Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) MP NK Premachandran has demanded that the ruling CPI(M) make a public statement clarifying the statement of its leader V S Achuthanathan quoted in the controversial film “The Kerala Story,” which is scheduled for release on May 5.
In a trailer released by the film’s makers, a character is heard saying that Kerala’s former Chief Minister, in reference to Achuthananthan, had said that the radical Popular Front of India (PFI) is aiming to turn Kerala into an Islamic State by 2030.
Both Kerala’s ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) and its main opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) opposed the film, alleging that it is propaganda aimed at denigrating Kerala and is targeting a particular community.
Controversy erupted after the trailer of the movie stated that 32,000 women from Kerala were converted to Islam and recruited by the terrorist organisation Islamic State.
After the backlash, makers modified the trailer to state that the movie was based “on true stories of three young girls from different parts of Kerala.”
Accusing the film of aiming to create a communal divide RSP leader Premachandran on May 2, said that “The Kerala Story” was premised on Achuthanathan ‘s comment that certain people want to make Kerala an Islamic State by 2030.
“The movie is based on former Chief Minister and CPI(M) Polit Bureau Member VS Achuthanathan‘s statement that certain sects in the State are trying to make Kerala an Islamic state by 2030. So they have to come out with an open statement clarifying the context of the statement” said Premachanthran while speaking to media persons here.
“In the trailer of the film, it is clear that it is trying to create a communal division in Kerala, the makers of the movie claim that the story is based on facts even though it is admitted by the Central Government in Parliament that there is no love jihad in the country,” said the RSP leader.
Premachanthran accused CPI(M) of playing both minority communal politics and majority communal politics.
“In the name of social engineering, they (CPIM) always use the majority community as well as the minority communities. Back then they wanted to appease the majority and now they want the Muslim community to align with them. Unfortunately, they are wooing the communal forces and that is why these forces are gaining strength in the state,” Premachndran said.
Helmed by Sudipto Sen and produced by Vipul Amrutlal Shah, ‘The Kerala Story’ has raked up a controversy with its claim that 32,000 girls from the State went missing and later joined the terrorist group, ISIS.
The film stars Adah Sharma, Yogita Bihani, Siddhi Idnani and Sonia Balani in the lead roles.
Leader of Opposition in Kerala Legislative Assembly VD Satheesan recently said that the film ‘The Kerala Story’ should not be granted permission for screening.
“The film ‘The Kerala Story’ which falsely claims that 32,000 women in Kerala converted and became members of the Islamic State, should not be granted permission for screening. The trailer clearly shows what the film intends to say”, Satheesan had said in a Facebook post.
He also alleged that the film is part of an attempt to implement Sangh Parivar’s agenda and create a social divide by casting a shadow of doubt over the minority groups.
“This is not an issue of freedom of expression but part of an attempt to implement the Sangh Parivar agenda to create a divide in the society by casting a shadow of doubt over the minority groups”, he said.
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor also called the film as a “misrepresentation of the state’s 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 and clear that this is a misrepresentation of our reality,” Tharoor tweeted.
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. https://t.co/sEIG91mjSP
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) May 1, 2023
Earlier he had shared a poster of the film and written, “It may be your Kerala story. It is not our Kerala story.”
(with inputs from ANI)