At least six BJP-ruled states have announced to make The Kashmir Files, a film depicting the exodus of the Pandit community from the Valley in the early 90s, tax-free on the fourth day of its release Monday.
Urging “everyone to watch the movie”, Chief Ministers of some states even accompanied their family members or colleagues to theatres.
Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath issued instructions to make the movie tax-free. Speaking to The Indian Express, Mavneed Sehgal, Additional Chief Secretary information, said,”Orders have been issued to make Kashmir Files tax-free in UP.”
In Madhya Pradesh, policemen will be given special leave to watch the film, Home Minister Narottam Mishra said.
This came a day after CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan exempted the film from entertainment tax, calling it a “heart-wrenching narration of the pain, suffering, struggle, and trauma faced by Kashmiri Hindus in the 90s”.
In Karnataka, BJP MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal announced he will fund one show per day for a week “so that people can watch it free of cost”. Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had on Sunday exempted the movie from being taxed.
Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar, whose government has also granted tax-free status to the film, also watched the movie. He was accompanied by some of his party MLAs. “All that happened in Kashmir at that time should be known to the people,” he said after the show.
Caretaker CM of Goa, Pramod Sawant watched the film at a multiplex in Panaji along with his wife Sulakshana Sawant and state BJP president Sadanand Tanavade. He also invited mediapersons to accompany him.
After the show, Sawant, who said the film would be made tax-free, targeted the Congress, saying: “Some people in Goa had opposed this film and that is why I made it a point to watch it.”
“After watching it I felt that what happened in Kashmir in 1990 should be known to all, especially to today’s youth. The Congress (supported) government in 1990 committed atrocities not only against Kashmiri Pandits but against the people of Kashmir,” he said. The film has also been declared tax-free in Gujarat.
Meanwhile, senior BJP leader and former Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje requested the Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government to declare the film tax-free. —With PTI inputs