An impactful day for the movie ‘The Kashmir Files’ in Washington, DC

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At event attended by Congressional leaders, Vivek Agnihotri, the award-winning filmmaker, talked about the Indian civilization of oneness that emerged from the sacred land of Kashmir

Our Bureau
Washington DC

Global Kashmiri Pandit Diaspora is hosting the private theatrical screening of ‘The Kashmir Files.  As impact advisor of The Kashmir Files, Priya Samant devised and introduced the strategy of impact-screenings for The Kashmir Files which are taking place in many cities across the US. The 2hrs 55 minutes movie was made into a 20 minutes screener for the impact screening. The movie is based on the Kashmiri Pandit genocide and ethnic cleansing. The movie depicts the humanitarian angle of the challenges that Global terrorism brings and disrupts communities and make them rootless. It also highlights human pain and sufferings.

2nd December was an impactful day in Washington. The day started with the lunch meeting which was hosted by Mr Ramesh Kapur, President of the US India Security Council Inc. The day progressed by a VIP tour of the US Holocaust Museum for the celebrity guest from India, award winning director Mr Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri, his wife, award winning actress Pallavi Joshi, their daughter Mallika Agnihotri and few other community leaders.

As Priya is also a changemaker, she conceived and organized the congressional reception of Indian Americans from the Kashmiri-Pandit community at the US Capitol Hill. The objective of the congressional reception was to celebrate and honor the success stories of their resilience and the strength despite being the victims of ethnic cleansing and genocide.  The event was co-sponsored by Global Kashmiri Pandit Diaspora (GKPD) in partnership with US India Security Council Inc.  She was also the Master of Ceremonies and set that stage by saying “We are here to celebrate and honor the resilience and the strength of the Peace-loving Kashmir Hindu community, who despite facing ethnic cleansing and genocide have stood for the human values of Harmony and co-existence”.

The evening started with remarks from Congressman Raja Krishanmoorthi, US States Representative (DIL 8th District). Congressman Krishnamoorthi thanked the Kashmiri pandit community for all of their contributions globally but also in the United States. He said that The Kashmiri pandit community is one of the most successful of any within a very successful Indian American community. “The challenges that you have faced in the past and overcoming those challenges make all other challenges pale in comparison. When you are running for your life, when you are dispossessed of worldly goods you know the real meaning of life. You know how to appreciate it, cultivate it and nurture it wherever you are and make sure everybody remembers their heritage and roots”.

Dr Surinder Kaul, founder of GKPD and co-host of the evening, a Kashmiri pandit himself said “Kashmiri Pandits have always been the Ambassadors of peace and growth shared the tenets of universal brotherhood, benevolence, caring and sharing and pursuit of knowledge made them to contribute towards upliftment of mankind in this civilized world. They never reciprocated violence with violence, hate with hate. This piece of their genocide and ethnic cleansing has remained hidden from the world”.

Very emotional and thankful Dr Kaul firstly thanked President of US India Security Council Mr Ramesh Kapur, who was the co-host of the event and read the statement received from Senator Mark Warner, Member of the United States Senate, D-VA. Senator Warner extended his warm greetings to all the guests at the reception. Some of the excerpts from his statement were “I am honored to serve as a co-chair of bipartisan Senate India Caucus which is one of the largest country caucuses in the United States Senate. Our aim is deepening United States India partnership. I remain optimistic about the United States India relationship and I continue to believe we can make great strides together. As two of the world largest democracies and with the incredible Indian American population that contributes so much to our culture, commerce and community in this country it is critical for us to deepen and broaden the existing partnership and friendship”.

Congressman Andy Barr, United States Representative RKY 6th District emphasized on India US relationship and contributions of Indian Americans .The fact that we have the QUAD now and this partnership with India and the United States, Japan and Australia will emerge as a powerful alliance. He thanked the Indian Government and the Indian people for that friendship.” He was gracious in offering his offices to highlight issues of the persecuted Kashmiri Pandit community.

Vivek Agnihotri an award-winning filmmaker from India in his keynote speech talked about Indian civilization of oneness that emerged from the sacred land of Kashmir and the immense contributions from Kashmir in the field of arts, aesthetics, music, literature. He emphasized that destruction of Kashmir is the destruction of knowledge, and the world should know what humanity means.

Award winning actor Pallavi Joshi made everyone in the room very teary eyed when she shared the real-life gruesome incidents that were shared by Kashmiri pandit community with them during their US tours. She walked through the genesis of ‘The Kashmir Files’ and the intense research and testimonials involved in the making of ‘The Kashmir Files’

We also heard remarks from many community leaders which included Mr Ramesh Kapur, Dr Suvas Desai, Dr Mohan Sapru, Ms Sunayana Kachroo Bhide and Ms Swapna Raina.

This reception celebrated the contributions made by the Indian-American Kashmiri-Pandit community in the US and also highlighted the immense challenges they faced before coming to the US and their relatives still face back home due to terrorism. And it gave the hope, confidence, feeling of inclusion and thankfulness to the Indian diaspora from remarks shared by the US law makers on the friendship and alliances between US and India.

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