The Kashmir Files is a 2022 Indian Hindi-language drama film based on the exodus of Hindu people during the Kashmir Insurgency in 1990. It has been released in other countries with varying age restrictions. The film was awarded a rating in New Zealand and was set for release until representatives from the FIANZ (Federation of Islamic Associations of NZ) intervened claiming that negative representations of Muslims in the film could translate to real-world harm to their community. Chief Censor David Shanks is now reviewing the classification.
Free Speech supporters will need little convincing that this development is seriously problematic: if the film does end up banned, what's stopping any community from pressuring the Censor's office to do the same with any unflattering or stridently critical documentaries or films? We speak to Kiwi-Indian journalist Roy Kaunds who has led a campaign in support of the film and who lays out or us how this troubling episode all unfolded. Get informed as we plan on speaking with the Cheif Censor on Monday (21st).
NOTE: Roy was in India for this record and the quality of the audio is not great at times. We would urge you to suffer through it, however, as this is extremely important content.