Representative Kennedy confirmed to Fact Crescendo that this citation was strictly given to the movie director for the premiere of his movie. The state of Rhode Island did not recognize Kashmiri Hindu Pandit Genocide after watching the movie Kashmir Files.
The film “The Kashmir Files” directed by Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri has been creating ripples in the society since its release. The film is based on the mass exodus of Kashmiri Hindus during the Kashmir insurgency of 1990.
In the backdrop of this, director of Kashmir Files, Vivek Agnihotri tweeted an image claiming that for the first time in 32 years Rhode Island, which is a liberal state in USA, has officially recognised the ‘genocide of Kashmiri Pandits’ after watching the film the Kashmir Files. The image shows a Citation certificate in recognition of the premier of The Kashmir Files issued on December 9, 2021, at the State House in Providence, Rhode Island.
The caption of the tweet reads, “HISTORIC: First time in 32 years, any state in the world, the democratic & liberal state of USA -Rhode Island, has officially recognised Kashmir Genocide due to a very small film. Pl read this and decide who is the persecutor and who should get the punishment. This is #NewIndia”
However, is it true that a state in the United States recognized the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Kashmir valley as a genocide? What exactly does the certificate tweeted by Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri say? Let’s find out!
We could see that in the certificate tweeted by Mr. Agnihotri, it is written: “in recognition of the premiere of The Kashmir Files, detailing terrorism and extremism by memorializing the events of 1990 in which 500,000 Kashmiri Hindus were ethnically cleansed in the Kashmir Valley by Islamic Gangs and forced to live as refugees.”
There is no implicit or explicit recognition by State of Rhode Island as claimed by Mr. Agnihotri.
On further researching, we found a tweet by an Independent Journalist named Raqib Hameed Naik debunking Vivek Agnihotri’s claim. He wrote, “I reached out to Rep.Brian Kennedy who told me that citation was given to simply recognize the premiere of movie at Rhode Island College & not “Hindu Genocide in Kashmir” It isn’t either a resolution approved by the state or members of House”
In the same thread Naik mentioned that “K. Joseph Shekarch, Speaker of the Rhode Island House of Representatives says that he is not even aware of this citation. “Speaker Shekarchi was not aware of this citation that was requested by Rep. Kennedy in off-session. It is not the official position of the House,”a staffer said.
Fact Crescendo reached out to Raqib Hameed Naik who sent us the response of the member of the House Representative Brian Kennedy, which clearly stated that “This citation was strictly given to the movie director for the premiere of his movie. It is nothing more and it is NOT an endorsement of the State of Rhode Island and the House of Representatives.”
Raqib Naik explained to us that this kind of citation is provided to several people of merit by the State of Rhode Island. He added that the claim made by Vivek Agnihotri in this case is false, as the State of Rhode Island did not recognize Kashmiri Hindu Pandit Genocide after watching the movie Kashmir Files. The citation was given as an acknowledgement for the premiere of the film in the Rhode Island College in December 2021 and nothing else.
Fact Crescendo reached out to Brian Patrick Kennedy, State Representative, Rhode Island via email. He sent us a written statement on why and how the film premiered in the college.
“I was contacted in December 2021 by an Indian-American from East Greenwich who is involved with the Federated Indian Organizations of New England regarding securing a citation for Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri for the premiere of his film “The Kashmir Files” that was being presented at Rhode Island College on Dec. 9, 2021,” said Representative Kennedy in his statement.
He wrote “A citation is what we provide to people for a special event of life. We give them to Boy Scouts who achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. We give them to students who attain a special honor or sports achievement. We provide them to retirees and those having a special birthday. A citation is simply the acknowledgement of a special event. It does NOT hold the weight of a Resolution approved by the members of the House. This citation was strictly given to the movie director for the premiere of his movie. It is nothing more and it is NOT an endorsement of the State of Rhode Island and the House of Representatives.”
You can view his entire statement below:Kashmir-Files-citation-1389
Fact Crescendo found the claim made along with the viral image on social media to be False. The Rhode Island did not recognize Kashmiri Hindu Pandit Genocide after watching the movie The Kashmir Files. The citation certificate was given after the film was premiered in Rhode Island College in December 2021. It does not hold the weight of a Resolution approved by the members of the House. This citation was strictly given to the movie director for the premiere of his movie.
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Title:The US State of Rhode Island has not recognized ‘Kashmiri Pandit Genocide’ After Watching Vivek Agnihotri’s The Kashmir Files…Fact Check By: Aavya Ray