiri Muslims. The land these Muslims accuse the “non-locals” of grabbing always belonged to the Hindus, who were tortured and tormented until they left. Land grabbing is, in fact, an art in which these Muslims excel, and the landscape of Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan bears abundant testimony to this.
The Islamic terror group complained that the government was imposing a “fascist” Hindutva ideology on the Kashmiris and their homeland, and asserted that it would not tolerate this. TRF also accused the Hindus of “maligning the atmosphere of the valley,” and vowed to take them down.
“We once again want to warn such elements not to become pawns of Delhi Regime and don’t become the carriers of their filthy and fascist agenda,” read the open letter.
The letter has instilled fear among Hindu teachers and other Kashmiri Pandits employed in various government offices. Several Kashmir-based Hindu journalists have also resigned from their place of work after seeing their names on the hit list. Some Kashmiri Pandit associations have expressed serious concerns about the hit list, and Hindus in the valley have staged protests, but is that enough?
There’s not much that a group of Hindus and their peaceful protests can do in the face of ferocious Muslim ire. They know that these open letters are not empty threats. Islamic jihadis have taken down about 24 Hindus in the past year, including teachers and other government employees. Some of the victims were locals; some were from other states.
In October, a farmer named Puran Krishan Bhat was gunned down on his way to an orchid in Sophian. His death triggered a fresh wave of terror among his community members, prompting ten Hindu families to abandon their land and find safety in Jammu. In August, two pundits were fired upon by “unidentified” attackers while working in their orchards.
Such instances have become so dreadfully regular that they seldom make it to the front page. They are mostly lost in tiny paragraphs at the corner of the fifth page of the daily newspaper. There’s an entire Islamic machinery working to ensure that these stories don’t reach a wider audience. People such as Nadav Lapid are the petty enablers of this machinery. They go all-out to kill any report of the Hindus’ plight and Islamic barbarity. They shout loudly and with no civility till they silence the victims, shame them, and convince them never to share the truth with the world.