Why is ‘The Kashmir Files’ tax-free and not ours? ‘Jhund’ producer questions the criterion on which govt selects a film

Savita Raj Hiremath, one of the producers of the latest release ‘Jhund’ staring Amitabh Bachchan, has said that she is “shocked” why her film was not made tax-free. She added that her film not only saw a positive audience response, but also had a theme that is “important for the development of our country”. Savita’s comment comes days after Vivek Agnihotri’s recently released film ‘The Kashmir Files’ was made tax-free in several states across the country. She has raised many questions regarding the film.

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On Friday, Savita wrote on Facebook that, while The Kashmir Files is an important film, Jhund is no less. “I recently watched Kashmir files and as the story of Kashmiri Pandits exodus its heartbreaking and is a story that needed to be told. It is a good voice for Kashmiri Pandits..!! But as the producer of JHUND I am perplexed. After all Jhund is also an important film and has a story and a Big Message that has received tremendous acclaim and word of mouth from audience.”

A week after ‘Jhund’, ‘The Kashmir Files’, based on the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley in the 1990s, opened in cinemas. The film received support from the central government, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and several leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, who promoted the film. ‘The Kashmir Files’ featuring Anupam Kher, Darshan Kumar, Mithun Chakraborty and Pallavi Joshi was also declared tax-free in states such as Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Karnataka, Tripura and Goa.

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Savita said in her note that she was curious to know what are the criteria for the government to select the film and exempt it from entertainment tax. She further added that, “So I want to find out what’s the criterion on which govt selects a film to support it so strongly by making tax free, endorsing it through social media and asking Offices to showcase the film or give half day holiday to its employees.”

‘Jhund’ shows the story of inequality

Concluding her post, she added that ‘Jhund’ too is based on a subject ‘crucial to our country’s growth’ as she wrote, “After all jhund also has a subject that is so crucial to our country’s growth..jhund is not just talking about the disparity between caste and economic disparity but also shows a way to make the lower strata of society find their success story.”

‘Jhund’, which released theatrically on March 4 to rave reviews. The film featured Amitabh Bachchan as Vijay Barse, a retired play teacher from Nagpur who pioneered a slum football movement. The film marked the Hindi debut of filmmaker Nagraj Manjule, who is known for the Marathi films ‘Fandry’ and ‘Sairat’.

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