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War of words, ‘cash rewards’ over ‘The Kerala Story’ film. Top points

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The Kerala Story, starring Adah Sharma, is set to be released in cinemas on May 5.

The content of the upcoming Hindi film ‘The Kerala Story’ has snowballed into a massive political backlash, with the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF), the Opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) and the Congress opposing the film.

The controversial film depicts how thousands of young women were brainwashed into joining the Islamic State (IS) and heading off to countries like Syria and Afghanistan.

Top points on ‘The Kerala Story’ row:

1. Both the CPI(M) and the opposition Congress criticised the makers of the movie, saying they were taking up the Sangh Parivar propaganda of projecting the state as a centre of religious extremism by raising the bogey of ‘love jihad’ — a concept rejected by the courts, probe agencies and the Union home ministry.

2. Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan has accused the Sangh Parivar of trying to destroy religious harmony in the state by “sowing the poisonous seeds of communalism”.

3. The Bharatiya Janata Party has termed as “double standards” the stand of the Kerala CM and ruling CPI(M) that freedom of speech and expression could not be a justification for using cinema to spread sectarianism in the state and create divisions.


4. As the BJP came out in support of the controversial film, Congress’s Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor said Keralites had the right to say loud and clear that the movie was a “misrepresentation of our reality”. “Let me stress, I am not calling for a ban on the film. Freedom of expression does not cease to be valuable just because it can be misused. But Keralites have every right to say loud & clear that this is a misrepresentation of our reality,” he tweeted.

5. According to reports, representatives of the Film Exhibitors United Organisation of Kerala (FEUOK) have stated that banning a film is futile since viewers can still watch it on OTT platforms. Suresh Shenoy, an office bearer of FEUOK and a theatre complex owner in Kochi, has been quoted by the media as saying that such a move sets a bad precedent and amounts to censorship.

6. The Kerala State Committee of Muslim Youth League has announced a reward of ₹1 crore for the individual who proves the “allegations” levelled in the movie.

7. In a strange twist, a right-wing activist and founder of the Hindu Seva Kendra Pratheesh Viswanath has also offered ₹10 crore. To prove the opposite: that no one from Kerala has gone to Syria to join IS.

About ‘The Kerala Story’

The Kerala Story, starring Adah Sharma, is set to be released in cinemas on May 5. It is backed by Sunshine Pictures Private Limited, founded by Vipul Amrutlal Shah, who serves as the producer, creative director and co-writer of the film.

The film’s writer-director Sudipto Sen’s earlier movies are ‘Aasma’, ‘Lucknow Times’ and ‘The Last Monk.’

Source: Hindustan Times

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