Filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri took to Twitter to appeal for support after he was allegedly ‘cancelled’ by Oxford University. He also threatened to file a lawsuit against Oxford Union, the student-run debating society at Oxford University.
The filmmaker, best known for his film 'The Kashmir Files' which released earlier this year, said in a video that he was invited by UK's Oxford University's student body to make an address on May 31. However, a few hours before the event, he was told there was a mistake and they would not be able to host him, he said.
“It was all confirmed on email but a few hours back, they said they had made a mistake, there was a double booking and they wouldn’t be able to host me today. Without even asking me, they changed the date to July 1 because on that day no student would be there and there’s no point doing an event,” he said.
In his tweet, the director wrote, “Yet another Hindu voice is curbed at Hinduphobic Oxford University. They have cancelled me. In reality, they cancelled Hindu Genocide and Hindu students who are a minority at Oxford University. The president-elect [of the union] is a Pakistani. Please share and support me in this most difficult fight.” He added that he would file a law suit against the university.
“They call me Islamophobic. As if killing thousands of Kashmiri Hindus was not Hinduphobic but making a film on the truth is Islamophobic Hindus are in minority at Oxford University. This is oppression of the minority,” Vivek Agnihotri said.
In his video, Vivek Agnihotri also narrated an anecdote at Cambridge University. He said he was told his address there could not be recorded at the last minute. “This is curbing of freedom of expression. This happened because a few Pakistani and Kashmiri Muslim students protested. On social media, they write that it’s because I support PM Modi,” he said.
Agnihotri's film 'The Kashmir Files', released in March 2022, was centred on the targeted killings and exodus of Kashmiri Hindus in the Kashmir Valley in the 1990s. The film became the centre of a raging debate - while many including Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised the movie, it also received a fair bit of criticism. Earlier this month, the film was banned in Singapore "over its potential to cause enmity between different communities".
There has been no response from the University administration or Oxford Union so far.