SC questions West Bengal Govt over ‘The Kerala Story’ asks why should you not allow it to run?
12 May, 2023 | Anupam Shrivastav
The Supreme Court issued the notice to West Bengal government citing that the movie was running in different parts of the country with similar demographic profiles.
A notice was issued to the West Bengal government by the Supreme Court on Friday in response to the filmmakers’ petition challenging the Mamata Banerjee government’s preference to prohibit screenings of ‘The Kerala Story’ in the state.
The Supreme Court also served a notice questioning Tamil Nadu regarding a de-facto ban on the film in the state. The Supreme Court asked for a response from the governments of West Bengal and Tamil Nadu and scheduled the hearing for Monday.
The Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud noted, “The movie is being exhibited all over the country, why should West Bengal ban the movie, why should you not allow it to run? The film is running in different parts of country with similar demographic profiles. This has nothing to do with the cinematic value of the movie, it may be good or bad.”
In a notification issued last week, the West Bengal government stated that the film ‘The Kerala Story’ is “likely to cause a breach of peace” and has prohibited its screening in order to avoid “any incident of hatred or violence to maintain law and order in the state.”
West Bengal was the first state to prohibit the film, which depicts the plight of three women who undergo trafficking to ISIS camps after marrying Muslims.
The movie was banned after, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said, “It is to avoid any incident of hatred and violence, and maintain peace in the state.” While talking about ‘The Kashmir Files, a similar title that showcased the alleged genocide of Kashmiri Pandits which ran house full throughout despite opposition’s protest, Bengal CM said, “What was ‘The Kashmir Files’? It was meant purely to humiliate a particular section of society. What is ‘The Kerala Story’? It is a distorted story.”
Producer Vipul Amrutlal Shah seeks legal assistance to release his film in West Bengal
The CM directed the state chief secretary to remove the film from all theatres where it was playing.In response to the ban, the film’s producer, Vipul Amrutlal Shah, stated that they will pursue legal action against the decision. “If state government won’t listen to us, we will explore legal avenues. However, whatever course we take will be based on legal advice,” Vipul said.
The film, directed by Sudipto Sen and produced by Vipul Amrutlal Shah, drew harsh criticism from Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who called it “RSS propaganda.” Shashi Tharoor, a Congress MP from Kerala, accused the filmmakers of “misrepresenting” Kerala.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is campaigning for the BJP in poll-bound Karnataka, also weighed in on the controversy, accusing the Congress of siding with terrorists.
The lead actors in ‘The Kerala Story’ are Adah Sharma, Yogita Bihani, Siddhi Idnani, and Sonia Balani.
The film sparked outrage after its trailer claimed that 32,000 women from Kerala had gone missing and joined the terrorist group ISIS. However, in response to public outrage, the controversial figure in the caravan was later removed.
The trailer of the movie was later changed to a story about three Kerala women.