Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid’s remark against the controversial film The Kashmir Files has triggered a political storm. While leaders from the ruling BJP have lashed out at Lapid for calling the film “vulgar” and “propaganda”, many from the Opposition have praised him for daring to speak the truth.
Lapid, who was invited to chair the panel of judges at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) had also said that he was “shocked” and “disturbed” by the film’s inclusion in the competitive section.
Reacting to Lapid’s statement, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Tuesday said, “It’s true about Kashmir Files. There was propaganda by one party against another. A party & Govt was busy with publicity. But maximum number of killings in Kashmir occurred after this film. Kashmir Pandits, security personnel were killed”.
It’s true about #KashmirFiles. There was propaganda by one party against another. A party&Govt was busy with publicity. But maximum number of killings in Kashmir occurred after this film.Kashmir Pandits, security personnel were killed: Sanjay Raut on IFFI Jury Head’s remark (1/2) pic.twitter.com/j38lbHfan2
— ANI (@ANI) November 29, 2022
The Congress attacked the government over Lapid’s remark, calling it an “embarrassment” and saying that hate eventually gets called out.
“PM Modi, his govt, BJP, the RW ecosystem feverishly promoted ‘The Kashmir Files’ A movie rejected by International Film Festival Of India. Jury Head Nadav Lapid called it ‘propaganda, vulgar movie – inappropriate for the film festival’,” Congress spokesperson and head of the party’s social media department Supriya Srinate said. “Hate gets called out, eventually,” she said in a tweet late Monday night.
In a tweet on Tuesday, another Congress spokesperson Shama Mohamed said, “International Film Festival Of India Jury President Nadav Lapid calls ‘The Kashmir Files’ vulgar propaganda. In a bid to polarise the people of India, the BJP govt went all out in promoting the movie, resulting in a huge embarrassment for India on the international scale!”
Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi said that ’it is obvious for anyone to understand that Nadav Lapid at no point denied the Kashmiri Pandit exodus or dismissed it’.
The comments he made were about the way one movie that was nominated, namely, the Kashmir Files has treated the subject of the unfortunate events &made it a propaganda film; he spoke of the discomfort of the other jury members too. 2/
— Priyanka Chaturvedi🇮🇳 (@priyankac19) November 29, 2022
BJP’s Amit Malviya, however, compared Lapid’s condemnation of “The Kashmir Files” to the denial of the Holocaust.
“For the longest time, people even denied the Holocaust and called Schindler’s List a propaganda, just like some are doing to Kashmir Files. Truth eventually triumphs, no matter what,” the party’s IT department head said.
Israel’s Ambassador responds to compatriot filmmaker Nadav Lapid’s criticism of Kashmir Files. For the longest time, people even denied the Holocaust and called Schindler’s List a propaganda, just like some are doing to Kashmir Files.
Truth eventually triumphs, no matter what… https://t.co/duU36qNjDg
— Amit Malviya (@amitmalviya) November 29, 2022
Meanwhile, Lapid’s fellow juror Sudipto Sen has now tweeted the IFFI board’s statement, saying the comments were his personal opinions and not a collective opinion of the group.
— Sudipto SEN (@sudiptoSENtlm) November 28, 2022
After Lapid criticised the film, the country’s envoy to India Naor Gilon slammed him, saying he should be “ashamed” as he had “abused in the worst way” the Indian invitation to him to chair the panel of judges at the film festival.
Condemning Lapid’s statement, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said that ‘he should not have used such words’.
I condemn the statement. Israel’s Ambassador also said that he misused the platform. National Film Development Corporation of India (NFDC) will take cognizance of it.He should not have used such words: Goa CM Pramod Sawant on IFFI Jury Head Nadav Lapid’s remarks for #KashmirFiles pic.twitter.com/dF2nbkEzYR
— ANI (@ANI) November 29, 2022
‘The Kashmir Files’, which was released in theatres on March 11, was part of the Indian Panorama Section at IFFI and was screened on November 22.