Congress is in the doldrums. On Wednesday, the G23 group of dissidents held a meeting at senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad’s residence in Delhi. While the rebellion was brewing in Delhi, a thousand kilometers away in Raipur, a different kind of political messaging was being done by Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel.

Reportedly, after BJP leaders across the country started suggesting that Congress was playing down the pain of Kashmiri Pandits shown in the movie, “The Kashmir Files” by actively avoiding it – Baghel stood up, demanded pan India tax-free status for the movie, and even went to watch it with his colleagues.

After seven BJP state governments viz. Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, and Uttarakhand declared the film ‘The Kashmir Files’ tax-free in their states, Baghel urged PM Modi to declare the film tax-free on the national level. Yes, you heard that righr, CM Baghel requested the PM to remove the central GST on this film and make it a tax-free film pan-India.

Make the movie tax free by waving the CGST: Bhupesh Baghel

In a tweet in Hindi, Baghel said, “BJP MLAs have demanded to exempt ‘The Kashmir Files’ movie from (entertainment) tax in the state. I request the Hon’ble Prime Minister to announce to waive off central GST on this film. (Then) the movie will be tax-free across the country,”

Earlier, Baghel also invited his political colleagues from the party and opposition to watch the movie in the theater as well.

Informing his decision, Baghel wrote, “Today all the esteemed members of the Assembly (including our party and the opposition) have been invited to watch the film ‘Kashmir Files’ together. Today at 8 pm, all of us MLAs/invited citizens will watch the film together at a cinema hall in the capital.”

Baghel is a Sanghi, an RSS member — Muslim Congress supporters

However, Baghel’s promotion of the movie certainly didn’t go down well with a certain section of Muslim supporters of the party. A blue tick journalist named Wasim Akram Tyagi labelled Baghel a Sanghi and claimed that this was the reason Muslims were distancing themselves from Congress.

Meanwhile, another went on to add, “When people say, there are so many RSS people in Congress, then difficult to believe but its seems to be true (sic.)”

Under pressure, Baghel starts the monkey balancing

Baghel who had been supportive of the movie up until this point then came up with a review of the movie, along the same lines of the tweets made by Kerala Congress, a few days earlier. It was clear that Baghel had cowered under pressure and was trying to monkey balance the issue by not hyping up the movie.

After watching the movie, Baghel told reporters that the film was half-cooked and there was just an attempt to show violence. He said, “Kashmir Files’ also had a political message suggesting that VP Singh was the prime minister and the BJP-supported government didn’t send the army despite President’s rule in the state,”

Congress has been shifting the blame of genocide on BJP and Jagmohan theory

Led by the Gandhi family, the Indian National Congress – largely an Islamist party has been showing its outrage against the movie for portraying the unblemished truth. As reported previously by TFI, a deleted tweet by the Kerala unit of the Congress party argued that between 1990 and 2007, 15,000 Kashmiri Muslims were killed as against 399 Pandits. However, no statistical data about exodus of Kashmiri Pandits was mentioned in the tweet.

Later, in the same thread, Congress also sought to shift the blame for the exodus to the BJP. It tweeted that “the migration suited the agenda of the BJP for the Hindu-Muslim division while carrying out the Ram Mandir issue in Ayodhya”. There was also an attempt to resort to the Jagmohan theory. Another tweet by the Kerala Congress stated, “Pandits left the valley en masse under the direction of Governor Jagmohan who was an RSS man. The migration started under the BJP-supported VP Singh government.” As for Baghel, he merely picked up the same thread, passed along by the top Congress brass and regurgitated it in full in front of the reporters.

Read More: If Congress is so rattled by The Kashmir Files, imagine the meltdown after the release of ‘The Delhi Files’

The Kashmir Files – a hard-hitting movie 

The Kashmir Files is based on the genocide of Kashmiri Pandits and is inspired by true events that transpired in the early 90s. It stars Anupam Kher and Mithun Chakraborty in the lead roles.

The terror situation in the valley along with dreadful rallies and killings has been displayed honestly. Anupam Kher, who is a Kashmiri Pandit, makes everyone teary-eyed when he describes ‘their’ Kashmir.

Read More: The Kashmir Files is the goriest, yet the most truthful account of the Kashmiri Hindu massacre

Mithun Chakraborty, through his outstanding performance, shuts up an Islamist sympathiser when he says, “Kashmiri Pandits also went through so much, but they never picked up a gun. Why?” The film actually goes on to show what kind of genocidal slogans were raised during the slaughter and exodus of Kashmir Pandits from the valley. The movie has garnered rave reviews for being hard-hitting and not trying to sugarcoat the reality, as the previous movies made on the topic attempted to do so.

Earlier, a movie on the same topic tried to humanize the terrorists and became a love story midway — inviting the fury of Kashmiri Pandits who were livid at such a lame attempt to portray the agony of Pandits.

Congress should give up its act of trying to appease the Muslim supporters by playing down ‘The Kashmir Files’. Standing up for the victims of a genocide will only raise the goodwill of the party which is otherwise struggling to resonate with the voters, if the recent results of the five assembly state elections are any indication.


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