Filmmaker Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri is mighty upset with filmmaker Anurag Kashyap. The context is Kashyap’s recent statement on Agnihotri’s The Kashmir Files. In an interview, Kashyap spoke about India’s Oscars entry this year: “India might have a nomination in the final five if RRR is the film they pick. I don’t know what film anybody is going to pick. I hope not The Kashmir Files.” Reacting to this, Agnihotri tweeted: “The vicious, genocide-denier lobby of Bollywood has started their campaign against #TheKashmirFiles for #Oscars, under the leadership of the maker of #Dobaaraa.”
“It wasn’t hurtful. I have faced worse criticism,” says Agnihotri, when we reach out to him. He adds, “These people have been running a campaign against me for many years. In this case, it was a wrong precedent. This is ethically wrong. You can share your preference, but why are you saying which film shouldn’t go (to the Oscars)?”
He also asserts that he has never thought about being in Oscar nominations race. “In my entire life, I have never looked up to Oscars. That isn’t the criteria to judge the truth of a film,” he explains, adding that the reason he reacted to that comment was: “I felt it was important for me to defend my film. If I can make a film, then I can also defend it from these Bollywood people.”
Ask who he means by “these Bollywood people” and Agnihotri replies, “Only people who attack my film.” He adds, “I’ve never uttered a word against any film or filmmaker. I only say good things about people when I have to say it.”
He further lists some points that irk him about Kashyap’s comment: “If somebody is saying it (The Kashmir Files) shouldn’t go to the Oscars, the first question is: Why is he so scared of the film? Second: Why doesn’t he want the stories of Hindu genocide to be told to the world? Thirdly, is he a genocide-denier?”
Talking about his equation with Kashyap, he says they have “not been friends”. But he feels Kashyap always “says something” about him: “They need eyeballs (for their films).”
Kashyap remained unavailable for a comment.