Nargis Dutt Award for ‘The Kashmir Files’: MK Stalin, Omar Abdullah, and Owaisi condemn

Vivek Agnihotri's directorial winning the award for 'national integration' drew criticism from several politicians across the nation.

BySouth First Desk

Published Aug 25, 2023 | 5:26 PMUpdatedAug 25, 2023 | 5:26 PM

MK Stalin criticises The Kashmir Files being awarded

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin expressed shock at the announcement of the Nargis Dutt Award for the controversial film The Kashmir Files (2022).

Shortly after the selection committee announced the winners of the 69th National Film Awards on 24 August, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister took to social media to slam the jury’s decision to award the prestigious award to the controversial film.

In a tweet on social media platform X, Stalin wrote: “It is shocking to know that the Nargis Dutt Award, which is given to the Best Feature Film on National Integration, has been announced to a film that was denounced by objective film critics.”

He added, “The absence of political bias in literature and in awards being presented to films is what will make such awards be looked at as a timeless honour. The dignity of National Awards should not be sacrificed for the sake of cheap politics.”

Applauds other winners

Stalin also congratulated the units of Tamil films that had won National awards.

He said, “My congratulations to the unit of Kadaisi Vivasayi, which has been selected as the Best Tamil Feature film. Also, my congratulations to Shreya Ghoshal, who has won the Best Singer award for Mayava Sayavav song from Iravin Nizhal.”

The Chief Minister, who also congratulated music director Srikanth Deva for winning a special mention award for the documentary Karuvarai, expressed his appreciation to the unit of Sirpigalin Sirpangal, which won the award for the Best Educational Film.

Related: 69th National Film Awards: Who won what? 

Omar Abdullah’s sarcastic tweet

Stalin wasn’t the only political leader who raised the issue of the Nargis Dutt Award being announced for The Kashmir Files.

Omar Abdullah, the Vice-President of the Jammu Kashmir National Conference, too, put out a tweet on the issue.

Quoting the headline of a news agency report that read: “The Kashmir Files wins Nargis Dutt award for best film on national integration”, Omar Abdullah wrote the words “National Integration” within quotes and put a laughing smiley next to it.

The tweet evoked a swift response from the film’s director Vivek Agnihotri, who replied, “This is the biggest award coming from you Omar Abdullah. If you had commented otherwise, I would have been very disappointed. Thanks again.”

Related: Winners share their happiness over winning National Awards

Asaduddin Owaisi condemns

On Friday, 25 August, Hyderabad MP and MIM Chief Asaduddin Owaisi expressed his displeasure over the Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration being conferred on The Kashmir Files.

In a statement, he questioned if the film promoted national integration in its true sense.

He recalled that Muslims were abused, hate speeches were made, and Kashmiris were abused after the release of Vivek Agnihotri’s directorial.