Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): After The Kashmir Files, another Hindi feature film, The Kerala Story, has courted controversy. Directed by Sudipto Sen and produced by Vipul Amrutlal Shah, the film is releasing on Friday in theatres across the country. The film is about a group of women from Kerala who are converted to Islam and join the extremist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Like The Kashmir Files, the film is promoted by BJP.
A state BJP office-bearer Rahul Kothari has requested chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to declare the film tax-free. “The film sends out a message to women and girls,” he said. Members of ABVP are appealing to people to watch the film by posting messages like - Must watch especially for Hindu Liberal Girls #TheKeralaStory - on social media. United Malayalee Association, Bhopal, president OD Joseph told Free Press that Kerala was not witnessing large-scale conversion of Hindu women to Islam.
“There may be isolated cases but there is nothing to substantiate the charge that Hindu women are being forced to adopt Islam and are being recruited for ISIS in a big way,” he said. Joseph said that director would alone know the objective behind making the film. “Nowadays, controversies are deliberately created around films. This way, filmmakers are able to save money they would have spent on promoting the film,” Joseph said.
The state CPM general secretary Badal Saroj said The Kerala Story was a part of campaign led by ideological gang of Saffron Brotherhood to spread hatred in society. “They may get few votes by doing so but they are damaging country’s social fabric, which is dangerous,” he said. Saroj said that there was no documentary evidence to prove that Love Jihad existed. Islam had reached Kerala much before it reached Iran and Iraq. India’s oldest mosque is in Kerala.
Similarly, Christianity had reached Kerala centuries before British came to India. But Kerala neither turned Muslim nor Christian. He said that they were not demanding a ban on the film. “Bans are meaningless. But we would like to request Censor Board to ask makers to produce evidence to support claims they have made in the film,” Saroj added. Congress leader Shobha Oza said, “I cannot say anything till I watch the film.”