Vivek Agnihotri, the director of The Kashmir Files, a film based on the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the valley in 1990, has slammed the Foreign Correspondents Club and the Press Club of India on social media, for “undemocratically” banning him from holding a media interaction on their premises.
The irate director, who claims he is a “victim of a hate campaign”, has decided to go ahead and hold the press conference at a five-star hotel instead.
On Wednesday (May 4), Agnihotri tweeted that the “watchdogs of democracy and messiah of free speech” have not only banned him undemocratically but were also lying through their teeth. He was directing his ire at the Foreign Correspondents Club (FCC) and the Press Club of India (PCI), because both had allegedly not given their approval for him to hold the media interaction on their premises.
Wow! @PCITweets also cancelled me. The watchdogs of democracy and messiah of free speech not only banned me undemocratically but are also lying through their teeth.
1. Encl are the facts.
2. They have booked earlier through our agency without any member’s recco. Receipt encl. https://t.co/APRzRlYR18 pic.twitter.com/BQTcY1SXUs
— Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri (@vivekagnihotri) May 4, 2022
In a video posted by the director on Tuesday, Agnihotri revealed that he was reportedly scheduled to hold a press conference on Thursday, May 5 at the FCC, since many foreign media wanted to talk to him about the “truth behind the Kashmir genocide”.
However, to his “shock”, the FCC president called him and told him the event had to be cancelled. According to Agnihotri, this is because “some very powerful media had taken strong objection to this conference and had threatened to resign en masse if it is allowed”.
This cancellation prompted Agnihotri to announce that he will hold the media interaction at an alternative venue, the PCI, on the same date.
When PCI appeared to backtrack as well, Agnihotri took to Twitter today to vent his anger posting his comments along with his communication with the clubs. The director then decided to have an “open house press conference” at a hotel in Delhi on the same day and promised to answer the “toughest questions”.
In a WhatsApp message to PTI, the director invited all democratic and free speech pro-Truth believers, media people, correspondents, reporters, media activists and those with empathy for Kashmir Genocide victims tomorrow (May 5) at 3.30 PM at Le Meridien, New Delhi.
Meanwhile, the PCI clarified that the club allows press conferences only with advanced booking. “There is a due process, and bookings have to be done through a member of the Club,” the club tweeted, adding that it is not conducting any event on May 5. While the FCC south Asia president, Munish Gupta, said the FCC south Asia has decided to cancel a promotional event and has no further comment.
The Press Club of India is not facilitating any event on May 5 by any individual or organisation. The Club allows press conferences only with advanced booking. There is a due process, and bookings have to be done through a member of the Club.
— Press Club of India (@PCITweets) May 3, 2022
Agnihotri now alleged that “some powerful agenda driven” foreign media is part of an anti-India, anti-truth and anti-free speech conspiracy. “I’m a victim of a hate campaign by the same media which has been falsely blaming India for spreading hate,” he added.
On Tuesday, Agnihotri also released a separate tweet tagging Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Hardeep Singh Puri requesting them to intervene.
“Dear @AmitShah ji and @HardeepSPuri ji, I’d like to know what is the purpose of giving prime property to such anti-India, anti-free speech Foreign Correspondents Club. I am requesting you as a citizen to review their activities, purpose and agenda,” the director wrote.