Bollywood movie, "The Kashmir Files," which covers the religious cleansing of Kashmir with the mass exodus and massacres of Hindus from the Muslim-majority region, will be banned in Singapore.
According to local media on Monday, the reasoning is because the film has been assessed to be beyond the country's film classification guidelines.
Singaporean authorities have assessed the Hindi-language film to be beyond the island country’s film classification guidelines, said the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) in a joint statement with the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
The film will be refused classification for its provocative and one-sided portrayal of Muslims and the depictions of Hindus being persecuted in the ongoing conflict in Kashmir, the authorities told Channel News Asia.
These representations have the potential to cause enmity between different communities, and disrupt social cohesion and religious harmony in our multiracial and multi-religious society, they said.
Singaporean authorities refused classification of The Kashmir Files for “its provocative and one-sided portrayal of Muslims and the depictions of Hindus being persecuted in the on-going conflict in Kashmir”.
The film’s representations “have the potential to cause enmity between different communities, and disrupt social cohesion and religious harmony in our multiracial and multi-religious society,” they said.
Under the film classification guidelines, “any material that is denigrating to racial or religious communities in Singapore” will be refused classification.
The Vivek Agnihotri-directed movie, being screened in India since March to mixed reviews, is based on the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Kashmir Valley in the 1990s due to terrorism.
The film, written and directed by Agnihotri, stars Anupam Kher, Mithun Chakraborty, and Pallavi Joshi in lead roles.
Given the lack of stars, serious subject, and little promotion, the film wasn't expected to do this well. However, strong word-of-mouth saw this film break daily records day after day in its first two weeks.
The Exodus of Kashmiri Hindus, or Pandits, is their early-1990 flight from the Muslim-majority Kashmir valley in Indian-administered Kashmir following rising violence in an insurgency. Of a total Pandit population of 120,000–140,000 some 90,000-100,000 left the valle and 30–80 were killed.
Militancy in Kashmir increased after the exodus, and militants targeted properties of Kashmiri Hindus.
Indian Home Ministry data records 1,406 Hindu civilian fatalities from 1991 to 2005. Jammu and Kashmir government stated that 219 members of the Hindu Pandit community had been killed between 1989 and 2004 and none thereafter.
The Panun Kashmir organization has published a list of about 1,341 Hindus killed since 1990. The local organisation of Hindus in Kashmir, Kashmir Pandit Sangharsh Samiti (KPSS) after carrying out a survey in 2008 and 2009, said that 399 Kashmiri Hindus were killed by insurgents from 1990 to 2011 with 75% of them being killed during the first year of the Kashmiri insurgency, and that during the last 20 years, about 650 Hindus have been killed in the valley.