[Reader-list] Sanjay Kak's response

rashneek kher rashneek at gmail.com
Tue Aug 28 08:57:32 IST 2007

Dear Shivam,

Now that you wish to restore sanity in here...by calling the other view
bigoted.May I ask you how if the terrorists who bombed Hyderabad are caught
and walk free one day and someone makes a movie glorifying them as freedom
fighters..how would you react(both as an individual and a journalist).It is
not enough to comment,look into things from a proper perspective.No one here
is against Kashmiri Muslims.Infact as a Pandit they are our own
people.Wefeel their pain and suffering but someone chooses Yasin Malik
as the mascot
/specimen even their most ardent supporters would not look the other way.
I would clarify it once again that we are not against Sanjay screening his
movie.Had that been the case not even one screening could have happened
We acted against his movie because he got our screening blocked.Thats it.
Look at the kind of statements he is making after screenings about
Pandits.As a journalist you have to be more incisive than an ordinary



On 8/28/07, Shivam Vij <mail at shivamvij.com> wrote:
> The heated discussions here about the screening of Sanjay Kak's film
> allegedly over another film have left me wondering about Sanjay Kak's
> response. Sure enough - it is there on the Jash-e-Azadi blog, and my
> apologie if someone has already pointed that out. I take the liberty
> to post it here in its entirety in the hope that some of this malice
> will be put to rest and good sense will prevail - thouh I know that is
> not going to happen!
> I find Sanjay's response convincing and it doesn't even need to be
> said the attacks on the film are utterly bigoted. But Sanjay's
> response moves me to urge him to make the entire film available online
> for free, should this be feasible. Let them go to the police and have
> YouTube blocked, many thousand will raise their hands for free speech.
> best
> shivam
> o o o o o o o
> [ blogflash 14 : heavy handed criticism! ]
> http://kashmirfilm.wordpress.com/2007/08/24/blogflash-14-heavy-handed-criticism/
> This morning there was a call from the Hauz Khas Police Station, from
> Station House Officer Kukreti, asking if there was a screening of the
> film planned for later in the day at a college in their jurisdiction.
> (There was one planned, as part of the ongoing film-club run within
> this undergraduate institution by the media students. And this was the
> second call: last evening Sub Inspector Rajiv Kumar from the same
> Police Station had called.)
> Once again, like in Mumbai, the anxieties of the police were fuelled
> by a specific "tip-off": they had received a two-page written
> complaint informing them that the film was being screened without a
> censor certificate, and invoked a past history of provocation–
> starting from a 'noisy' screening at the Habitat Center Film Club, and
> all the way up to the 'dvd seizure' by the Mumbai Police only three
> weeks ago. The complaint (by one Sunil Tikoo) was comprehensive, and
> included images of the Mumbai 'seizure' (probably downloaded from this
> very blog!) and helpfully accompanied by my cell phone number.
> So instead of previewing the film with the students, I have an
> afternoon off to write this. And contemplate how you can disrupt
> screenings, then make those disruptions the grounds to create further
> disruptions. Must make sense to someone!
> What I also still fail to understand is the sheer energy with which a
> group of people have been tracking the film around, filing written
> complaints about it, following the complaints up with the police,
> scanning the net for news of more "illegal" screenings… I mean what
> are they afraid of? If this film doesn't meet the standards that
> people have set for documentary films, surely viewers will just
> dismiss it and move on? The largest screening we've done recently was
> at the Osian Cine-fan festival last month in New Delhi: from the
> evidence of the screening and the Q&A, people were moved – and
> disturbed – by the film. And the evidence from previews in 10 cities
> doesn't seem to suggest that viewers – or indeed the press – have been
> driven into paroxysms of rage, or discontent, nothing.
> So what's up? Why try to come in the way of the film and it's
> audience? Surely if the arguments that the film is making are
> incomplete, flawed, one-sided, whatever, surely people will be able to
> figure that out? Or is the argument about Kashmir in the Indian mind
> so fragile, so constructed, and so hollow, that even one film that
> refuses to buy into that brittle construct is seen as a mortal threat?
> Many of us have spent years talking about State censorship and how we
> must fight it – here the state, in the form of the Mumbai and Delhi
> Police, seems to be doing no more than fulfilling the censorial
> impulses of a section of people. (Which is why I sometimes wonder: is
> this still the State apparatus, but working through the benign cover
> of a section of people? Not easy to figure out.)
> I know the argument has been made that the film represents only
> 'one-side' of the argument. But if this alone were to be grounds for
> stopping films, I can think of a few that would qualify strongly.
> We've seen other 'one-sided' masala films on Kashmir failing to pull
> in even a weeks crowd into a cinema theatre (can't remember the title,
> but could it be Barf?). There are other equally one-dimensional
> non-fiction compilations that have to be shoved down people's throats
> – and still have no takers. So why not let Mother Nature take her
> course – let the strong arguments survive, and the fluff fly away. But
> let the audiences decide. Not the Police. And not the invocation of
> the Censor Board.
> We welcome responses. (Abuse will have to trickle away elsewhere!)
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Rashneek Kher

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