Bhardwaj dedicates National Awards to Kashmiri Pandits, Anupam Kher irked

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Mumbai: Filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj, who has dedicated the five National Film Awards that his film “Haider” has bagged, to Kashmiri Pandits, has left veteran actor Anupam Kher irked.

“Haider”, based on William Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet”, was set against the backdrop of insurgency of Kashmir. He was blamed for showing only one side of the Valley, but he has defended himself by saying that he removed the representation of Kashmiri Pandits in the film as he felt the tragedy was too big to be summed up in a minor piece.

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“I dedicate my (all five National) awards to them (Kashmiri Pandits) because I feel their tragedy was very big and a complete film should have been made on them.

“If we would have added just a small piece based on them in the film, then it would have been unfair,” Bhardwaj, said here Tuesday after a bouquet of five National Film Awards was announced for the movie.

Bhardwaj says he would make a complete film someday to show the plight of Kashmiri Pandits.

“A complete film should have been made on them and I may make it someday,” the filmmaker said.

Meanwhile, veteran Bollywood actor Anupam Kher, a Kashmiri Pandit, seems to be unhappy with Vishal Bhardwaj’s attempt to appease the Kashmiri Pandits and termed it “fraudish”.

“While I congratulate Vishal Bhardwaj for National Awards but dedicating them to #KashmiriPandits genocide is such a fraudish thing to do,” the actor tweeted Tuesday.

“When was last time Vishal Bhardwaj spoke about d plight of #KashmiriPandits? He in fact humiliated us by doing dance of devil at our temple. The so called ‘Hindu’ centric Govt. Gave ‘Haider’ 5 National Awards which many felt was anti-Hindu & anti Indian Army. This is NOT Talibanism,” he added, referring to Bhardwaj’s comment that the Central Board of Film Certification is behaving like the Taliban.

“Haider” won Best Male Playback Singer for Sukhwinder Singh for the song “Bismil”; Best Dialogues and Music Direction for the film’s director Vishal Bhardwaj; Best Choreography for Norway-based Sudesh Adhana; and Best Costume Designer for the effervescent Dolly Ahluwalia.