Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri & Pallavi Joshi
The much-acclaimed filmmakers of The Kashmir Files, a film about the Genocide of Kashmiri Hindus, The Kashmir Files (2022) spoke at the UK Parliament at an event hosted by former Minister, Baroness Sandip Verma and Member of Parliament, Gagan Mohindra. Themed, “India, World Peace and Humanism”, the event marking the importance of freedom of expression and human rights of minorities was attended by a number of Members of Parliaments from both House of Commons and House of Lords as well as local elected Councillors from across the UK.
Parliamentarians across party lines joined Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri and Pallavi Joshi in a frank conversation about freedom, liberty, and humanity extended by virtue of respect towards human rights. Among the Parliamentarians in attendance included Jonathan Lord (MP for Woking; Conservative), Virendra Sharma MP (Southall & Ealing; Labour), Lord Dholakia (Liberal Democrat), Jane Stevenson MP (Wolverhampton North East; Conservative), Henry Smith MP (Crawley; Conservative), Lord Jitesh Gadhia (Non-Affiliated), Navendu Mishra MP (Labour), Theresa Villiers MP (Conservative), and Sam Terry (Ilford South; Labour).
The Kashmir Files is a 2022 Indian Hindi-language film written and directed by Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri. Released only in March of this year, it is already the highest-grossing Hindi movie of 2022, the only Indian movie that has ever been signed for deaf audiences, and is on course to be the most-watched Hindi movie of all time, having crossed 9 million views in the first week of its OTT release alone.
The movie is based on true incidents as narrated in video-recorded testimonials of the victims and the families of the Kashmiri Hindu genocide of 1990. The genocide of the Kashmiri Hindus in Kashmir, India following rising violence in an insurgency resulted in half a million people into forced exile, thousands were killed, many women raped, some cut alive on a chain saw and some drowned in rivers with boulders tied to them. Most recently, such barbarism was seen against Yezidis in Iraq but while Yazidis have gone back to their lands, the Kashmiri Hindus continue to live in exile and those who do try and live in Kashmir are getting killed even today.
Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri & Pallavi Joshi are the first filmmakers invited to address UK Parliament on India, World Peace & Humanism.
The filmmaker highlighted the atrocities inflicted on the Hindus of Kashmir via a short documentary that records first-person accounts of persecuted victims of the Hindu Genocide in Kashmir. The film, The Kashmir Files is the first-ever movie on the silver screen to highlight the plight of the Kashmiri Pandits and their long struggle for justice.
While referring to the controversies surrounding the cancellation of his talk by Oxford Union, Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri talked about the Right to Free Speech and how certain vested interests and anti-India lobbies in the UK were suffocating this basic freedom, thereby denying the Hindus their Genocide in Kashmir. Denial of Genocide, he remarked is as heinous as Genocide itself as Hindus continue to be murdered in the Kashmir valley by Islamist terrorists even till today.
An early day motion, EDM 1095 was tabled by Padmashree Bob Blackman MP in Parliament earlier this year: “The Kashmir Files and recognition of the genocide of Hindu Kashmiris and Indian legislation on genocide and atrocities prevention of genocide of Hindu Kashmiri Pandits in Jammu and Kashmir.”
The text of the Motion reads That this House offers its acknowledgment of the painful and gruesome story of Kashmiri Hindus, as highlighted for the first time on a celluloid cinema screen via the film, The Kashmir Files; congratulates Mr. Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri and Ms. Pallavi Joshi,
The filmmakers for interviewing over 700 Kashmiri Hindu families including several in the UK, hearing their first-person accounts and documenting them, before presenting it on the big screen; is concerned that the Kashmiris who fled persecution have still not seen justice for the atrocities committed against them; commend the resilience and courage shown by the members of Kashmiri Pandit community who survived this gruesome ethnic genocide and who did not resort to taking up arms but instead pursued education and aspiration;
further notes that the international principle of the responsibility to protect obliges individual states and the international community to take effective measures to prevent the commission of genocide and crimes against humanity as suffered by the Kashmiri Hindu community; joins the Prime Minister of India in acknowledging the pain and suffering of the Kashmiri Hindus; urges the Government of India to fulfill its long-standing international commitment to recognize and acknowledge the worst form of genocide of Hindus in Jammu and Kashmir and enact the proposed Panun Kashmir Genocide Crime Punishment and Atrocities Prevention Bill; and further urges the UK Government to extend the UK’s long-standing commitment to protecting the victims of genocide to the Kashmiri Pandits.
Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri is a National award-winning Indian film director, screenwriter, and author and also a member of the board of India’s Central Board of Film Certification and a cultural representative of Indian Cinema at the Indian Council for Cultural Relations.
Pallavi Joshi is a popular Indian actress, writer, and producer. In a career spanning films and television, Pallavi has received two National film awards.