Veteran actor Shabana Azmi criticized those who are calling for a ban on the film ‘The Kerala Story’, comparing them to those who didn’t want Aamir Khan’s ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’ to be released. The comments were made on Twitter, where she stated that the Central Board of Film Certification is the only authority that has the right to decide whether or not a film should be released. The film in question, ‘The Kerala Story’, was released on Friday but was later banned from multiplexes across Tamil Nadu on Sunday due to law and order issues and poor public response. The film’s plot is centred on allegations that “approximately 32,000 women” from Kerala have gone missing, with some claims that they were radicalized and deployed in terror missions in India and the world. The Congress and CPI(M) in Kerala claim that the film’s premise is false and has communal overtones. Despite this, the Kerala High Court refused to stay the film’s release, stating that the trailer did not contain anything offensive to any particular community.
Shabana Azmi speaks out on controversy surrounding ‘The Kerala Story’
Veteran Bollywood actor Shabana Azmi has criticized the call for a ban on the film ‘The Kerala Story’ and compared it to the calls for a ban on ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’, starring Aamir Khan, in 2022. Azmi made her comments on Twitter, saying that only the Central Board of Film Certification has the right to decide whether or not a film should be released. She also added that those who call for the ban of a film after it has been certified are acting as “extra constitutional authorities.”
BoycottBollywood trend and the controversy around ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’
Azmi’s comments were in reference to the #BoycottBollywood trend on social media that emerged ahead of the release of ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’ in 2022. The film faced calls for a boycott from some sections of society, leading to concerns about freedom of expression in India. Azmi’s comments suggest that she sees the calls to ban ‘The Kerala Story’ as part of a similar trend.
‘The Kerala Story’ and its portrayal of missing women in Kerala
‘The Kerala Story’ is a film that was released in cinemas in India in May 2023. The film portrays the story of missing women in Kerala, with an initial claim that approximately 32,000 women had gone missing. However, the film’s portrayal of the issue has been criticized by some political parties in Kerala, including the CPI(M) and the Congress, who have accused the filmmakers of spreading misinformation and falsehoods about the missing women. The filmmakers later changed the figure in the film’s trailer.
Political reactions to ‘The Kerala Story’ controversy
The controversy around ‘The Kerala Story’ has attracted political attention, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi using the film to attack the Congress during an election rally in Karnataka. The film has been produced by Vipul Amrutlal Shah’s Sunshine Pictures, and Modi credited the movie with “bringing out terror conspiracies.” However, the Kerala High Court has refused to stay the release of the film, saying that the trailer does not contain anything offensive to any particular community as a whole. Despite this, multiplexes across Tamil Nadu have canceled screenings of the film citing law and order issues and poor public response.
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