An FIR was filed against South Indian film actor Sai Pallavi after she compared the Kashmiri Pandit exodus with the lynching of a cow smuggler. The 30-year-old Premam actor caused massive outrage on social media by drawing parallels between the plight of Kashmiri Pandits during the exodus and cow vigilantism. The actor was making reference to Vivek Agnihotri’s The Kashmir Files during an interview which was shared on Great Andhra’s YouTube channel.
“The Kashmir Files showed how Kashmiri Pandits were killed at the time. If you are taking the issue as a religious conflict, there was an instance recently where a Muslim was attacked when he was driving a vehicle carrying cows, and people chanted Jai Shri Ram. So where is the difference from what happened then and what is happening now?”, the actor was quoted saying.
The actor also spoke briefly about her political affiliation and claimed that she was “neutral”. I grew up in a neutral environment. I heard about this left-wing and right-wing, but we can’t say who is right and who is wrong,” she said.
The Facts of the Matter
In an interestingly polarizing socio-political climate in the nation, statements by celebrities and influential people are often dissected to draw outrage. As such, many celebrities try to stay on the backfoot by not giving statements about polarizing topics. Recently, Sai Pallavi drew outrage on social media after she made comments about Kashmiri Exodus and cow vigilantism.
Sai Pallavi was Out Promoting ‘Virata Parvam’
It so happened that the Premam actor was giving an interview to promote her recently released film Virata Parvam. During the interview, Sai Pallavi drew parallels between the plight of Kashmiri Pandits during the Kashmiri Exodus, and cow vigilantism, claiming that both are the same.
Comparing Kashmiri Pandit Exodus to Cow Smuggler Lynching
Speaking in her native tongue, Sai Pallavi was quoted saying, “The film `The Kashmir Files` depicts the assassination of Kashmiri Pandits. A man was recently slain for carrying a cow because he was suspected of being a Muslim. The perpetrators shouted `Jai Shri Ram` after killing the victim. Where is the line drawn between what occurred in Kashmir and what occurred recently?”.
Internet Divided on Sai Pallavi’s Comments
The comment drew polarizing reactions from netizens on social media. While one section of netizens applauded Sai Pallavi for her courageous statement, others criticized her for equating the two situations.
Courage is the only virtue you can’t fake..
Kudos to Sai Pallavi 👏🏻👏🏻 pic.twitter.com/ExyO4kAnrN
— Avishek Goyal (@AG_knocks) June 15, 2022
@Sai_Pallavi92 Do you want to prove that what happened to Kashmiri Pandits in 1990 was a trivial matter, a family ran away from their land, their sister's daughter was raped, thousands of people were killed, its just their crime that he was a Hindu, #SaiPallavi
— Amit Kumar (@AmitAmitkus) June 16, 2022
There is a huge difference in a random Muslim being beaten & an entire community being uprooted.
Please don't trivialise my pain.
Come & see any of our broken homes & hearts. We are witnesses to Genocide but await justice.
Not Everything is Propaganda. pic.twitter.com/YhN9r2QTKM
— Kashmiri Hindu (@BattaKashmiri) June 14, 2022
“Killing a cow smuggler is the same as killing a Kashmiri Pandit” says actress Sai Pallavi. Comparing the targeted genocide of a community to the mafia trade of cow smuggling. Clearly wokeism & anti-Hindu rhetoric isn’t just limited to Bollywood.
— Kavita (@Sassy_Hindu) June 15, 2022
Sai Pallavi's your recent cmnt on Kashmiri Genocide is not right.
Its definitely rubbing the salt on the wounds of Kashmiri Pandits.
When it's not your cup of tea to articulate facts better set your limits than hurting sentiments
U may b gd at acting/dancing, reality is different pic.twitter.com/wikTDoST3B
— Girish Daramoni (@daramonigirish) June 17, 2022
Bajrang Dal Files FIR Against Sai Pallavi
Meanwhile, after the clip of the video interview went viral on social media, a Bajrang Dal unit filed an FIR against the actor. The nationalist organization took to Twitter and shared the complaint letter filed at the Sultanbazar police station.
The Bhagyanagar unit of the Bajrang Dal asked the actor to apologize to the country, the Kashmiri Pandits for her “venomous” remarks. The organization also claimed that if she chooses not to apologize, “the situation will deteriorate further”.
“Can’t say who is right or wrong”
The actor’s remarks came when she was asked about her religious leanings. “I was raised in a neutral family where they taught you to have to be a good human being. The oppressed should be protected irrespective of left-wing and right-wing. I grew up in a neutral environment. I heard about this left-wing and right-wing, but we can’t say who is right and who is wrong,” the Love Story actor said.