2 May 2023 12:23 PM GMT
Islamic clerics organisation Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind has moved the Supreme Court seeking to ban the screening or release of the movie ‘The Kerala Story’ at theatres, OTT platforms and other such avenues on the ground that the movie is likely to cause hatred and enmity between different sections of society in India.At the outset, the petition states that the movie demeans the entire...
Islamic clerics organisation Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind has moved the Supreme Court seeking to ban the screening or release of the movie ‘The Kerala Story’ at theatres, OTT platforms and other such avenues on the ground that the movie is likely to cause hatred and enmity between different sections of society in India.
At the outset, the petition states that the movie demeans the entire Muslim community and would result in endangering the lives and livelihoods of the Muslim population of India which would violate the communities' rights under Articles 14 & 21 of the Constitution of India. Through the petition, Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind has stated that the movie, which begins by flashing a note that it has been inspired by true events, as per its trailer, states that Hindu and Christian girls in Kerala are being converted to Islam by extremist clerics and trafficked to Afghanistan to ISIS while their Muslim classmates abet the same by luring them. It adds–
"The movie gives the impression that apart from extremist clerics who radicalise people, ordinary Muslim youngsters, their classmates, also play an instrumental role in luring non-Muslims and radicalising them by posing as friendly and good-natured, in accordance with instructions given by extremist scholars."
The petition alleges that the movie wrongfully shows that 32,000 girls have left Kerala for West Asia to join ISIS. However, the United Nations, the Union Home Ministry, police sources, and experts agree that the number of Indians who left to join ISIS is around 66 and the maximum number of pro-ISIS persons who may have shown inclination towards ISIS is in between 100 and 200. As per the petition–
"The movie promotes the view that love jihad is being used to lure non- Muslim women into converting to Islam and also joining ISIS. However, an investigation by the State police carried out in 2009 revealed that there was no evidence of love jihad in the State of Kerala."
It also argues that the Kerala police has constantly been of the view that no conspiracy exists to convert non-Muslims. It adds that the National Investigating Agency (NIA) in 2018, concluded that there was no evidence to suggest that women in Kerala were being forced to convert to Islam. Thus, the movie and trailer are "in teeth of the constitutional values of equality and fraternity." Jamiat also states that the false assertion that around 32000 girls have gone missing and joined ISIS is "malicious propaganda".
Just today, the Supreme Court had expressed disinclination to consider an interlocutory application challenging the release of movie. A bench comprising Justices KM Joseph and BV Nagarathna had observed that challenging the release of a movie through an interlocutory application is not an appropriate remedy.
Another petition has been filed in the Kerala High Court as well against the movie. The High Court posted the petition to May 5.