Months after BJP's Kashmir Files push, Thakur organises Kerala Story screening for journalists

This comes days after PM Modi used the film to hit out at the Congress in poll-bound Karnataka.

WrittenBy:NL Team
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Amid petitions in the Supreme Court demanding a stay on controversial film ‘The Kerala Story’, union information and broadcast minister Anurag Thakur organised a screening of the movie for a set of women journalists at a Delhi theatre. A picture widely circulated on social media showed ABP’s Rubika Liyaquat among several journalists standing with Thakur.

This comes days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi referred to the film as an “ugly truth” in one of his poll rallies in Karnataka, hitting out at the Congress for opposing the movie for votes. 

Several other prominent leaders of the BJP have heaped praises on the film. Party president JP Nadda, minister of state for external affairs and culture Meenakshi Lekhi, and union minister Pralhad Joshi also watched the film at theatres, voicing their support on social media.

The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh joined a growing list of BJP-governed states to have made the film tax-free, following in the footsteps of Madhya Pradesh, which was first to announce a tax relief. This pattern is not entirely unique to the Kerala Story. Remember the Kashmir Files?

The Kerala Story has been opposed by several parties for allegedly amplifying right-wing propaganda and false narratives about Hindu women being converted and sent on terror assignments through “love jihad”. Last week, the producers of the film changed the text in the trailer from 32,000 women to three even as the controversy raged on.

The movie has been banned in West Bengal, with chief minister Mamata Banerjee citing a threat to law and order, and the Tamil Nadu Theatre and Multiplex Owners’ Association has withdrawn it from the multiplexes in the state.

Meanwhile, BJP workers and the members of its student wing, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad or ABVP, have been organising ‘special screenings’ of the film at several cities across the country, even distributing its tickets for free.

Maharashtra minister Mangal Prabhat Lodha and BJP leader Vinay Sahasrabuddhe also met the film’s producer Vipul Shah in Mumbai to assure him of “police security”. The move came a day after NCP leader Jitendra Awhad remarked that the filmmaker “should be hanged in public” for defaming Kerala and its women. He later withdrew his statement.

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