Singapore Bans Indian Film for Its 'One-Sided' Portrayal of Muslims

Photo: Collected

Photo: Collected

Singapore has banned the Bollywood movie 'The Kashmir Files' on the exodus of Hindus from the Muslim-majority Kashmir Valley, assessing it to be "beyond" the city-state's film classification guidelines, report news agencies.

According to reports, the Singaporean authorities refused classification of the Hindi-language film for "its provocative and one-sided portrayal of Muslims and the depictions of Hindus being persecuted in the on-going conflict in Kashmir".

'The Kashmir Files,' being screened in India since March to mixed reviews, is based on the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Muslim-majority Valley in the 1990s due to terrorism.

A joint statement was issued in Singapore by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

"The film will be refused for classification for its provocative and one-sided portrayal of Muslims and the depictions of Hindus being persecuted in the on-going conflict in Kashmir," the statement said.

"These representations have the potential to cause enmity between different communities, and disrupt social cohesion and religious harmony in our multiracial and multi-religious society," it said.

Under the film classification guidelines, "any material that is denigrating to racial or religious communities in Singapore" will be refused classification, they added.

The Vivek Agnihotri-directed movie, being screened in India since March to mixed reviews, is based on the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Kashmir Valley the 1990s due to terrorism.

The film, written and directed by Agnihotri, stars Anupam Kher, Mithun Chakrabarty and Pallavi Joshi in lead roles.

In India, the film has been endorsed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with many other politicians from his ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Critics, however, said it played to anti-Muslim sentiment and is loose with facts.

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor shared the Singapore government's statement on social media, writing: "Film promoted by India's ruling party, Kashmir Files, banned in Singapore."

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