The Mamata Banerjee-led government banned screening of the controversial film ‘The Kerala Story’ in Bengal amidst strong criticism from the opposition parties in the state. While speaking to reporters at the state secretariat Nabanna on Monday the chief minister Miss Mamata Banerjee said, “I have asked the chief secretary to ban screening of ‘The Kerala Story’ in our state to avoid any incident of hatred and violence.”
“Strong action would be taken if anyone screens the movie in cinema halls or multiplexes in Bengal. Several scenes shown in the film could disturb peace in the state. BJP is doing the politics of divisions and hatred. Our decision to ban it is to avoid any incident of hatred and violence, and to maintain peace in the state,” the chief minister said. Nabanna issued a directive banning the film later in the day soon after the instructions from the chief minister.
‘The Kerala Story’, directed by Sudipto Sen, claims to portray the story of some women from the state, who were converted to Islam and recruited by terror outfit ISIS. The movie has been the subject of fierce online debate and criticism with strong objections raised by many political leaders who have termed it to be a propaganda film.
Miss Banerjee banned the movie in Bengal at a time when the Prime Minister Narendra Modi extolled it, saying, “The Kerala Storywould expose terrorism.” He said this couple of days ago while addressing in an Assembly election rally in Karnataka. Tamil Nadu government has already banned the movie in the state while the BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh has decided to make the film tax-free to promote screening.
Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan had also called the film out for being nothing but a clutch of blatant lies, and said that at first glance, the film appears to peddle lies aimed at creating communal polarisation and spreading hate propaganda against the state.
However, with the banning of the film in Bengal many owners of cinema halls and multiplexes in the city and districts got upset fearing huge loss.