The Supreme Court on Thursday paused the West Bengal government’s ban on the movie ‘The Kerala Story’, but asked the makers to add a disclaimer to the film stating that it is a fictionalised account of events and that there is no data to support its claim that 32,000 women in Kerala were forced to convert to Islam and join the terror group ISIS.
Following the top court’s decision, the producer of ‘The Kerala Story’, Vipul Shah, urged West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to watch the film, adding that he would welcome all her “valid criticisms”, if any.
“With folded hands, I would like to tell Mamata Didi to watch this film with us and discuss with us if she finds anything as such. We would like to listen to all her valid criticisms and present our point of view,” Mr Shah said as quoted by news agency ANI.
#WATCH | “With folded hands, I would like to tell Mamata Didi to watch this film with us and discuss with us if she finds anything as such. We would like to listen to all her valid criticisms and present our point of view…,” says #TheKeralaStory producer Vipul Shah https://t.co/6QlsCHISfWpic.twitter.com/rSVmWo0dQa
— ANI (@ANI) May 18, 2023
Chief Justice DY Chandrachud on Thursday said that the West Bengal government has a duty to maintain law and order, as the film has been certified by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). However, the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) insisted that if any issue arises due to the screening of the movie “The Kerala Story” in West Bengal, the opposition should not blame the ruling party.
Directed by Sudipto Sen and produced by Vipul Shah, ‘The Kerala Story’ stars Adah Sharma, Yogita Bihani, Sonia Balani and Siddhi Idnani, and was released on May 5.
“No state can ban a film after it is passed by the Censor Board. This ban was illegal. Supreme Court proved once again that everyone has the right to watch the film, you may or may not like it but you can’t stop someone,” said director Sudipto Sen as quoted by news agency ANI.
On May 8 Chief Minister Banerjee ordered an immediate ban on the screening of the film. The ban was reportedly intended to prevent any incidents of hatred or violence. A senior state government official said that the decision was made after careful consideration and that the government would not tolerate any attempt to incite violence.