The Kerala Story, a film which is all set to release on May 5 faces backlash. The ruling CPM government may take legal action against the makers. The movie is inspired by true events and shows how 32,000 non-muslim women were forcefully converted to Islam and were admitted to the terrorist outfit ISIS.
Culture Minister Saji Cherian urged people to boycott the movie saying it aimed to show the state in bad light. He added, “People of all religions live in harmony here”.
“Kerala is a state which is known for communal harmony… This movie could be seen as an attempt by the Sangh Parivar to destroy the secular fabric of the state… This is a conspiracy to divide and create unrest in society,” Cherian said.
Other than the governing CPM, the opposition Congress and Indian Muslim league has also slammed the movie. They call it an agenda film a “Sangh Parivar conspiracy to implement its agenda in the state”.
State opposition leader, Congress’s VD Satheesan, demanded that the state block screenings. “The film falsely claims that 32,000 women in Kerala were converted and became members of IS. This is not freedom of expression but part of an attempt to implement the Sangh agenda of creating divisions in society by casting doubts on minority groups. The trailer makes it clear,” said Satheesan.
“Permission should not be given to screening the film which falsely claims that 32,000 women in Kerala have been converted into Islam and became members of ISIS”, said the congress leader.
CPM youth wing DYFI echoed the calls for legal action and alleged that the trailer “aims at communal polarisation”. IUML state general secretary PMA Salam said: “The trailer highlights CPM leader (and former CM) VS Achuthanandan’s statement regarding religious conversion made 13 years ago. CPM should clarify its present stand.”
The Welfare Party of India demanded a case against the film’s director Sen and the producer. Vipul Amrutlal Shah, besides a probe into the “finances of propaganda movies being produced across the country”.
The DYFI in a Facebook post alleged that the medium of cinema was being misused by the makers of the movie to create communal divisions in society and to tarnish the image of the state.
Earlier a Chennai-based journalist, Aravindakshan BR petitioned CM Vijayan against The Kerala Story alleging it portrays the state in poor light and tries to create communal disharmony.
He said, “The film portrays Kerala as a terror-supporting state. It undermines confidence in India’s intelligence agencies. Therefore Kerala government should take appropriate actions. ”
In the film actress Adah Sharma is playing the role of Fathima Ba, a Hindu Malayali nurse, who is among the 32,000 women who went missing from Kerala and were then recruited to the ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) after being forced to convert to Islam.
In November 2023, based on the petitioner’s complaint, Kerala police has filed a case over the content of the film and its teaser where it says 32,000 Hindu women has converted to Islam and has been sent to ISIS from Kerala.
Both ruling and opposition parties has spoken against the movie and termed it a propaganda film to spark communal outrage in Kerala and to tarnish the image of the state.