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Kashmir is "biggest human tragedy" of our time: Vishal Bharadwaj

Asserting that he was not unduly perturbed by the protests at the University campus in Hazratbal yesterday, he assured people of Kashmir that "Haider" would be a real depiction of the pain people have gone through in the past two decades.

Vishal Bhardwaj

"I want to share the pain which the people of Kashmir have gone through in the last 20-25 years and I want to be very sensitive and honest about it... Kashmir is the biggest human tragedy of our time," Bharadwaj told reporters. 

The filmmaker said he does not think any other part of the country has gone through a "bigger tragedy" than this. "In modern time since I have been born and grew up, I do not think any other part of the country has gone through such a bigger (sic) tragedy than this. And there has not been real depiction of that pain in Bollywood," the he said.

Bharadwaj said he wants to tell the story of Kashmir. "All the characters are from Kashmir in my film. My film does not show people singing on a shikara (boat) or running with a gun. It is the story of a middle class family from here.

My character is a well educated character," he said. Bharadwaj lamented the negative portrayal of Kashmir in Bollywood movies, saying he feels ashamed. "I hear a lot that Bollywood does not depict the true picture of Kashmir. I feel ashamed but it is the vision of a filmmaker as to what he wants to show and I cannot change that. "I want to tell the story honestly and you have to watch the film to believe me.

I promise you that you won't be disappointed. I am treating the story honestly as I am not making the film for commercial reasons but for personal reasons," he said. Bharadwaj said till now the people have seen Kashmir from outside but "I want to show it from inside".

The film crew, which has been shooting for 'Haider' in Kashmir for nearly two weeks, had to pack up after the students living in hostels in the University campus objected to hoisting of the national tri-colour atop a make-shift bunker.

"It was not a big deal. Even when we were in college we used to do that. I heard that some students were detained. It was very surprising and I felt very sad. There was no scene to hoist the national flag and I don't know what really happened," he said.

Expressing sadness over the non-existence of cinema halls here, the filmmaker said theatres should be opened for the entertainment of people. "It is very sad that there are no cinema halls here.

I went to Neelam cinema and saw its condition. There should be something for the entertainment of the people... Cinemas should be opened. I would love to restart them with 'Haider'," he said. Bharadwaj expressed the wish of screening 'Haider' at the Kashmir university to share the story with students there. "I think the students will be happy watching the movie," he said. Bharadwaj is shooting for 'Haider', starring Shahid Kapoor, Irrfan Khan and Shraddha Kapoor, since November 8.

The movie is an adaption of Shakespearean tragedy Hamlet and is set in Kashmir valley. He also talked about having a wonderful time while shooting the film in Kashmir. "The people here are very sweet and are very innocent.

Their innocence has not been corrupted. 'Azaan' (call for prayers) reverberating from the mosques is so beautiful that I wish we had such beauty at our place," he said.

"I have not been able to separate myself from Kashmir since I have come here. It is a wonderful place," he said adding "I am not going to compromise on the vision I have for the film and not a single scene for the movie will be shot outside Kashmir," he added. 

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