CM Vijayan asks Doordarshan to withdraw screening of ‘The Kerala Story’

PTI, Apr 5, 2024, 8:15 AM IST

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan (Credit: PTI / File)

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan Thursday condemned the Doordarshan’s decision to telecast ”The Kerala Story” and asked the public broadcaster to withdraw from screening the controversial movie, saying it would only ”exacerbate communal tensions” ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

He also asked the national broadcaster not to become a ”propaganda machine” for the BJP and the RSS.

”The decision by @DDNational to 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 said in a post on X.

Doordarshan has announced that the movie will be broadcast on April 5.

In a statement, the ruling CPI(M) also asked the public broadcaster to withdraw its decision to telecast the movie.

The party asked it not to stand with the ”BJP’s attempt to polarise” the secular Kerala society.

The state secretariat of the CPI(M) alleged that the BJP decided to screen the controversial movie as the general elections are nearing, hoping to advance their political agenda since the saffron party was unable to make inroads in Kerala society.

”This amounts to challenging Kerala. Kerala had witnessed strong protests when it was released. The censor board itself had removed 10 scenes from the movie,” CPI(M) said.

A public sector broadcast service should not stand with the ”BJP’s attempt to polarise” the secular Kerala society, it said.

The Kerala High Court had last year refused to stay the release of the film, stating that the movie trailer does not contain anything offensive to any particular community as a whole.

The court had said that the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has examined the movie and found that it is suitable for public exhibition.

The movie’s trailer was severely criticised and challenged before the court for ”falsely” claiming that 32,000 women from Kerala got converted and radicalised and were deployed in terror missions both in India and the world.

The BJP had alleged that there was an unofficial ban on the movie in the theatres of the state.

Strong protest was held by the CPI(M) and the Congress against the movie when it was released in 2023.

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