Kashmiris’ plight moves Mahesh Bhatt
‘New Delhi Cannot Ignore Kashmir Problem’
UMER MAQBOOL DAR
Srinagar, Dec 5: Noted Bollywood filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt Sunday said that most people in India were “insensitive” towards the Kashmir problem.
“Majority of Indians are insensitive not only towards the plight of Kashmiris, but those in Gujarat, Kandhamal and Bastar as well. Time has come up for this silent majority to speak. This silence on various issues is responsible for sufferings of Kashmiris and people of other states,” Bhatt told Greater Kashmir.
He said that he was “benumbed and shocked by the sufferings” of Kashmiris. “The need of the hour is to engage Kashmiris. They have to be engaged by the people of India and not the government.” Bhatt said.
He demanded setting up of All Party Parliamentary Committee comprising members of all the political groups for continuous engagement with the people of Kashmir. “This group shouldn’t be seen as the arm of the government,but part of peoples’ initiative to reach out to Kashmiris,” he added.
The Bollywood filmmaker, who was part of the 11-member delegation comprising parliamentarians and civil society members that visited the Valley and interacted with the people and leaders here, said the central government cannot ignore Kashmir problem.
“It cannot have the approach that when the snake enters the room, the switching off lights means the problem is over,” he said. “Anger of Kashmiris needs to be addressed.”
“There is no fairytale solution to the Kashmir issue and steps like selective withdrawal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFPSA) can be considered,” he said, adding that parliamentarians and civil society members could play a major role to reduce the sufferings of Kashmiris
On films made on Kashmir, Bhatt—who made “Dhoka” his first political film on the Kashmir—said the movies made on “Kashmir are not able to make any impact on the box office.”
“Dhoka my film on Kashmir shows how the state insurgency forces a girl to become a suicide bomber. The alternative narratives are not hit in Indian cinema as mainstream India only wants entertainment. The latest movie Lamhaa on Kashmir was also not successful,” he said. “I have no more plans to make any film on Kashmir.”
Bhatt’s date with Kashmir began in late 70’s, when he arrived to scout locations for shooting his two movies. But the proposed plan didn’t materialize and since then he has been visiting Kashmir frequently.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 5 Dec 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 5 Dec 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 6 Dec 2010 00:00:00 IST
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