West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said that the state government will ban the screening of the film The Kerala Story, ANI reported. An official order, however, has not yet been issued.
Banerjee said that this was being done to avoid any incident of hatred and violence and to maintain peace in the state.
The film, directed by Sudipto Sen, was released on May 5. It claims to depict how women from Kerala were converted to Islam and recruited by Islamic State terrorist groups. The filmmakers initially claimed that 32,000 women from Kerala had joined the Islamic State, but when asked for evidence, they altered the trailer to state the movie was a “compilation of the true stories of three young girls”.
The trailer had sparked outrage and petitions seeking a stay on the release of the film had reached both the Supreme Court and the Kerala High Court. However, both courts refused to order a stay.
On Monday, Banerjee claimed that the film was created to defame the state of Kerala, reported NDTV.
“Why did they make The Kashmir Files? To humiliate one section,” Banerjee said. “What is this Kerala Story? If they can prepare Kashmir files to condemn the Kashmiri people...now they are defaming Kerala state also. Every day they are defaming through their narrative.”
The chief minister was referring to the film, The Kashmir Files, which explores the exodus of Pandits from Kashmir in the 1990s. The movie, released on March 11 last year, was endorsed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and many other senior BJP leaders. Critics, however, had dismissed the film as “propaganda” and a “vulgar movie”.
Banerjee also criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Central government for defaming her government in West Bengal.
“I came to know that have made posters saying ‘Save Bengal’,” the chief minister said. “What happened in Bengal? It is a peaceful, peace-loving state. Why is BJP creating communal politics?” she added.
Meanwhile, Sen said that he will challenge the decision of the Banerjee government in court, according to ANI. “Whatever is possible under the provisions of law, we will fight,” he said.