Mumbai, Jan 30 (IANS) Filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra believes his upcoming film “Shikara”, on the Kashmiri Pandit exodus of 1989 and 1990 from the Kashmir Valley, is not just a film but a movement. He added that the film is tribute to Kashmiri Pandits and their mothers.
“Real refugees have worked in this film. This is not (happening) just in India, but all around the world where people who have gone through a certain tragedy, have been associated with a film based on their life. I feel it will not happen ever again. The film is a tribute to the Pandit community — to us and to our mothers, and I want you guys (the media) to tell the whole world to come and see what happened to us. It’s been 30 years but no one made a film on this subject. It was like someone tried to hide our story. I feel this film is not a movie but it’s a movement,” said Chopra, himself a Kashmiri pandit.
The Kashmiri Pandit exodus happened as a result of the community being targeted by Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) and Islamist insurgents in late 1989 and early 1990.
Chopra was interacting with the media at a special screening of his film, where he was present with the film’s lead actors Aadil Khan and Sadia, besides writer Abhijat Joshi, and lyricist Irshad Kamil. Vijay Singh, CEO, Fox Star Studios, was also present on behalf of the producers.
It was his mother who told Chopra to make a film on the subject, the filmmaker revealed. “I feel it’s the story of all of us (Kashmiri Pandits). Our homes were snatched away from us but we stood on our feet with courage. I feel this story is not a story of just one mother. My mother inspired me to make this film. Before she died, she told me that if possible, make a film on Kashmir. She passed away in 2007 and in 2008, I completed first draft of this film,” he said.
The director, who made “Mission Kashmir” in 2000 on the subject of terrorism in the state, said: “It’s been 11 years since then and (scriptwriter) Abhijat Joshi has worked with me on this film for five to six years. We did a lot of hard work for this film and we are proud of the film. We wanted to show people what happened with us (Kashmiri Pandits) and how, despite that, we are standing on our feet. There is hope in our lives and we are settled here. We are not beggars and we are not asking for any help from the government, and that’s really a big thing.”
“Shikara” is set to release on February 7.