Harmukh Award of Excellence

Shehjar e-magazine

To promote Kashmiri Hindu literature, culture and history, KHF announced its “Annual KP Awards”. The awards is conferred on writers or artists who have made a significant contribution in popularizing the music, showcase KP culture, exodus of Kashmiris or educate the world about KP plight.

This year Kashmiri Hindu Foundation, Inc (KHF) recognizes and confers special award Siddharth Acharya.

Siddharth Acharya has made a thoughtful documentary, The Abandoned Cranes, showing plight of Kashmiri Pundits and on Article 370.

Most comprehensive piece of work on Kashmir, Article 370, Religious persecution of Kashmiri Pundits, Life of Migrants in Jammu Camps, Illegal Bangladeshi and Rohingya immigrants, Militancy as well as Social, Economical, Political and Legal problems of State of Jammu and Kashmir.

Siddharth Acharya just finished his Law Graduation from Government Law College, Mumbai. He hails from Bikaner, Rajasthan and is currently working with a reputed Law firm of Mumbai.

About the Film from the Maker:

I started making "Abandoned Cranes" last year in August, 2013 but this subject was in my mind years before I started working on it. After joining College, I got to read Human Rights as subject and I was fascinated towards reading about issues of ethnic cleansing and war crime in the whole word. While researching I got to know about Kashmiri Hindus and their pain. I was taken aback when even in my family no one knew anything about what happened with them during early 90's (as I belong to a very educated and learned family). When I met few Pandits around they also opined that their community and rest of Hindus were cowards and they could not give resistance to millitants. What surprised me more was International community being silent and remaining mute spectator on the entire issue and Indian Government projecting them as "migrants" out of choice. This was the time when I felt that this generation needs to be educated about this issue so that they stop only mourning on post Godhra riots and Delhi riots of 2002. Its true that whenever you speak about Kashmiri Hindus, you are alleged to be a supporter of Right wing and this issue has been propogated as right wing agenda so no liberal likes to discuss it.

I wanted to come up with film which should address the social, political and legal concerns of Kashmiri Hindus and among Hindus different ethnic communities, castes and regions which they belong to. Abandoned Cranes was my first attempt to bring out the sufferings of Pandits and their identity crisis in the nation which is shackled by heavy burden of word "Secularism". I also wanted to project how Faarooq Abdullah (the Constitutional Criminal) was heavily responsible for creating chaos, disturbance and anarchy in the state and was responsible for instigating Jammu Kashmir Liberation Movement to come back in power. The films which have been made on this issue only talks about displaced Hindus crying on what happened but I wanted to end my film on note of optimism. And this was in 2013, till when even Modi on public record did not speak about Pandits. I felt motivated and I started shooting and met every possible person who was relevant to this topic including Jagmohan, Ram Jethmalani, Subramanian Swamy, Meenakshi Lekhi, Rahul Pandita, Moti Kaul, Dr. KL Pandita etc. I also wanted to take opinion of other side so I decided to meet Geelani, Meerwaiz, Naeem Khan and Haashim Qureshi (the hijacker). We wanted to release film on January 19, 2014 but due to post production problems it delayed but still we managed to release it before elections.

The film had got tremendous response on You-tube as well as social networking sites and film get standing ovation from Jagmohanji at India International Centre. The film is proposed to be screened at UNHRC (Geneva), French Parliament, JNU (Delhi) and Israeli Film festivals as well. We are trying hard to screen at House of Commons as well. After this I have also completed the shoot of my next film Chenaab-river filled with blood which is based on plight of refugees from West Pakistan, Chhamb and POJK refugees from Mirpur and Muzzafarabad. I am also writing a novel on third generation boy of a family who was victim of partition and how he discovers himself after going to Pakistan once as a peace delegate. The novel will be out by August 2015.

Last year KHF gave Lifetime achievement award to Kailash mehra Sadhu. In a historic significance, California State Senate also recognized Kailash Mehra Sadhu for her lifetime achievements and contributions to advancing Kashmiri Culture and Music.