Tamil Nadu likely to ban ‘The Kerala Story’, Stalin holds high-level meeting

The state intelligence police have sent a note to the government stating that the film's release might disturb peace in Tamil Nadu.

ByVinodh Arulappan

Published May 03, 2023 | 5:04 PM Updated May 03, 2023 | 5:34 PM

Tamil Nadu likely to ban ‘The Kerala Story’, Stalin holds high-level meeting

The Kerala Story, the controversial movie which apparently depicts the forced conversion and radicalisation of thousands of women from Kerala, is likely to be banned in Tamil Nadu.

The movie is set to release on 5 May in four languages — Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, and Hindi. It has been directed by Sudipto Sen and produced by Vipul Amrutlal Shah.

According to sources, the state intelligence police have sent a note to the government stating that the release of the movie might disturb the tranquillity and peace of the state.

Claiming that law and order problems could arise due to the release of the movie, the state intel recommended that the government ban the screening of the film.

South First learned that Chief Minister MK Stalin had a consultation meeting — based on the intel reports — with the chief secretary, home secretary, and top police officials on Wednesday, 3 May, about banning the movie in Tamil Nadu.

The movie depicts how, apparently, thousands of young women were brainwashed into joining the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group and sent off to countries like Syria and Afghanistan.

A senior police officer said that the movie would not be allowed to be screened in any theatres in the state and an official order would be released soon.

Also read: Censor Board gives ‘A’ nod to ‘The Kerala Story’, with cuts

A case in Madras High Court

Meanwhile, journalist BR Aravindakshan has moved the Madras High Court seeking a ban on releasing The Kerala Story in Tamil Nadu.

Speaking to South First, Alim Albuhari, the advocate on record for the case, said that the movie was purely hate propaganda and releasing such a film in a state like Tamil Nadu would disturb the harmony prevailing between communities.

He also stated that as the high court was on summer vacation, the case would be listed before a vacation bench in a couple of days.

Chennai-based journalist Aravindakshan had written to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in November last year, soon after The Kerala Story teaser was released, urging him to initiate action against the film unless the makers produced relevant supportive documents to back their claim.

The journalist, in an interview with South First, said he felt the teaser was made to misrepresent Kerala’s image.

The film’s teaser and trailer had initially said that 32,000 women were converted to Islam and sent to Syria to fight for the IS. This figure was subsequently scaled down to three.

Thiruvananthapuram Police Commissioner Sparjan Kumar, probing the issue based on a directive by state police chief Anil Kant, told South First that an FIR was not filed as the state government received merely a letter, which was not an official complaint.

He added that the police did not have any information on large-scale recruitment to the IS group, as claimed in the teaser.

However, the police refrained from taking further action against the makers of The Kerala Story after receiving legal advice.

Also read: Pinarayi Vijayan brands ‘The Kerala Story’ Sangh Parivar propaganda

Muslim outfits warn of serial protests

Muslim outfits had also requested that Chief Minister Stalin not allow such movies in the guise of freedom of expression and it would spoil the harmony between communities.

Adam Bhava, a Tamil movie producer and director, announced that he would pay ₹1 crore to those who could prove that the story plot of The Kerala Story was true.

Speaking to South First, the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) Tamil Nadu unit president Nellai Mubarak said that there had been a continuous portrayal of the Muslim community in a bad light in movies like The Kashmir Files, (the 2023 Tamil film) Burqa, and The Kerala Story.

“These movies are being produced to take forward the hate propaganda of the Sangh Pariwar and to disrupt the harmony of the country by isolating the Muslim community,” he said.

Stating that there are numerous day-to-day problems faced by the minorities under the BJP regime at the Centre, Mubarak said: “Without showing those, movies like The Kerala Story are being made only for the political benefit of right-wing organisations. Such movies should be banned.”

He also said that the SDPI would undertake a huge protest across Tamil Nadu if the movie was screened in the state.