The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the West Bengal government’s May 8 order banning screening of film ‘The Kerala Story’. This means theatres in West Bengal can now screen the film.
CJI DY Chandrachud said, “We intend to stay the order of the state of West Bengal. With respect to Tamil Nadu, we will direct them to not directly or indirectly ban it’.
Directed by Sudipto Sen, ‘The Kerala Story’, a movie about Hindu women from Kerala who were converted to Islam and trafficked to ISIS and other Islamic war zones in 2018-2019, stirred a political storm. The opposition accused the filmmakers of promoting BJP propaganda in the film.
On May 8, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee ordered an immediate ban on the screening of ‘The Kerala Story’ in the state to avoid “any incident of hatred and violence".
The movie, on the other hand, was declared tax-free in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh last week. UP CM Yogi Adityanath announced on Twitter last Tuesday that ‘The Kerala Story’ was given tax-free status in the state.
Adityanath’s Uttarakhand counterpart, Pushkar Singh Dhami followed suit shortly after, while Madhya Pradesh was the first state to declare ‘The Kerala Story’ tax-free.
The move came a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioned the controversial movie in his speech during a rally in Karnataka and said the film has exposed how terrorism is corroding Kerala.