States & UTs

    "Should not become propaganda machine of BJP-RSS": Kerala CM Vijayan asks Doordarshan not to screen "The Kerala Story"

    The Hawk
    April5/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan and CPI(M) condemn Doordarshan's decision to air 'The Kerala Story', citing potential communal tensions before the Lok Sabha elections.

    Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan

    Thiruvananthapuram: Coming down heavily on the BJP-led NDA at the Centre over Doordarshan's decision to telecast 'The Kerala Story', Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan demanded that the national broadcaster refrain from streaming the controversial film as it might "exacerbate communal tensions" ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
    Taking to his official handle on X, Chief Minister Vijayan posted, "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."

    Meanwhile, the state secretariat of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), which is the principal partner in the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) regime in Kerala, also objected to the decision to stream the film, claiming that it 'insulted' the people of the state.
    Hitting out at the BJP, the CPI(M) state secretariat stated in an official release, "Doordarshan should not cooperate with the BJP's attempt to create divisiveness through the seeds of religious communalism in Kerala, where different religious groups live in harmony. The film insulted the people of Kerala."
    "It has been announced that the film will be aired on Friday, April 5 at 8 pm. This is a challenge for Kerala. A strong protest was raised when the film was released. A strong protest was raised at the stage when the trailer spread the lie that '32,000 women' had converted to terrorism," the statement read further.

    "The Censor Board itself recommended avoiding 10 offensive scenes in the movie as it takes up the false propaganda that 'Kerala is a paradise for terrorists'. BJP's move behind the sudden screening of the film with political purposes during Lok Sabha elections. It is true that the BJP has not been able to advance in any constituency. It is in this situation that Doordarshan is coming forward with the screening of the movie spewing racial venom," the CPI (M) added in its statement.
    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.

    The elections to 543 Lok Sabha seats in the country will be held in seven phases, starting April 19. The counting of votes has been scheduled for June 4. Nearly 97 crore voters across the country are eligible to cast their votes in the general elections this year.
    Polling in Kerala is scheduled to be held in a single phase on April 26.