Shooting in valley, Vivek Agnihotri wants to ‘change’ Kashmir Wazwan to vegetarian; Kashmiris tell him ‘there is no such thing’
Srinagar: Bollywood director and right-wing activist, Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri, who was in Kashmir for his movie, has once again triggered a controversy due to his social media antics.
Agnihotri and his team were here for the shoot of his upcoming flick, ‘The Kashmir Files’, a movie he claims is based on the “unreported story of the gut-wrenching genocide of Kashmiri Hindus”.
Late Wednesday evening, Agnihotri posted two pictures of his team and a Kashmiri Radio Jockey RJ Rafia having food at a Srinagar hotel.
Apparently, the bunch was having a vegetarian thali as the photos shared showed.
But Agnihotri being Agnihotri found a way to put his foot in his mouth by captioning the photos with this: “Nobody knows how to make a vegetarian Wazwan in Kashmir. But I am here to bring about a change. #TheKashmirFiles.”
And that was it. Agnihotri’s post riled up netizens in Kashmir who told him that there was no such thing as “vegetarian Wazwan”.
“Could you kindly confirm is there something like a “vegetarian” Wazwaan on your menu at Grand Palace Hotel, Srinagar? While we appreciate your business here but would that come at the cost of tampering the local culture? Wazwaan last was about non-vegetarian,” reacted a Twitter user F Ali Qadri.
Another Twitter user wrote: “First, you are not a Kashmiri and second, a ‘vegetarian wazwaan’ does not exist and never will although someone with an alter ego may keep pushing for it!”
“Take a dip in freezing waters of Dal Lake and Relax. Wazwan is an alternative word for Non Vegetarian. Your Firdous is also crying after he saw this tweet,” tweeted a user Tajamul Rashid.
“Ye sun kai wazwan b Sharma jayai ga. Yini wazi bozii yi tabrii seet karii zi fali (Hearing this, even Wazwan will be ashamed. Beware! If a Waza (the local chefs who cook Wazwan) hears it, he will chop you,” read another comment from a user ‘Snowman’.
Meanwhile, some of the Twitterati were also upset spotting RJ Rafia amongst Agnihotri and his team.
“How dare you amplify the voices of Vivek and his ilk who have regularly abused Kashmir,” a user asked Rafia.
“Sharing a table with a known hate monger against kashmiris and muslims… No matter what the reason was, it’s backstabbing of another level!!!! This cant be justified.. (sic),” wrote another user.
Speaking to The Kashmir Monitor, RJ Rafia said “she did not know who Agnihotri was and what his film ‘The Kashmir Files’ was all about as she was there to interview actor Darshan Kumar.”
“I was there just to interview the actor (Darshan Kumar), his struggle and journey in the Bollywood so far. I have no idea about the movie or what it is about,” she said adding, “Why do we have to explain everything, and why do people connect us with something without knowing the circumstances or the reality?”
Earlier on Tuesday, Agnihotri had got the most famous Persian couplet on Kashmir wrong.
He received backlash for a video that he posted on Twitter in which he is seen riding on a Shikara in Dal lake on a cold day.
He had captioned the video as “my thoughts on why it’s every Indian’s duty to make Kashmir successful.”
In the video, Agnihotri is heard praising the beauty of Kashmir while narrating a Persian couplet: “Agar firdaus bar roo-e zameen ast; Hameen asto, hameen asto, hameen ast”.
The director attributed the couplet to “Firdaus” not knowing that it was the Mughal emperor Jehangir who said the words of the Persian poet Amir Khusrau when he first visited Kashmir in 17th century.