Indian movie on Kashmiri Pandits catches UN attention

By IANS
3/31/2004 12:00:00 AM
Even before its release in India, the first-ever Hindi commercial movie on the plight of Kashmiri Pandits, "Sheen", has caught the attention of the United Nations.

Impressed by the much-publicized subject of "Sheen", the UN has decided to screen the film, which depicts Kashmir's victims of terrorism, at its Human Rights Conference at Geneva on April 8.

The UN has invited "Sheen" director Ashok Pandit to screen its international version with English subtitles at the meet. Pandit described the offer as the "highest award one could get for the movie even before its release".

"Sheen", which is Pandit's directorial debut, is a film that speaks about the advent of pan-Islamic terrorism in Kashmir and how the minority community became its target.

It also focuses on violation of human rights of Kashmiri Pandit migrants.

"Around 350,000 Kashmiri Pandits migrated from the Kashmir valley in 1990 after the minority community was threatened and several members were killed by the terrorists," Pandit told IANS.

"The film has been selected by the United Nations because it talks about the real victims of terrorism and human rights violation. This is the only movie that does not glorify a terrorist or violence but shows the real truth," he said.

A Sahara Mass Communications presentation, "Sheen" means snow in Kashmiri language.

"The title is symbolic of the fire and heat beneath the snow that engulfs Kashmir and which uprooted the pandits from their homes," Pandit explained.

Raj Babbar plays the lead role in the film along with actress Sheen and model-turned-actor Tarun Arora.

Nadeem-Shravan has composed the music of the film and the lyrics are written by Sameer. The film is slated for its all India release on April 16.

"Sheen" has not been shot in Kashmir as the director believed he did not want to show a "blatant lie" that the situation had changed in valley.

Normalisation of conditions in Kashmir would mean the pandits were returning to valley, he argued. Several faces of Kashmir have been exposed in "Sheen", he said.