At the pinnacle of the splendor of the Himalayas sits the Kashmir valley, one of the most stunningly picturesque places on earth. But today, its grandeur has also become ubiquitous with the ravages of terrorism and counter terrorism operations. That is also the hell on earth being a fiercely disputed territory between India and Pakistan. The serenity of village life embraced by the calm mountains is punctuated with routine gunshots every now and then.
For AASMA, heaven and hell are about to collide. Four armed cross-border militants sneak over the border, harbored by the leader of the village. The five men kidnap AASMA one night, with rapacious intent, to use her and leave her for death until they can move locations in the morning.
But as her night of torment and agony unfolds, one of the militants undergoes a change of heart. His conscience raises head. In the midst of armed hostility, if not anything else, he must find a way to delay the inevitable. In the ensuing gunfire, the tormenters die one after another. The two living Jihadists - each with a pistol to the other's forehead - debate the true meaning of Islam, of Jihad.
Can he foil their intent? Can a different face of Islamic terrorism emerge from this desperate plight, so that AASMA is not yet another faceless victim of this endless conflict? Will AASMA live to see the morning's heavenly dew? Or she will succumb to a night of hell on the floor of abandoned bunker?
While working on the script of my previous film, AKHNOOR, I happened to reach a remote Himalayan hamlet near Indo-Pakistan border, in the picturesque northern Indian state, Kashmir. The story of the apparently serene and tranquil village made a cold wave pass through my spine. The facts of those villages still shiver me. The chilling fact of the villages are, females above 12-years of age, are raped... repeatedly - mostly by the cross-boarder terrorists or by few miscreants of Indian army. The muted anger and dried tears in the eyes of the women folks - will not let you be the same person. I realized, wherever there is a war in any form... the worst sufferers in the world are the women of the war zone. Nobody knows the name behind the veils - nobody sees the beaten and bruised heart - none bother about their human rights. Be it Kashmir or Syria, Iraq or Turkey, El Salvador or Nigeria, Sudan or Bosnia...the story of the women remain same.
Islam never allows insult - physical or psychological whacking to women, under any circumstances. The most misunderstood philosophy of the world - Islam, solemnly preaches peace, harmony and respect. But - in the hand of pimps of the religion - a monster has been created in the name of Islam - Islamic terrorism. The threat now is direct. World has been distinctly divided in to two - Muslims and non-Muslims! The very existence of our years old civilization is under serious threat. The muted AASMA - my protagonist - and her night of quail raises the question pretty straight - eyes to eyes! What is the true meaning of Jihad...???
Inspired by a true story - AASMA is a special film to me, where - at the end of the war, without beating around the bush - I am able raise the most important question of our time...
...One of the tormentors survived to ask the raped, beaten, broken, molested girl - "what is your name"?
AASMA : ELENA KAZAN
RAMZAN ALI : VISWAJIT PRADHAN
NAZIR : VISHAL SHARMA
BILAL : AMIT GAUR
USMAAN : SUNNY HINDUJA
INTEKHAAB : SUBRAT DUTTA
LAST MONK FILMS presentation
In Association with
UBEROI LINE PRODUCTIONS
HEMANT KESHAV SHARMA
VIJAY RAJAN SINGH
People of Mussoorie, Uttarakhand
Department of Tourism, Uttarakhand
Mussoorie Municipal Administration
Toab Talent Management
Western India Film Producers' Association
Dev Basu (Story Boarding)
Swati Gupta (Script Translation)
Bhupendra Pratap Singh
Dr. Raghunath Singh
Veer Viderdra Kapoor
Shanti Bhusan Roy
Meesam Jaidi, Satya Prakash, Jagruti Jethe
Md. Aslam Khan
Flying Monkey Pictures
Aroon Singh Dikky
Vijay Singh Negi
Anil Sekhri & Co
Khan (Boom Man), Sudesh Sidhu - (Sound Assistant)
Karnail Sing & Sajjan Choudhary
Image Devices (I) Pvt. Ltd (Amit Jalan)
Partho P Das @ Studio Rudra
Image Devices, Canaries Post Sound, Sound City, Chubu Music Studios, Mumbai
Aradhana Sound Service, Mumbai
Ashok Giri (Gaffer), Anesh, Rajesh Jha, Mukul, Ali, Luvkush
Neeraj Misra (Head Spot), Ajay, Kasim, Vikas Jha
Walky-Talky Man, Rame Sankar Yadav
Ravi, Raj, Vijender, Anil, Kishore, Fardeen, Shahid, Arjun Yadav
Gangawal Tours & Travel Services, Karan Travel, Arjun Tempo
Naresh Panwar Tempo, Navin Kumar Jha (Railway Tickets),
Dheeraj Yadav (Railway Tickets)
Kafil Malik, Sreejith Karanavar, Hiren Joshi, Shobhik Mullick