Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar said on Thursday, 31 March, that the recently-released film The Kashmir Files "should not have been cleared for screening".
This comes days after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) promotion of the film, leading to vandalism outside his house by BJP workers.
"Such a film should not have been cleared for screening. But it is given tax concessions and those responsible for keeping the country united are encouraging people to watch the film that stokes anger among people," Pawar was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
He also charged at the BJP for creating a "poisonous atmosphere" through the release of the film, adding that the party was indulging in "false propaganda" about the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits during the 1990s.
Don't Stoke Anger Against Minorities: Pawar
While the NCP chief did admit that Kashmiri Pandits had to escape from the valley, he said that Muslims were also not spared. "Pakistan-based terror groups were responsible for the attacks on Kashmiri Pandits and Muslims," Pawar added.
He also argued that if the central government was really concerned about the well-being of Kashmiri Pandits, it should initiate efforts for their rehabilitation instead of stoking anger against minority communities, The Indian Express reported.
Pawar also slammed the BJP for blaming India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru for the exodus of the pandits, adding that VP Singh was the PM when the incident in the Kashmir Valley unfolded.
"The VP Singh government was backed by the BJP. Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was the home minister and Jagmohan, who later contested the Lok Sabha polls from Delhi as a BJP candidate, was the governor of Jammu and Kashmir," Pawar emphasised, adding that it was Governor Jagmohan who actually expedited the exodus of the pandits.
(With inputs from The Indian Express.)
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