Delhi State Chief Faces Backlash After Refusing to Make 'The Kashmir Files' Tax-Free
06:02 GMT 25.03.2022 (Updated: 11:42 GMT 10.12.2022)
© AP Photo / Manish SwarupDelhi state Chief minister and chief of Aam Aadmi Party Arvind Kejriwal speaks during celebrations at the party headquarters in New Delhi, Thursday, March 10, 2022.
© AP Photo / Manish Swarup
Since its release on 11 March, the Bollywood movie ‘The Kashmir Files’ has been garnering praise. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also appreciated the film, saying that it presents the truth based on facts. However, some people have also criticised the movie, saying that the entire plot is fiction.
Delhi State Chief and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) head Arvind Kejriwal is facing a massive backlash after refusing to make “The Kashmir Files”, a Bollywood movie based on the real story of Kashmiri Hindus' exodus from the Valley in the 1990s, tax-free.
While speaking in the legislative assembly on Thursday, Kejriwal blatantly attacked his party's arch-rival Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for promoting the movie and demanding that it be made tax-free in Delhi.
Kejriwal said that “some people were earning millions” by exploiting the sufferings of Kashmiri Pandits while BJP politicians have been “reduced” to putting up posters for the movie.
“They (BJP) are saying make Kashmir Files movie tax-free. Just upload it on YouTube and it will become free for all. Why do you want it to be tax-free? If you want this to be done so badly, ask (the filmmaker) Vivek Agnihotri and he will put it on YouTube. Everyone will be able to watch it in a day,” he said.
“Today, the BJP across the country is putting up posters for a movie in every street. Did you come into politics to do this? What will you tell your children when you go home?… If a Prime Minister, after running a country for eight years, has to seek refuge at the feet of Vivek Agnihotri, it means he hasn’t done anything in his tenure,” the AAP chief added.
15 March 2022, 13:57 GMT
Reacting sharply to Kejriwal's words in the Delhi Assembly, BJP parliamentarian Manoj Tiwari said: “Arvind Kejriwal was, is and will remain anti-Hindu. He made fun of Hindus in the Assembly and AAP lawmakers were clapping."
"You will be able to please your vote bank, but it is clear the Kashmir genocide happened because of people like you,” he added.
BJP's National General Secretary Dushyant Gautam said Kejriwal has “insulted all those Kashmiri Pandits who lost everything”.
Not only the BJP but netizens have also slammed Delhi State Chief Kejriwal, with one of them saying “he is the worst of the worst”.
BJP politician Kapil Mishra, who was earlier a minister in the Kejriwal-led AAP government in Delhi, said in a tweet in Hindi: “Calling the massacre of Kashmiri Hindus false means questioning one's mother's character. Shame on You Kejriwal. He has abused every martyr and army personnel of the country by defending terrorists.”
© Photo : Twitter/@KapilMishra_INDBJP's Kapil Mishra Slams Delhi State Chief Arvind Kejriwal for Calling Masscare of Kashmiri Hindu False
BJP's Kapil Mishra Slams Delhi State Chief Arvind Kejriwal for Calling Masscare of Kashmiri Hindu False
© Photo : Twitter/@KapilMishra_IND
© Photo : Twitter/@SricharanHydSocial Media User Calls Aam Aadmi Party as All American Party
Social Media User Calls Aam Aadmi Party as All American Party
© Photo : Twitter/@SricharanHyd
© Photo : Twitter/@igot10on10Another Social Media User Slams Kejriwal for Mocking Kashmir Genocide
Another Social Media User Slams Kejriwal for Mocking Kashmir Genocide
© Photo : Twitter/@igot10on10
© Photo : Twitter/@dudu2602_A Twitter User Calls Kejriwal as Worse of the Worst
A Twitter User Calls Kejriwal as Worse of the Worst
© Photo : Twitter/@dudu2602_
© Photo : Twitter/@file_kashmirA Social Media User Slams Kejriwal for Refusing to Make The Kashmir File Tax-Free
A Social Media User Slams Kejriwal for Refusing to Make The Kashmir File Tax-Free
© Photo : Twitter/@file_kashmir
Tax-Free Movies and the Kejriwal Government
A movie is made tax-free so that it is accessible to a wider audience. Generally, movies based on some human interest issues or national heroes are made tax-free in India.
If the state government declares a movie tax-free, it lets go of the entertainment tax levied by the state for that particular film, therefore, reducing the price of tickets considerably.
It is not that the Kejriwal government has never provided tax exemptions to a movie.
In December 2021, he declared a movie staring Ranvir Singh, 83, tax-free. Prior to this, in 2019, he also declared the movie Saand Ki Aankh tax-free.
In a tweet made in October 2019, he wrote, “Delhi govt. gives tax-free status to the @taapsee & @bhumipednekar starrer #SaandKiAankh in Delhi. The message of the movie should reach to people of every age, gender & background―The power of a dream, & the power derived from it to achieve it, despite any socio-cultural blocks”
Back again in 2016, Kejriwal declared the Swara Bhaskar-starrer movie Nil Batte Sannata as tax-free. In a tweet, he wrote tagging Swara Bhaskar, “Nil Batte Sannatta is a great great movie. U must watch it. Tax free in Delhi. @ReallySwara”.
Meanwhile, various states, mostly ruled by the BJP, have declared ‘The Kashmir Files’ tax-free making it accessible to more and more people.