Paradise Lost in Mission Kashmir: Global Terrorism, Local Insurgencies, and the Question of Kashmir in Indian Cinema


Alpana Sharma

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Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s commercial Indian film Mission Kashmir (2000) played to packed audiences in the Indian subcontinent and in the subcontinental diaspora in the west. The subject of the film may have been too obscure for the US, even given the relative success of another “Bollywood” film, Lagaan, which concerns an even more obscure subject—the sport of cricket in 1890s colonial India—and which was an Oscar nominee in the best foreign film category in 2002. The subject in question is the separatist movement going on in Kashmir, a Muslim-majority state disputed between India and Pakistan since 1947, and it is not quite so obscure in these countries. Indeed, in a bizarre case of art imitating life, Kashmir’s prevailing instability itself played an integral part in the film’s shooting.



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