Shikara: A love Letter From Kashmir tells the story of the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the valley in 1990.

One of the least written about refugee crisis in modern India is the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Kashmir Valley in 1990. Thirty years later, filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra decided to bring to the world their tale in a film called Shikara: A love Letter From Kashmir. The film’s trailer was unveiled on January 7, 2020.

 Watch the Shikara trailer here:[embedded content]

The trailer opens with the declaration that it is based on real events — we see a young couple enjoy moments of love and solitude together. Minutes later, the woman notices fire in the neighbourhood. As they rush to the window to see what has happened, we are shown rushes of houses burning and glass panes breaking. This is followed by a montage of events that unfolded in January 1990 as over four lakh Kashmiri pandits were forced out of their home and had to leave the valley. As they become refugees in their own country, the ignominy of staying in relief camps is highlighted.

The film stars Sadia as Shanti Dhar and Aadil Khan as Shiv Kumar Dhar — in lead roles.

On December 20, the makers had given a glimpse of the film by releasing a a motion poster. From January 1990, there was an exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Kashmir Valley. Vidhu Vinod Chopra, who hails from Srinagar, has given a glimpse of what had happened to his home state and its people during that fateful tragedy and its aftermath, through his upcoming film.

Shikara is touted as a “story of resilience in the face of insurmountable odds. It’s also the story of a love that remains unextinguished through 30 years of exile. A timeless love story in the worst of times”. Rahul Pandita, author of the book, Our Moon Has Blood Clots: The Exodus Of Kashmiri Pandits, has turned Bollywood screenwriter for Shikara: A love Letter From Kashmir.

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In his book, Rahul has written about the hardships faced by Kashmiri Pandits who were forced to leave the Kashmir Valley as a result of being targeted by militant groups in nineties. It is said the film will not be entirely adapted from the book. The makers have taken the route of a love story to highlight the tragedy witnessed by Kashmiri Pandits 30 years ago.

Rahul, who has himself been a victim of that exodus, had launched his book in 2013. Chopra was in attendance at the event back then. The film is clearly very close to Chopra, who will be donning the director’s hat after his directorial Eklavya: The Royal Guard that had hit the screens in 2007.

(With IANS inputs)

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