Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has said the controversial film “The Kerala Story” will be banned in the state, arguing that it may create unrest. She has also alleged that the BJP is “funding a film on Bengal on the lines of Kashmir Files”.
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Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee told reporters about the decision to ban the film at the state secretariat, Nabanna today. An official order is awaited.
“Why did they make Kashmir Files? To humiliate one section. What is this Kerala files? If they can prepare Kashmir files to condemn the Kashmiri people… now they are defaming Kerala state also. Everyday they are defaming through their narrative,” Ms Banerjee said.
“They are defaming Bengal also. I came to know that have made posters saying ‘Save Bengal’. What happened in Bengal? It is a peaceful, peace-loving state. Why is BJP creating communal politics?” she added.
After watching the film in Delhi today, Union minister Anurag Thakur said Bengal is “doing wrong” by banning the film. “Don’t they want to allow anyone to speak the truth? What do you (Mamata Banerjee) get out of standing by terror organisations?” he added.
The film — written and directed by Sudipto Sen and starring Adah Sharma — is about alleged radicalisation and conversion of young Hindu women to Islam in Kerala. The movie shows they are later inducted into the terrorist outfit Islamic State or ISIS.
It landed in controversy since the release of its trailer, which claimed 32,000 women in Kerala have been converted and inducted into ISIS. Last week, the promo was changed to “true stories of three young girls from different parts of Kerala”.
Kerala’s ruling CPM and opposition Congress have accused the film-makers of deliberate exaggeration and working to a “hidden agenda”. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said such “propaganda films” should be seen in the context of right wing efforts to gain political advantage in Kerala.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has backed the movie saying it “shows the ugly truth of terrorism and exposes terrorists’ design”. In opposing the film, the Congress is “standing with terror tendencies… Congress has shielded terrorism for the vote bank,” he added.
Madhya Pradesh has made film tax-free. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has said the film “exposes the conspiracy of love jihad, religious conversion and terrorism”. The Delhi BJP has demanded that the film be made tax-free in the national capital as well.
The Supreme Court and several High Courts earlier refused to interfere in the release and screening of the film. “You must think of the actors, producer… You must be very careful about staying films. The market will decide if it is not up to the mark,” a bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud had said while dismissing a petition to scrap the film board certification.
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