KOLKATA: In a move aimed at avoiding incidents of hatred, violence, and to maintain peace and order, the West Bengal government has decided to ban the screening of the film ‘The Kerala Story’ within the state. The decision comes amidst concerns that the film may lead to social unrest and disturbance in the region.
West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee, expressed her reservations about the film during a statement to the press. She questioned the intent behind the movie and raised concerns about its potential to humiliate a particular group. Banerjee further added that ‘The Kerala Story’ is a fabricated narrative that distorts facts to present a misleading account.
What is "The Kashmir Files"? it is to humiliate one section. What is "The Kerala Story"?… It is a distorted story: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee pic.twitter.com/yRFwhlumum— ANI (@ANI) May 8, 2023
The film, directed by Sudipto Sen, was released on May 5 and centers around the story of Hindu women from Kerala who reportedly convert to Islam and join the Islamic State (IS). While the movie gained attention within both the cine world and political circles, its portrayal and subject matter have sparked controversy and debate.
The ban on ‘The Kerala Story’ in West Bengal is not limited to the state alone. Theater owners in Tamil Nadu have also decided not to screen the film, indicating a broader concern regarding its potential impact. The state government officials have stated that strict action will be taken against theaters found in violation of the ban.
The producer of the film, Vipul Shah, expressed disappointment at the ban and announced the intention to pursue legal action. Shah emphasized the importance of upholding the law and stated that he would explore all available legal avenues in response to the ban.
As the controversy surrounding ‘The Kerala Story’ unfolds, discussions continue about the boundaries of creative expression, social sensitivities, and the role of the government in regulating such content. The decision to ban the film in West Bengal reflects the state government’s commitment to maintaining peace and order while addressing concerns about the potential repercussions of its content.