ABVP organises special screening of 'The Kerala Story' at JNU amid Left protests

Students and faculty of JNU gathered at the main convention centre to watch the special screening of 'The Kerala Story'. Photo: Twitter

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party's student wing ABVP (Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad) on Tuesday organised a special screening of the controversial film 'The Kerala Story' at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) amid fierce protests by Left student organisations.

Many students attended the screening of the premiere show, which was held at the main convention centre around 4 pm.

Written and directed by Sudipto Sen, 'The Kerala Story' will hit theatres on May 5.

Activists of the Students Federation of India (SFI) protested inside the campus against the screening. They gathered near the Sabarmati hostel and shouted slogans. The SFI said the movie is a product of the Sangh Parivar 'lie factory'.

Earlier today, the Supreme Court refused to entertain a plea seeking a stay on the theatrical release of the movie.

The plea had sought a stay claiming it was the "worst kind of hate speech and an audio-visual propaganda".

However, the court said a film certified by a competent authority cannot be treated similarly to a person giving an abusive speech from a podium. "There are varieties of hate speeches. This film has got certification and has been cleared by the board. It's not like a person getting on the podium and starts giving an uncontrolled speech. If you want to challenge the release of the movie, you should challenge the certification and through the appropriate forum," the bench said.

Originally, the makers of the movie claimed that 32,000 women who went missing from Kerala were radicalised and used by the Islamic State (IS) for terrorist activities. Both the ruling CPM and the opposition Congress slammed the movie, calling it Sangh Parivar's agenda to portray Kerala as a hotbed of terrorism through the lens of 'love jihad'. Leaders from both parties, including the chief minister, called for the film to be banned from releasing.

Amid rising protests, the makers then altered their claim that 32,000 women from Kerala have joined the IS. The changes were made in the description of the trailer on YouTube.

The new description claims that 'The Kerala Story' is a compilation of the true stories of three young girls from different parts of Kerala.

However, director Sudipto Sen, speaking to Manorama News, maintained that his film does not make any statement that is derogatory to Kerala.

According to Sen, the film does not portray any religion in a bad light, nor does it mention 'love jihad'. He reiterated that 'The Kerala Story' has only criticised the terrorism angle, showing how girls are being trapped and cheated in the name of love.

He also refuted the allegations that the makers have received aid from the Central government and the BJP to produce the movie.

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.