"Those who speak of banning The Kerala Story are as wrong"
Shabana Azmi has shown her support for The Kerala Story, amid the ongoing controversy.
The film was released on May 5, 2023, to a lot of backlash as the trailer highlighted the events behind “approximately 32,000 women” allegedly going missing from Kerala.
According to the CPI(M) and the Congress in Kerala, the film falsely claims that 32,000 women were converted and radicalised by ISIS.
They were deployed in terror missions in India and across the world.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan slammed the filmmakers, saying they were taking up the Sangh Parivar propaganda of projecting the state as a centre of religious extremism by raising the issue of ‘love jihad’.
Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor accused the makers of indulging in “gross exaggeration” and “distortion” of the state’s reality.
On the day of its release, screenings were cancelled in many districts in Kerala.
On May 7, 2023, screenings in Tamil Nadu were halted after protests were staged in the Chennai Anna Nagar Arch near Skywalk Mall in Chennai.
According to actor and director Seeman, if The Kerala Story is screened, protestors would storm theatres and break the screens.
Seeman also urged theatre owners not to screen the film and asked people not to watch it.
He claimed that if the movie is not banned, the NTK cadres would buy the tickets for the film and start protesting inside the theatre.
However, one person who has come out in support of The Kerala Story is Shabana Azmi.
The veteran actress took to Twitter to state that people who want to ban the film are just “as wrong as those who wanted to ban’ Laal Singh Chaddha in 2021.
Those who speak of banning #The Kerala Story are as wrong as those who wanted to ban Aamir Khan’s #Laal Singh Chaadha. Once a film has been passed by the Central Board of Film Certification nobody has the right to become an extra constitutional authority .
— Azmi Shabana (@AzmiShabana) May 8, 2023
Shabana wrote: “Those who speak of banning The Kerala Story are as wrong as those who wanted to ban Aamir Khan’s Laal Singh Chaddha.
“Once a film has been passed by the Central Board of Film Certification nobody has the right to become an extra-constitutional authority.”
Prior to Laal Singh Chaddha‘s release, some people on social media began a ‘boycott Bollywood’ trend. This resulted in the film having a poor box office run.
Kangana agreed with Shabana’s post and wrote:
“This is a very valid point except for the fact that no one asked for a ban on LSC people just didn’t want to see it for many reasons, major reason was it was a remake of a very popular old Hollywood classic which most people had already seen…”