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Ashok Pandit is a Hindu right-wing filmmaker propagating Hindu nationalist propaganda through films. He is a Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) sympathizer.
Pandit was a co-producer of the 2019 propaganda film, ‘The Accidental Prime Minister,’ which portrayed former Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh as a “puppet” prime minister.
He also co-produced the Islamophobic movie “72 Hoorain,” which translates to “72 Virgins,” in which Muslim beliefs are openly mocked, and the community is brazenly demonized. This film is a part of the new-fangled anti-Muslim genre of Indian cinema with other notable mentions like The Kashmir Files and The Kerala Story.
“We were all of us disturbed and shocked by the movie Kashmir Files that felt for us like a vulgar propaganda movie inappropriate for an artistic competitive section of such a prestigious film festival,” remarked jury chair Nadav Lapid at the 53rd International Film Festival of India after watching The Kashmir Files.
Pandit retorted by calling the Lapid a ‘planned agent.’
“The Israeli filmmaker was a planned agent, and it is a failure of our government and IFFI to make such a person the head of the jury. Kashmir Files exposed the narrative against the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits. On behalf of Kashmiri Pandits and as a filmmaker, I demand a serious investigation into the appointment of the chairperson of the jury,” he said.
Pandit serves as the president of the Indian Film & Television Directors’ Association and is the chief advisor of the Federation of Western India Cine Employees.
He has no qualms in branding the critics of the ruling dispensation as traitors, urban naxal, and anti-national. Similar are his views on the Muslim way of life. He has adamantly opposed Muslim women’s demands that they be allowed to wear hijabs in schools.
Pandit often posts fake news stories and videos to push the Hindu nationalist agenda by maligning opposition leaders and religious minorities. Multiple complaints have been filed against him for inciting, provoking the public, and creating enmity between groups.
In June 2023, his Twitter handle was suspended for issuing a death threat to a Twitter user.