The Kashmir Files is a Bollywood film written and directed by Vivek Agnihotri. It was produced by Zee Studios. The film is based on the Hindu genocide and exodus of Kashmiri Pundits during the Kashmir insurgency. The film was to be released across the world on 26 January 2022, on India’s Republic Day but was unfortunately postponed due to the third wave of the pandemic in India and was finally released on 11 March 2022.
The story starts with 2021 and then flashbacks to the past. In 1989-90 Kashmir, militants forced Kashmiri Hindu Pandits to leave the valley using the slogan ‘Raliv Galiv ya Chaliv’ ("convert, leave or die"). The militant commander Farooq Malik Bitta was a former student of Pushkar Nath who breached Pushkar Nath's house and shoots his son who was hiding in a rice container. Pushkar and his daughter-in-law Sharda pleaded for their lives. Bitta compels Sharda to eat the blood-soaked rice in exchange for their lives.
In the present day, Sharda's younger son Krishna was brought up by Pushkar. He believed that his parents had died in an accident. When Krishna was studying in the University, he was under the influence of Professor Radhika Menon who believed in the ‘Kashmir cause. Pushkar had four friends — Brahma Dutt, Mahesh Kumar, Hari Narain and Vishnu Ram. They served in Kashmir when Pushkar's son was killed. They recall the events of Kashmir from their memory which Brahma called ‘genocide’. To know more, you need to watch the film.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had endorsed and promoted the film. It was declared tax-free in multiple BJP ruled states, and several Chief Ministers and Members of Parliament urged for "everyone to watch the movie". Union Minister Smriti Irani was most vocal in promoting the film. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi, also urged people to watch this film and had also attacked critics who gave negative reviews, and claimed that there was a great conspiracy to discredit the film, which according to him "reveals the truth".
A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed by an Uttar Pradesh resident who sought a stay on the film's release on grounds that the film may portray the Muslims as killers of the Kashmiri pandits, presenting what it described as a one-sided view that would hurt the sentiments of Muslims and could trigger violence against Muslims. The PIL was dismissed by the Bombay High Court on technical grounds. Another lawsuit was filed by the widow of an Indian Armed Forces squadron leader who died during the Kashmir Insurgency. The widow's lawsuit said that the film portrayed a false depiction of events vis-a-vis the husband and sought a stay on its release. Accordingly, the court restrained the makers from showing relevant scenes.
Though they were other big releases in the theatres, the film's collection showed no signs of dropping. It earned Rs. 60.20 crore in five days. The film stars Anupam Kher, Darshan Kumar, Mithun Chakraborty and Pallavi Joshi.
The Kashmir Files earned Rs. 47.85 crore at the worldwide box office, and it showed tremendous growth. The film clocked in Rs. 18 crore on its fifth day, taking the total collection to Rs. 60.20 crore worldwide. The second-week collection of Vivek Agnihotri’s film was expected to be more than what the film earned this week. We are sure it would enter the Rs. 100-crore club soon. All eyes are now set on the Holi holiday. It would also be interesting to watch it compete with Akshay Kumar's Bachchhan Pandey that will release on March 18.
Many critics called this film a ‘box office tsunami’. I sure will watch this movie, when I get the tickets.