After a complaint from from the Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Youtube has blocked 'Anthem for Kashmir', a 9-minute short film on human rights violations in the Valley for viewing.
Directed by Kerala-based documentary filmmaker Sandeep Rabindranath, and launched by Anand Patwardhan and vocalist T M Krishna, the movie is described as a "sensitive music film".
It features a Tamil protest song.
According to a report by The News Minute, the short video visually alludes to enforced disappearances and military excesses int he region, and was released on 12 May, 2022.
In a tweet on Monday, 11 July, Krishna expressed, "We are a democracy where various responses and questions must be allowed to be expressed. All of us need not always agree with the artist. But if we are unable to even listen to another point of view then we are no different from the countries we call intolerant."
In an interview with The Wire at the time of the short's release, Rabindranath spoke on the origins of the project, and said, "I have friends in Kashmir; they had a whole period of shutdown when there was no way of reaching them. I think it grew organically from then; we had all these images we were seeing at the time...barbed wire, pellet gun victims, funerals – all these images. So it grew from there."
FFSI Condemns Ban
Protesting the geo-ban, the Federation of Film Societies of India (FFSI) has, meanwhile, stated that Rabindranath's work in a "honest narrative on Kashmir’s current scenario," The New Indian Express reported.
"The film portrays the silent cries of Kashmir’s border villages where the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) is in force,” said FFSI Kerala region president Chelavoor Venu.
(With inputs from The News Minute, The New Indian Express and The Wire.)