Kashmir Files and Razakar Files: Who will they help?

Update: 2023-09-08 20:50 GMT

“Let truth be told. Let history of every period be revealed,” Vikram Sampath, an Indian historian, who is known for his biographies on Gauhar Jaan and Vinayak Damodar Savarkar.

Indeed, we must. But what will we do with this truth? Use it for understanding and reconciliation or employ it to create division and discord for pure electoral gains.
Will it be used just as a historical narrative or to fix “blame”? If blame was to be fixed, who will be pronounced guilty? The perpetrators of the bygone era or a whole community down to the present.

Can the burden of guilt travel through time to reach the present and beyond to seek retribution? What should be done with the people in the present to punish for atrocities of the past? Are people in the present required to atone and pay for any actual and imagined atrocities committed in the past for which the present generation was not responsible in any way.

Can the present generation be made to pay by being converted into targets for hatred,  discrimination, exclusion, boycott, lynching, riots or genocide? If yes, why?

Atrocities committed by Razakars is a fact of history. But every Razakar must be dead by now -- or over 90-years-old, even if any one of them was alive. It was also a recorded fact that Hindu zamindars and deshmukhs collaborated with the Razakars and were also involved in atrocities on the peasants who were mostly Hindus. So “who” should pay?

Police Action was not all sweets and roses

Like with every military action throughout history across the world, “Police Action” had its share of atrocities.  One of the ”actions” of the Police Action was to line up all senior officials of the Nizam government in Beed taluka, currently in Maharashtra, and shoot them dead. One of those officials shot dead was the grandfather of the author. When he was shot, he was with the revenue department in his fifties with grandchildren.

Razakars were different from government officials. So why was my grandfather shot in cold blood? Who is responsible for the murder of my grandfather? The Prime Minister of the time or the Home Minister or the Army General who led Police Action or all the army personnel deployed or the majority community of that time or the majority community of today?

If some have to be made to feel guilty, face consequences and pay today for the atrocities by the Razakars, then why not the same logic applied for the atrocities of the Police Action?

History is Part Myth; Cinema is Complete Myth

What did we get as “Files” and what can we get as “Files”. Are they truth or a perspective? Perspectives can be honest endeavours for objectivity or can be biased. What could be the overall and long-term consequences for society and the nation because of this biased narrative?

Kashmir Files: A Case for Study

“It (Kashmir FIles) was a disruptive, watermark event in Indian films,” said Ram Gopal Varma, a veteran film director.

The stated objective of the movie ‘Kashmir Files’ was to bring out the truth of a tragic period in Kashmir history. Was it all truth or a perspective? How much factual and how biased? Did it promote understanding and healing in society?

The motive was stated to get justice for Kashmiri Pandits. Did the film create conditions for repatriation of the Kashmiri Pandits back to the Valley? The film was indeed disruptive in practice of cinematic narration but did it disrupt the process of justice for the Kashmiri Pandits. What and how much justice did the Kashmiri Pandits get after this film was made?

Did its impact travel beyond the Kashmiri Pandits and Kashmir Valley to generate antagonism against a community through the country.

Are there any “winners” here? There could be, but who?

Files required, but for understanding, reconciliation and healing

Every community, every society, every country at most times in history had its share of atrocities and inhuman treatment of some sections, especially the oppressed or minorities. It is important to bring out and face all such uncomfortable and painful truths, but not with any motives of retribution and vengeance but to understand, reconcile and “move on together” to create a harmonious society and a prosperous nation.

There are many hidden and suppressed truths all through India of atrocities and injustices in the name of caste, religion, ethnicity, region, gender, class and so on.

The simmering unrest throughout the entire country on different issues can be addressed and resolved if we can bring out, face and accept the truths with the purpose of understanding, reconciliation and collaboration. But as a country do we have the social maturity and political magnanimity to undertake such an exercise now?


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