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Haider: Another Disappointment

Haider is a 2014 Indian drama film directed by Vishal Bhardwaj, and co-written by Basharat Peer and Bhardwaj. It is a modern-day adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet that is set amidst the insurgency-hit Kashmir conflicts of 1995, which was the peak of militancy in the valley. Starring Shahid Kapoor in the titular role, the film features Tabu, Shraddha Kapoor, and Kay Kay Menon in lead roles, alongside Irfan Khan in a guest appearance.

Haider is the third installment of Bhardwaj’s Shakespearean trilogy after Maqbool (2003) and Omkara (2006). The film was screened at the 19th Busan International Film Festival, and released worldwide on October 2, 2014 to major critical acclaim. The direction, performances of Shahid Kapoor and Tabu, screenplay, musical score, and editing received special praise.
Bollywood movies on Kashmir should be probed properly. There are many pros and cons in this movie which I summed up as:
1:-With the start of movie I saw people wearing “Pheran” (a long over coat wearing during winters)  holding Ak47, clearly this movie is not delivering message of Kashmir, but it is representing Kashmir, nation full of terrorists. Indian media has already represented Kashmir , place full of militants and crediting Indian army for their heroics.

2:- When army is cordoning the whole area , Gull mohd a local resident speaking on mike inside masjid, making whole area aware about the cordon by Indian army. In movie army persons were seen inside Masjid without shoes, But in reality they never entered any Mosque without shoes.

3:-This movie shows how people of Kashmir suffer with occupational rule by Indian army. In movie when Shahid was asked for his residence by Indian army, he replied Islamabad and for this he was punished and was asked for identity card. From 90’s to till date I never heard any Kashmiri calling Islamabad as Anantnag, because Islamabad is the older name of anantnag which nowadays has been replaced.

4:-In movie when an Indian army officer is giving press conference ,a journalist is asking him a question about disappeared youth of Kashmir, he replied why not you include pandits who are living in refugee camps as disappeared .

5:-From decades Indian cinematography trying to change concepts in kashmir like in haider they are showing people are fighting for inteqaam(revenge) which clearly is not acceptable to Kashmiri people.

There is no inteqaam in Kashmir, People are protesting for azadi (freedom).in movie freedom has been changed into inteqaam.

6:-As a demand of Shakespeare’s hamlet Tabu represent a new concept which is Half widow and Half bride because of her husband’s brothers lust which is making her bride ,that’s is grossly unfair.

From 90’s to till date there is no disappearance in Kashmir because of this.

7:- In haider Shahid is exploiting his mother sexually, it is unfair to represent mother being sexually exploited by her son. it seems Basharat and Vishal trying to devastate culture of Kashmir.

8:- In movie where you don’t see an Indian army man killing a non-combatant Kashmiri but only a Kashmiri killing another Kashmiri. Numerous scenes are testimonial to that. It is the police (Kashmiri) which is doing custodial killings whereas Indian military only forces militants and their sympathizers to chant Jai Hind and sometimes tortures them. The cruelest character in the film is a Kashmiri which is untrue because if you ask any Kashmiri he will answer ‘Army woul.’

In short haider is another disappointment for people of Kashmir. In fact it is disaster which is degrading values of Kashmir. Haider simulate innuendo..

For Basharat Peer:-


When Kashmir fought for inteqaam , you also know  it is not about revenge, it is war for freedom which will remain unending till freedom. Yet it is another disappointment for young youths by a writer of Kashmir. No Kashmiri expected this from you.

Words by Basharat Ali :-

When Basharat peer stands outside his house, numb and lifeless, he represents Kashmiri, but the moment one sees him as  a co-writer it becomes bitter pill to swallow.

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