The Kashmir Files: Vivek Agnihotri, Pallavi Joshi Send Legal Notice to Mamata Banerjee Over ‘Defamatory’ Remarks
Filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri and actor Pallavi Joshi have reportedly served a legal notice to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over “defamatory” remarks regarding their upcoming film “The Kashmir Files”. The notice reportedly accuses Banerjee of making false and baseless allegations against the film, which deals with the subject of the Kashmiri Pandit exodus of the late 1980s and early 1990s.
According to reports, the legal notice sent on 22 December says that Banerjee “propagated information highly defamatory and full of falsehood with respect to the film” at a public event in Kolkata on 19 December. The notice describes how Banerjee allegedly claimed without any basis that “The Kashmir Files” was part of a larger conspiracy to “create communal divide” and “insult” Muslims.
The legal notice goes on to say that Banerjee’s statements about the film were “intended to cause harm” to the reputations of Agnihotri and Joshi, as well as to “create a real and present danger of undermining public order, peace, and national security”. It requests that she immediately withdraw her remarks and publicly apologise for them, and threatens legal action if she fails to comply.
Vivek Agnihotri confirmed the legal notice in a tweet on Tuesday, writing: “Yesterday we served a Legal Notice to Mamata Banerjee for her defamatory statements on a public platform. We demand immediate public apology failing which we will take strict legal action.”
Agnihotri also posted images of the legal notice on Twitter, which state that the “gratuitous, baseless and wild allegations” made by Banerjee against “The Kashmir Files” have “caused hurt, pain and agony” to him and Joshi “as well as to millions of patriotic Indians”. The notice states that Banerjee is “duty bound to clarify and retract your statements”, which it asserts were “clearly motivated” and “made with the intention to damage the reputation of our clients”.
The upcoming film, which stars Anupam Kher and Mithun Chakraborty, has recently faced opposition from certain quarters, with some accusing it of “sensationalising” the plight of Kashmiri Pandits. However, Agnihotri and Joshi have maintained that the film is an attempt to tell the untold story of a “cultural genocide” that has been largely ignored by mainstream media.
In a statement released earlier this month, Joshi said: “The exodus of Kashmiri Hindus from the valley is a story of extreme pain and suffering. We began the film with the purpose of telling this story to the world. This film is not a propaganda tool. It is an attempt to document history as it happened.”
The legal notice sent to Mamata Banerjee is the latest development in the controversy around “The Kashmir Files” and has sparked a debate about the freedom of expression and the role of politicians in influencing public opinion. The matter is likely to escalate further in the coming days, with many observers keenly watching how it plays out.