Doordarshan airs ‘The Kerala Story’, Dhruv Rathee's video screened to counter | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Doordarshan airs ‘The Kerala Story’, Dhruv Rathee's video screened to counter

Apr 06, 2024 05:20 PM IST

The Kerala Story was telecast at the autonomous public service broadcaster at 8 pm on Friday. The CPI(M) youth wing screened ‘The Kerala Story True or Fake?’

Amid a massive political backlash, Doordarshan on Friday, April 5, aired the controversial Bollywood film 'The Kerala Story'. The movie was telecast at the autonomous public service broadcaster at 8 pm, news agency PTI reported. The Kerala Story was telecast despite strong objections from the ruling CPI(M) and Congress in the state.

The story of ‘The Kerala Story’ movie revolves around the lives of three girls from the state who narrate their ordeal of being trapped in marriage after converting to Islam and taken to Afghanistan where they are forced to join terrorist outfit ISIS. (File Photo)
The story of ‘The Kerala Story’ movie revolves around the lives of three girls from the state who narrate their ordeal of being trapped in marriage after converting to Islam and taken to Afghanistan where they are forced to join terrorist outfit ISIS. (File Photo)

Meanwhile, the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), the youth wing of the CPI(M) screened a video, 'The Kerala Story True or Fake?' by YouTuber Dhruv Rathee, at various places across the state to debunk the movie.

The youth Congress staged a protest march to the Doordarshan office in Thiruvananthapuram around 8.30 pm against the broadcast of the movie.

Earlier on Friday, the CPI(M) and the Congress in Kerala lodged separate complaints with the Election Commission of India against DD's decision to air the movie, alleging it could potentially polarise society along religious lines and urged the poll panel to intervene and stop its screening.

On Thursday, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan had condemned Doordarshan's decision and asked the public broadcaster to withdraw from screening the controversial movie, saying it would only "exacerbate communal tensions" ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

Why CPI(M) and Congress protested?

  • VD Satheesan, the Leader of the Opposition in the Kerala assembly, sent a letter to the ECI, seeking to direct Doordarshan to withdraw from its decision to telecast "the extremely malicious 'The Kerala Story' movie".
  • "As you are aware, 'The Kerala Story' is a propaganda film based on extremely false promises and attempts to paint a bleak picture of the people of the state. I believe this is part of Sangh Parivar's poisonous agenda to divide the country along communal lines," Satheesan said in the letter.
  • He alleged the decision by the central government to telecast the movie through DD before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections was a tacit effort to divide society on religious grounds to further the electoral prospects of the ruling BJP.
  • CPI(M) state secretary MV Govindan said the timing of the proposed telecast, on the brink of elections, that too when the campaigning is gaining heightened momentum, gives rise to genuine doubts, as it has the propensity to garner/generate votes for candidates pursuing sectarian ideologies.

What did BJP say?

  • The BJP claimed that the theme of the movie was real and wondered why the Left and the Congress were opposing it.
  • BJP state chief K Surendran targeted the Left and the Congress and alleged that both parties were playing vote bank politics.
  • “ISIS recruitment is not a fake story. Hundreds of such recruitments took place in Kerala. There was a case in Kerala high court involving students and their parents where the DGP himself filed an affidavit. This is happening in Kerala, especially in Kannur, Kasaragod and Ernakulam,” he said.

About The Kerala Story

The movie's trailer was severely criticised and challenged before the court for "falsely" claiming that 32,000 women from Kerala got converted and radicalised and were deployed in terror missions both in India and the world.

The Kerala high court had last year refused to stay the release of the film, stating that the movie trailer does not contain anything offensive to any particular community as a whole.

Strong protest was held by the CPI(M) and the Congress against the movie when it was released in 2023.

(With inputs from agencies)

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