By Latha Srinivasan: The Kerala Story, directed by Sudipto Sen, has been making headlines since the teaser was released last year. The Censor Board has given the film, which will be released on May 5, a ‘A’ rating. According to reports, the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) removed ten sequences, one of which was an interview with a former Kerala chief minister. The Kerala Chief Minister is supposed to be VS Achuthanandan.
Another scene said to have been cut had “dialogues and inappropriate references to all Hindu Gods.” Some dialogues appear to have been changed as well. The phrase “Indian Communists are the biggest hypocrites” is alleged to have been removed from a conversation.
A former Kerala chief minister claimed on television that Kerala will become a Muslim-majority state over the next two decades as young people were persuaded to convert to Islam. The CBFC ordered that the whole television interview be cut from the film.
After the teaser for The Kerala Story was released in November 2022, it sparked a controversy. The trailer, which featured a character named Shalini Unnikrishnan alias Fatima Ba, declared that the Islamic State (IS) terror group recruited 32,000 women in Kerala, and she was one of them.
The Kerala administration and opposition politicians have currently urged that the film be banned in the state. The CPM and the Congress opposed the release of the Hindi film, but film exhibitors had a different perspective. According to film exhibitors, because the public would eventually view the film on OTT, it is preferable to distribute it in theaters.
The Kerala Muslim Youth League has given a Rs 1 million prize for anyone who can show that 32,000 Malayali women were radicalized by IS.