New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday praised ‘The Kashmir Files’, a movie based on the plight of displaced Kashmiri Hindus, and slammed the “campaign to discredit” it by those who claim to be the flagbearers of freedom of expression.

“They are shocked that the truth that they tried to suppress is now coming out with the backing of facts and efforts,” Modi said in a ringing endorsement of the film that is now at the centre of a political slugfest with the Congress and some other opposition parties objecting to it.

Addressing the BJP parliamentary party meeting, Modi spoke at length about the film and lamented that no attempt has been made till now to make movies depicting the horrors of Partition and Emergency as there have been continuous efforts to “‘bury the truth”.

“You must have heard the discussion about the Kashmir Files, those who carry around the flag of freedom of expression, that whole group is rattled for the last few days,” Modi said in his speech whose video was shared on Twitter by the BJP and several party leaders.

”Instead of assessing the film on the basis of facts and truth, a campaign is on to discredit it. The whole ecosystem opposes anyone who tries to show the truth. They only try to project what they want to see as truth, the conspiracy for the last few days is to ensure that no one sees the truth,” Modi said.

Underlining that history has to be presented in the right context before the society from time to time, Modi said just as books, poetry and literature play a role in this, in the same way even films can do so too.

“My issue is not about a film, but about bringing the truth in its correct form before the country.

“There can be many aspects of truth and different views, those who think it is not correct can make their own film, but they are shocked that the truth that they tried to suppress is now coming out with the backing of facts and efforts,” Modi said.

He asserted that it is the responsibility of those who stand for truth to stand for this as well.

“I hope that everyone will fulfil this,” he added.

To further his point, Modi referred to Mahatma Gandhi and said post-independence, the world heard more about Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela.

“Had someone taken the effort to make a film on Gandhi and presented it to the world, the message may have been delivered,” he said, adding it was a foreigner who made a film on him that received much acclaim.

“Some people speak about freedom of expression, but no film was made on Emergency because there was a continuous effort to bury the truth.

“When we decided to mark August 14 as Partition Horrors Day, some people had issues with that…but how can the country forget that day,” Modi said.

Most of the BJP-ruled states have made the film, directed by Vivek Agnihotri, tax-free to encourage its viewership.

The party maintains that it has consistently raised the issue of displaced Kashmiri Hindus and has accused the previous Congress governments of ignoring their plight.

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