The movie The Kerala story' based on reported flight of women from the southern state to Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen as brides of the ISIS terrorists, has generated a controversy about the veracity of the claim that 30,000 Malayalee women had gone to these countries under the spell of terrorist group.
Many cultural and political activists claim the film exaggerats a phenomenon, and creates a bad image to the State.
A week after its teaser was released on November 2, a Chennai based journalist has filed a petition before the Chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) Prasoon Joshi, Aravindakshan BR has requested him ban on the film if its director Sudipto Sen and producer Vipul Amrutal Shah fail to submit documents to prove the veracity of the information being offered in the teaser.
The teaser, featuring actor Adah Sharma, indicates that many women in Kerala are being forcibly converted and inducted into the Islamic State.
The actor who is seen wearing a hijab in the teaser says, “My name was Shalini Unnikrishnan and I wanted to become a nurse and serve humanity. Now I am Fatima Ba, an ISIS terrorist in a jail in Afghanistan. I am not alone. There are 32,000 girls like me who have been converted and buried in the deserts of Syria and Yemen. A deadly game is being played to convert normal girls into dreaded terrorists in Kerala, and that too in the open. Will nobody stop them? This is my story. This is the story of those 32,000 girls. This is The Kerala Story.”
Actor Adah Sharma posted the teaser of the movie on Twitter:
Heart breaking and gut wrenching stories of 32000 females in Kerala!#ComingSoon#VipulAmrutlalShah @sudiptoSENtlm @adah_sharma @Aashin_A_Shah#SunshinePictures #TheKeralaStory #UpcomingMovie #TrueStory #AdahSharma pic.twitter.com/M6oROuGGSu— Adah Sharma (@adah_sharma) November 3, 2022
The makers have also claimed that the film is inspired from true events.
Aravindakshan also sent petitions to the Kerala Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on Sunday. The former responded to the complaint on Monday, directing the chief of state police to take appropriate action.
The complainant has further requested that the CBFC should be permitted to issue the censor clearance certificate for the film only after the film’s director reveals whether the claims made in the teaser are based on data produced by India’s intelligence agencies.
“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,” the complaint reads.
Observing that the film aims to show Kerala in a bad light, Aravindakshan tells TNM, “The teaser mentions that 32,000 women have been forcibly converted and joined ISIS. If that is the case, it means that nine women from Kerala have been converted and have joined ISIS every day in the past 10 years. That means 3,000 women have joined ISIS every year. This does not seem acceptable unless the information can be verified.”
There are indeed four Kerala women, widows of the slain ISIS terrorists, are lodged in Afghanistan’s jails.
Their families in India have been asking the government to get them shifted to India.