The Supreme Court has agreed to list on May 15 an appeal against the Kerala High Court’s interim order refusing to stay the release of the movie ‘The Kerala Story’ today, May 9. Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal mentioned the matter before a bench of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud for the early listing of the plea.
On May 5 the Kerala High Court declined to pass any interim order on pleas against the release of the movie ‘The Kerala Story’. Asserting that secular Kerala society will accept the film for what it is, the High Court asked petitioners how the movie, which it observed is fiction and not history, would create sectarianism and conflict in the society. The court sought to know whether the entire trailer was against society.
“Nothing will happen just because the film is screened. The teaser of the film was released in November. What was offensive in the film? What is wrong in saying that Allah is the only God? The country gives citizens the right to believe in their religion and God and spread it. What was offensive in the trailer?” the court observed while considering a batch of petitions seeking to cancel the film’s censor certificate.
“So many movies have already come out about such organizations. There have been references against Hindu monks and Christian priests in many films before. Did you see all this in the way of fiction? What is so special now? How does this movie create sectarianism and conflict in the society?” the court observed.
‘The Kerala Story’ film is based on a terror conspiracy. It shows the ugly truth of terrorism and exposes the design of terrorists”, the PM said adding that Congress is standing with terrorists who are trying to ban the film.
The Backlash Against ‘The Kerala Story’
Kerala’s ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF), the opposition United Democratic Front (UDF), and other Left and Islamic organisations spoke out against the release of ‘The Kerala Story’ in the state and called for a ban. The Kerala Congress spoke out against the film and told people to boycott it.
The film even faced legal action. Earlier, the Supreme Court refused to entertain an interlocutory application (IA) challenging the release of the movie on May 2. The court further observed that an IA is not an appropriate remedy to challenge the release of a movie.
Despite the backlash was reported that the movie had a decent Day 1 Box Office opening, where it collected around Rs 7.5 – 8 crore. It is pertinent to note that the movie’s collections raked in a decent amount even though its screenings were cancelled, on the opening day, in several Kerala districts after protests against the movie. The film has made around Rs 35.25 crore, and it is just the third day and is expected to make more in the coming days, as per the trade analysts.
‘The Kerala Story’, stars Adah Sharma, Yogita Bihani, Sonia Balani, and Siddhi Idnani in the lead roles. The film is produced by Vipul Amrutlal Shah and directed by Sudipto Sen. In the film, actress Adah Sharma plays the role of Fathima Ba, a Hindu Malayali nurse who went missing from Kerala and was recruited by ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) after being forced to convert to Islam. The trailer of Sen’s film ‘The Kerala Story’ came under fire as it claimed that 32,000 girls from the state went missing and later joined the terrorist group, ISIS. Faced with backlash the makers then withdrew the figure and called the movie the story of three women from Kerala, in its trailer description.
[with inputs from ANI]