Singapore bans Bollywood movie Kashmir Files for anti-Muslim content

by Abbas Adil

Singapore bans hit Bollywood movie Kashmir files for the negative portrayal of Muslims. The InfoComm Media Development Authority of Singapore banned the film saying that the film might disturb religious harmony in the country.

IMDA says that they had consulted with the Ministry of Culture, Community, and Youth and the Ministry of Home Affairs. They believe the movie has “exceeded the Film Classification Guidelines for its provocative and one-sided portrayal of Muslims and the depictions of Hindus being persecuted in the ongoing conflict in Kashmir. These representations have the potential to cause enmity between different communities and disrupt social cohesion and religious harmony in Singapore’s multi-racial and multi-religious society.”

Film Classification Guideline of Singapore says “any material that is denigrating to racial or religious communities in Singapore” will be refused classification.

Earlier after an initial ban, UAE had allowed the release of Kashmir Files with zero cuts in March this year. Meanwhile, New Zealand after concerns from the Muslim community had increased the rating of the movie from R16 to R18.

The film is based on a fictional story of a Kashmiri student who discovers that his Kashmiri Hindu parents were killed by rebels and not killed in an accident as told to him by his grandfather.

Chaos in India
The film triggered an intense upheaval in India; several commentators and members of the Muslim community argued that the film is fueling religious intolerance in India.

Bollywood films kicked up a storm in India, with several videos from theatres showing audiences chanting anti-Muslim slogans.

In one of the videos, a mob inside the theatre could be heard saying, “When Muslims will cut into pieces, they will call for a Hindu God, Ram!”

The film is written and directed by Vivek Agnihotri, who is also seen as a BJP supporter. Agnihotri has often been accused of inaccuracies in his work. His previous film, The Tashkent Files, on the death of former prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, was criticized for presenting rumors as facts. In a legal notice to Agnihotri, Shastri’s grandson said the film was trying to “create unwarranted and unnecessary controversy.”

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