Since a few days now, something called ‘The Kerala Story’ has been trending online, with an 80-second clip being circulated where actor Adaa Sharma introduces herself as someone called Shalini Unnikrishnan and how she was converted and made to be Fatima Ba.
In the clip, she says “Like me, 32,000 women are already converted and buried in the desert of Syria and Yemen. A deadly game is being played to convert normal girls into dreaded terrorists in Kerala.”
The video is actually for a movie of the same name that is directed by Sudipto Sen and produced by Vipul Amrutlal Shah. The controversy is due to the unfounded and unverified claims of 32,000 girls from Kerala being converted and made to become terrorists and join the Islamic State or ISIS in the last 10 years.
What Is The Controversy?
Soon after the teaser was released, Aravindakshan BR, a Tamil Nadu-based journalist posted about how he had written to the federal ministry and India’s film certification board chairperson Prasoon Joshi and asked that a ban be placed on the film until the makers show hard evidence for the claims they are making in it.
In another tweet, the journalist stated that “It is a very bad thing to try and make the state of Kerala look like a state that supports terrorism through the film. This is not only against the unity and sovereignty of India, but also a disgrace to the country’s intelligence agencies.”
Mr. Aravindakshan also writing to the Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said “If the movie The Kerala Story is released in theatres or OTT platform with false information, it will have bad consequences in society.”
He also wrote that “This film is against the unity and sovereignty of India and tarnishes the credibility of all intelligence agencies of India. Therefore, the Kerala police should call Sudipto Sen… and investigate the reports of which Indian intelligence agency the film was based on.”
Given the serious allegations of the movie, the state CM even asked the chief of state police to look into the matter.
Anil Kant, the Kerala director general of police also told the Thiruvananthapuram police commissioner Sparjan Kumar to file a case against the film’s crew and makers for showing a negative image of the state.
As per reports, the police have not found any credible substance or evidence for many of the claims that the teaser has made, and instead it only works to spoil the state’s image and spread hatred among the communities.
A case has been registered under Sections 153 A &B (promoting disharmony and enmity between different groups based on the ground of faith) and other sections of the Indian penal code.
Congress leader VD Satheesan has also asked for a ban on the movie stating that there has been no proper data on these thousands of missing women and that “This is spreading hatred so it should be banned. In a normal scenario, we are against banning films, but this type of misinformation will lead to communal issues. Deliberately they are planning without any credible information they have made this film. This is utter nonsense.”
Besides this, netizens have been in an uproar calling out the validity of the claims being made, specifically the number of 32,000 girls that the teaser is claiming as a truth.
The claims being made by the teaser are certainly extremely concerning, also because it is already being taken as a fact by a number of people online who are trying to incite society into more hatred and anger.
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