The ongoing controversy over The Kashmir Files has no end in sight with Congress MP Shashi Tharoor slamming its director Vivek Agnihotri and actor Anupam Kher for dragging his late wife into the row. The Parliamentarian asserted that he had never “mocked” the sufferings of Kashmiri Pandits.
The war of words started after Tharoor shared a news report on Twitter saying The Kashmir Files has been banned in Singapore. "Film promoted by India's ruling party, #KashmirFiles, banned in Singapore," he tweeted.
Reacting to this, Agnihotri said Tharoor should stop making fun of Kashmiri Hindu genocide. He also sought to remind the Thiruvananthapuram MP that Singapore is the most regressive censor in the world.
"Dear fopdoodle, gnashnab @ShashiTharoor, FYI, Singapore is most regressive censor in the world. It even banned The Last Temptations of Jesus Christ (ask your madam) Even a romantic film called #TheLeelaHotelFiles will be banned. Pl stop making fun of Kashmiri Hindu Genocide," Agnihotri tweeted.
In a following post, he told the Congress leader to delete his tweet, asking if his late wife Sunanda Pushkar was a Kashmiri Hindu.
"Hey @ShashiTharoor, Is this true that Late Sunanda Pushkar was a Kashmiri Hindu? Is the enclosed SS true? If yes, then in Hindu tradition, to respect the dead, you must delete your tweet and apologise to her soul," Agnihotri tweeted.
Anupam Kher, who played a crucial role in the film, also took to the micro-blogging site and asked Tharoor to show some sensitivity towards the Kashmiri Pandits at least for his late wife's sake.
"Dear @ShashiTharoor! Your callousness towards #KashmiriHindus genocide is tragic. If nothing else at least for #Sunanda's sake who was a Kashmiri herself you should show some sensitivity towards #KashmiriPandits & not feel victorious about a country banning #TheKashmirFiles!" Anupam Kher tweeted.
Tharoor later issued a statement on Twitter, saying he had not made any comment on the content of the film since he had not watched it.
"I tweeted a factual news item this morning, with no comment on its contents or on the film "The Kashmir Files", which I have not seen. At no point did I "mock" or disparage the sufferings of Kashmiri Pandits, of whose plight I am intimately aware, and to which I have repeatedly drawn attention over the years," the Congress MP said.
He further said that dragging his wife into this matter was unwarranted and contemptible. “No one is more aware of her views than I am. I have accompanied her to the destroyed ruins of her ancestral home in Bomai, near Sopore, and joined her in conversations with her Kashmiri neighbours and friends, both Muslim and Hindu. One thing I know, unlike those attempting to exploit her when she is not around to speak for herself: She believed in reconciliation, not hate,” he said.
Sunanda Pushkar was found dead in her room at a luxury hotel in New Delhi on January 17, 2014.
Written and directed by Agnihotri and produced by Zee Studios, The Kashmir Files depicts the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the valley in the 1990s. It stars Anupam Kher, Darshan Kumar, Mithun Chakraborty and Pallavi Joshi among others.