Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri is a rightwing Indian film director, author, and supporter of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. His films include Buddha In A Traffic Jam and The Tashkent Files. He is an unapologetic Islamophobe and often does propaganda for the RSS and the BJP. For his service, the BJP government appointed Agnihotri as the cultural representative at Indian Council for Cultural Relations in 2020.
In 2018, he wrote “Urban Naxals: The Making of Buddha in a Traffic Jam” book, with the sole intention of discrediting activists and intellectuals who are critical of the BJP government and the politicians on the rightwing spectrum.
During the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests in 2019 and early 2020, Agnihotri played an essential role in stirring the anti-Muslim sentiment and demonizing the Muslim protestors, indirectly resulting in violence in February 2020, leaving at least 53 people dead, mostly Muslims and injured another 400.
“Listen to all the derogatory, anti-India slogans raised in #ShaheenBagh and #CAAProtests What was the real agenda behind CAA protests?” he wrote on Twitter.
“#ShaheenBagh has turned into an Islamist conversion centre and a hideout for all kinds of criminals like pickpockets, mobile thieves, drug-peddlers. All kinds of illegal activities are flourishing there. I wonder why Delhi citizens are tolerating this?,” he wrote in another Tweet.
Vivek also targeted other Bollywood actors who stood in support of anti-CAA protestors.
In August 2020, Vivek spent weeks promoting a book that criminalized the Muslim victims of the Delhi pogrom. He also supports and shares the stage with Kapil Mishra, one of the main architects of the Delhi pogrom.
Vivek is also a sexual predator. In September 2018, he was accused by actress Tanushree Dutta of sexual misconduct.
“I was wearing a towel on my costume and standing behind the camera. This guy (Vivek Agnihotri) wanted me to give cues to an actor (Irrfan). It was an actor’s close-up. It was not even my shot. I was not even going to be in the shot. It was the actor’s close-up, and he had to just look at something and give expressions. This director, he told me, ‘Jao jaake kapde utaar ke naacho, usko cues do,'” she narrated.
In 2022, Agnihotri released a movie, “The Kashmir Files,” which vilifies Muslims and reinforces negative stereotypes. The film has stirred anti-Muslim hate and violence across the country. Several videos that went viral on social media show audience members at movie theaters screaming Islamophobic hate speech and calling for boycotts of Muslim-owned businesses.