- Kerala High Court rejects petition to cancel ‘The Kerala Story' film.
- Court finds no evidence of offense or sectarianism in film's content.
- Film's producer agrees to remove controversial statement about women recruited to ISIS.
The Kerala High Court has refused to put a stay on the release of the controversial movie, The Kerala Story, and has stated that the secular society of Kerala will accept the film for what it is. The bench comprising Justices N Nagaresh and Mohammed Nias CP have questioned how a movie which claims to be a fictional account can create sectarianism and conflict in society. The court also sought information on the trailer of the film.
Several petitions had been filed seeking the cancellation of the censor certificate of the film, citing concerns that it would poison the minds of innocent people. However, the bench has noted that references against other communities have been made in many films before and questioned why this movie is any different. The film, which focuses on the alleged forced conversion of young women to Islam in Kerala before inducting them into the militant Islamist outfit ISIS, stars Adah Sharma, Siddhi Idnani, Sonia Balani, and Yogita Bihani in lead roles.
The producers of the movie have agreed to remove a portion of the film's teaser that claimed more than 32,000 women from Kerala were recruited to ISIS. The bench has also noted that an authority like the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has watched the movie and found it suitable for publication. The film has been released in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam in theatres across India on May 5.
The Kerala High Court's decision has been welcomed by those who believe in the freedom of expression and artistic creativity. It is important to understand that cinema is an art form and, like all art forms, it can be controversial and thought-provoking. However, it is also important to remember that art has the power to influence and shape our perceptions and opinions. Thus, filmmakers have a responsibility to ensure that their work does not promote hate, violence, or discrimination.
In this context, the decision of the Kerala High Court is significant as it recognizes the importance of artistic freedom while also ensuring that the film does not promote sectarianism or conflict in society. The court has also highlighted the need for responsible filmmaking, which respects the cultural and social diversity of our country.
The Kerala High Court's decision to allow the release of The Kerala Story is a victory for the artistic freedom of expression in India. While it is essential to respect the sentiments and beliefs of all communities, it is equally important to recognize the power of cinema in shaping our perceptions and attitudes. As a society, we need to promote responsible filmmaking that respects the diversity of our country and does not promote hate, violence, or discrimination.