The Kashmir Files and A letter to Vidhu Vinod Chopra || By Col Tej K Tikoo || LIVE IMAGE

Dear Vidhu,                                                                       

I am writing this letter with the hope that it reaches you, somehow.

I wonder if you can place me. Well, I am Tej, with whom you spent some memorable hours on the lush green cricket field of S.P. College, Srinagar, in late sixties. You and me were both part of the formidable cricket team of our college. Later, when I took over as the captain of the team, you continued to be part of the same.

Having reminded of our association, let me also remind you of your house in Vazir Bagh and the magnificent Chinar tree (in your lawn or close by, I don’t recall), whose stem we used as ‘wickets’ to sharpen our rough cricketing edges. On one or two such occasions, your elder brother, Virinder Chopra, an immensely talented cricketer, who is no more now-God bless his soul- would also join us.

Vinod (that is how we knew you then), you will also recall the many happy hours   we spent under the cool shade of the Chinar trees which lined the western edge of the cricket field, eating apples and discussing the cricket legends of that era; Gary Sobers, Ritchie Bennaud, Colin Cowdry, etc.

I also recall that you and your entire family would often visit Khir Bhavani (Tulamulla) to perform Havan. On such occasions, you would invariably miss the net practice sessions.

There is a saying, “You can throw Kashmiris out of Kashmir, but you cannot throw Kashmir out of a Kashmiri’s conscience.” This applies to both of us.

Vinod, over the years, you have established yourself as an outstanding film-maker and have created a niche for yourself by producing highly successful films, which earned huge sums at the box office.

You made two movies on Kashmir: ‘Mission Kashmir’ and ‘Shikara’. In the former, you glorified terrorism in Kashmir and in the latter, you used the Kashmiri Hindu ethnic cleansing from Kashmir in 1989-90, as a backdrop to add sentimental value to your film in order to make it a success.

Vinod, I ask you a few questions:

1.    As a master of the film medium, why did you not tell the world that you can no longer either live in your house in Vazir Bagh or sit under the cool shade (shehjar) of the Chinar trees of your college for any length of time, just because the Jihadis there won’t let you- only because you belong to different faith than theirs.

2.    As a film- maker, whose movies over the years have grossed millions, did you not even think that besides earning money, you also owe it to your country- nay, to the whole humanity, to tell them the truth about the ethnic cleansing of your own family and lakhs of others in 1989-90?

3.    As a Kashmiri, was it not your responsibility to tell the world how Firdous’s Janat (heaven) was turned into a Jhanum (hell)?

What is even more tragically ironic is that it was left to Vivek Agnihotri, a young and not-so-well-known film maker from BIHAR, to tell your and my story to the world. Does this not put you to shame?

Once you said, “It is thirty years since these events took place. Let us say sorry and move on.” Vidhu, I ask you, “Who must say sorry? Those who killed or those who were killed?” Far from saying sorry, they have repeatedly denied any wrong-doing and have, in fact, justified our genocide and ethnic cleansing.

I know you have no answers to my questions, because you are part of the Jihadi narrative. You lack the courage to question  those who robbed you of your house and your right to sit under the Chinar trees to enjoy their shade; an experience you will not get even if you spend all the money you made by ridiculing Hindus in your film, PK.

You can make money, alright, but you have lost the respect of Bharat Mata.

God bless you

Unhappily Yours


Col Tej K Tikoo

Delimitation Commission & Kashmiri Pandits Political Will || 4K || LIVE IMAGE

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