The Kerala Story: Falsehood masquerading as facts

The Kerala Story is yet another attempt to spew venom on brotherhood and damage religious harmony.

The trailer announcement came with a huge claim. It proclaimed with authenticity that 32000 Malayalee women, mostly Hindus, were forcibly converted to Islam and injected into the terror outfit ISIS. Then when the uproar began that it was absolutely false, they silently cut the figure to 3. That itself proved how the propaganda had been charted out, making the whole attempt fall flat on its face.

The Kerala Story has no doubt made the Box Office registers tingling. But then, the question is what inspired film maker Sudipto Sen to stoop so low by painting a malicious picture of a fake narrative. The Kerala Story, no doubt, falls into the category of propaganda and is fodder to despicable WhatsApp forwards that emanate from the stinking dustbins managed by the forces closely related to the Sangh Parivar.

A false narrative that aims at adding blatant lies into the anti-Muslim pages of the saffron book racks is what the film indeed is. And, shockingly enough, it has succeeded in stamping itself as truth in the hatred-seething minds that works overtime to achieve targets in the polarisation arena.

Though the film has managed to sway minds that clung on precariously on hatred-laded walls in a major way, the southern Indian state of Kerala has not fallen for the intended malice. For, the thinking souls in the state have handed out outright rejection of the narrative as they know beyond doubt that Sen’s opus on the silver screen is outright falsehood.

Not Really a ‘Real’ Kerala Story

Kerala, standing true to its policy of not being a hindrance to freedom of expression, desisted from banning the flick knowing well that the film would have less viewership at least on its terrain. And yes, it indeed is so, with film screens running almost empty. Neighbouring Tamil Nadu also toed the same stance, and witnessed exhibitors cancelling scheduled screenings one after the other. Meanwhile, West Bengal clamped a ban on its screening anticipating eruptions of hate.

What makes The Kerala Story a topic of debate? The content of course. Dipped in malice and painted in blatant lies made the film being rejected by a good section of the Indian population. The Sangh Parivar made sure that the film would be watched by many, but that happened only in the northern states where saffron cast a blanked over even the educated minds. A single look at facts would have made them think twice before endorsing the film, as the facts are loud and clear. The 32000 conversions were a blatant lie, and when the false bubble broke Sen resorted to cutting the number to just 3 conversions. The fact stood tall even then, as there wasn’t any clear evidence on whether these conversions were forced.

Funnily enough, Prime Minister Narendra Modi came out with a huge endorsement of the film. A Prime Minister of a secular nation dancing to the tune of his party men and saffron-clad followers and endorsing a flick that spewed venom was uncalled for. But that happened much to the joy of the makers and promoters of the flick. Such irresponsible behaviour form a leader has send out shock waves across the community the film was targeting the whole time. And when the PM did so, the ‘Parivar’ was elated. The success at the Box Office explains that.

The Kerala Story: Falsehood masquerading as facts

Blatant lies dipped in malice

What prompted the deviant minds behind the film to concoct such falsehood as a story that actually happened is clear. Attempting to damage religious harmony is the motive, no less. With comparisons with yet another film – The Kashmir Files –  that tread a similar path, The Kerala Story is still being celebrated. The makers themselves know that they are peddling lies.

The film might be raking in money, but the thinking secular minds in the country are more than convinced that the product born at Sen’s workshop is just blatant lies with malicious intent. The film makers’ claim that it is based on true events and years of research is seen as just added lies to the already false claims made through the film.

What is frightening, however, is the fact that there could such lame products being manufactured at the hate factories. With The Kashmir Files and The Kerala Story raking in money and spewing hate, such ventures could see a series happening. Let’s just hope that the people holding responsible positions in government would take off their virulent saffron shades and see the reality.

Sanjeev Ramachandran

A journalist with 23 years of experience, Sanjeev has worked with reputed media houses such as Business Standard, The Ne More »

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