Singapore has placed a ban on the controversial Indian film based on the exodus of Hindus from Muslim-majority Kashmir, saying it is concerned over its “potential to cause enmity between different communities”.
The Kashmir Files has been lauded by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his right-wing Hindu nationalist followers. The film has done well at the box office, however, critics say it is not entirely factual and supports anti-Muslim sentiment.
“The film will be refused classification for its provocative and one-sided portrayal of Muslims and the depictions of Hindus being persecuted in the ongoing conflict in Kashmir,” the Singapore government said in a statement on Monday.
“These representations have the potential to cause enmity between different communities, and disrupt social cohesion and religious harmony in our multi-racial and multi-religious society,” the statement added.
Singapore’s 5.5 million population consists of mainly ethnic Chinese, Malays and Indians. The Southeast Asian city-state has harsh laws that penalize any attempts to disrupt inter-racial and religious harmony.
Hundreds of thousands of people, majority of which were Hindus, fled Kashmir following a violent uprising against Indian rule in 1989.
Supporters of the movie argue it highlights an overlooked chapter of Kashmir’s history whereas others view it as evidence of the increasing religious polarization since the Modi government came to power in 2014.