NEW DELHI: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday attended the special screening of the Sudipto Sen-directed controversial film ”The Kerala Story” in the states capital Lucknow.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath attended the special screening of the film at Lok Bhavan Auditorium at 11.30 am.
A tweet from CM Yogis official Twitter handle confirmed that the chief minister and his cabinet members watched the controversial movie at the Lok Bhavan.
The UP Chief Minister was seen wearing a traditional saffron robe during the special screening of the Adah Sharma starrer which has faced strong protests and criticism ever since the first official trailer of the film was released. CM Yogi Adityanath had earlier met the makers and cast of The Kerala Story in Lucknow. The Chief Minister met and interacted with lad actress Adah Sharma, director Sudipto Sen and the producer and creative head Vipul Amrutlal Shah.
The controversial film which focuses on the alleged radicalisation and conversion of young Hindu women to Islam in Kerala, before inducting them into the global terror outfit Islamic State (IS), is hit the theatres on May 5.
The Kerala Story Tax-Free In UP, MP & Haryana
The Uttar Pradesh government had on Tuesday declared that ‘The Kerala Story’ will be made tax-free in the state. The Uttar Pradesh CM took to Twitter to make this announcement. Prior to the UP government, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan too shared a video on his official Twitter handle, declaring that The Kerala Story will now be tax-free in Madhya Pradesh.
The Madhya Pradesh CM, while making an announcement on the movie, said, “The Kerala Story makes people aware of love-jihad, terrorism, and religion. The movie also throws light on how the girls are trapped in the name of religion and the aftermath of it.”
The ML Khattar government in Haryana has also made The Kerala Story tax-free. The CM of the state tweeted, “The Kerala Story has been made tax-free in Haryana.”
SC, HC Refuse To Stay Film’s Release
Earlier, the Supreme Court and the Kerala High Court refused to stay the film’s release and petitions challenging the CBFC certification granted to the movie. The top court observed that the producers have invested money in the film and actors have dedicated their labour, and it is for the market to decide if the movie is not up to the mark.
The plea seeking a stay on its release was first mentioned on May 2. The apex court refused to entertain the plea which said it is a “worst kind of hate speech and an audio-visual propaganda.On May 3, the matter was again mentioned for urgent listing but the apex court declined to entertain it and asked the petitioners, including ‘Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind’, to move the high court.
The bench said the Central Board of Film Certification has already certified the film. “Look at it from the perspective of the film producer. How many times does he face challenges? At the end, somebody has invested money and the actors who have acted in the film have dedicated their labour. We must be very careful about staying exhibition of films. The market will decide if it is not up to the mark,” the bench, also comprising Justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala said.
A public interest litigation (PIL) was also moved in the Kerala High Court against certain statements in the teaser and trailer of the film. It sought the quashing of the CBFC certificate for public display given to the movie by the censor board.
The petitioner in the PIL before the high court has urged the court to direct the movie’s director Sudipto Sen, its producer Vipul Amrutlal Shah and the production company Sunshine Pictures to redact or remove, prior to the film’s release, certain statements, particularly the ones that say the film was inspired by true stories and that 32,000 women from Kerala were converted to Islam and had joined the Islamic State