States & UTs

    "Propaganda at its cheapest and worst": Tharoor lashes out at BJP over streaming of 'The Kerala Story' on Doordarshan

    The Hawk
    April5/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    Shashi Tharoor slams the Centre for airing 'The Kerala Story' on Doordarshan, labeling it propaganda. Criticizing the misuse of the national broadcaster for political gains, he emphasizes Kerala's essence of social harmony, countering the film's divisive narrative.

    Congress MP Shashi Tharoor

    Thiruvananthapuram: Lashing out at the BJP-led Centre over the scheduled streaming of 'The Kerala Story' on Doordarshan, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Friday called it a "propaganda at its cheapest and worst", adding that it only serves the political interests of the ruling party.
    He accused the movie of creating a false narrative about Kerala, which is known for its social harmony and co-existence.

    Speaking to ANI while campaigning for the Lok Sabha polls, Tharoor, who is seeking a fresh term in the Lower House from Thiruvananthapuram, said, "To be honest, this is utterly shameful. Because when 'The Kerala Story' came out, everybody pointed out that this is not the real Kerala story. Kerala is a state of social harmony and co-existence. It is not a state that is some sort of a mini-Pakistan, as the film tries to show. And yet, the lies of this film being officially circulated by an official broadcaster is truly disgusting, it's propaganda at its cheapest and worst."
    He further said that the screening would only create a backlash against the BJP in Kerala.

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    "As far as the country is concerned, this is not something that anyone would admire or respect In Kerala, it is only going to create backlash against the people who are spreading such falsehoods against our state," the Congress MP said.
    Tharoor also accused BJP-led Centre of 'compromising' the autonomy of institutions, adding that streaming of the controversial film is only meant to serve its 'political interests'.
    "The autonomy of Doordarshan is guaranteed under the Prasar Bharti Act. But, the BJP government does not understand the meaning of autonomy. They have compromise the autonomy of every institution. This broadcast is only meant to serve only the political interest of the ruling party," Tharoor added.
    Earlier, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also attacked the BJP over the decision to stream the film on the national broadcaster, stating that it should not become the "propaganda machine of the BJP-RSS."
    "The decision by @DDNationalto broadcast the film 'Kerala Story', which incites polarisation, is highly condemnable. The national news broadcaster should not become a propaganda machine of the BJP-RSS combine and withdraw from screening a film that only seeks to exacerbate communal tensions ahead of the general elections. Kerala will remain steadfast in opposing such malicious attempts to sow hatred," Vijayan stated on his handle on social media platform X.

    Directed by Sudipto Sen, 'The Kerala Story', which was released on May 5, 2023, emerged as one of the most successful films at the box office last year. However, the movie trailer came in for severe criticism from some quarters, with many, including Opposition leaders, alleging that it false claimed that 32,000 women, who went missing from Kerala, were forced into terrorism upon alleged conversion or sold to ISIS as sex slaves.
    The movie faced a backlash in several states, with the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government imposing a ban on screening the film in the state.
    Earlier, Kerala opposition leader VD Satheesan also demanded that the Centre back off from streaming 'The Kerala Story' on Doordarshan, saying that the movie was a "collection of untruth."
    "The strategy of the Sangh Parivar administration led by PM Modi is to create division within the secular society by screening the film 'The Kerala Story', which is a collection of untruth. Sensing that the politics of division cannot be used in Kerala, the Sangh Pariwar is using Doordarshan, a central government institution, for political gains. This cannot be accepted," he said.
    Kerala sends 20 members to the Lok Sabha. The voting in the state will be held on April 26.
    The counting will take place on June 4.