New Delhi: Supreme Court stayed the ban on the controversial film ‘The Kerala Story’ in West Bengal and reacting to the order, producer Vipul Shah welcomed the decision. Shah also asked West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee to watch the film with them and discuss it with the makers.
Vipul Shah said that he would like ‘Mamata Didi’ to watch the film with them and discuss if she finds anything problematic. He added that the makers would like to listen to her criticism and present their point of view to her.
#WATCH | “With folded hands, I would like to tell Mamata Didi to watch this film with us and discuss with us if she finds anything as such. We would like to listen to all her valid criticisms and present our point of view…,” says #TheKeralaStory producer Vipul Shah https://t.co/6QlsCHISfW pic.twitter.com/rSVmWo0dQa
— ANI (@ANI) May 18, 2023
Talking about the ban, the film producer said that the law and order situation was an excuse as the film was screened in the state for three and a half days, and there were no such incidents. He added that the excuse was rejected by the Supreme Court and the people of West Bengal and Tamil Nadu will enjoy the film.
While SC lifted the ban, the bench headed by CJI DY Chandrachud and comprising of Justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala directed the makers to add a disclaimer saying that there is no data to back the ‘32,000 women’ claim made by them and that the film is a fictionalised version of events. Reacting to it, Shah agreed to add the disclaimer.
Prima facie, the Court found the ban to not be tenable, and for Tamil Nadu, the apex court directed to arrange for security in the cinemas and said that there shall be no steps to prevent the screening of the ‘The Kerala Story’ in the state.
While the film has earned support from Hindutva groups and supporters, the makers have faced a backlash for the unverified claim of religious conversion of 32,000 women to send them to ISIS. They removed the number from the teaser, but the number is still there in the film.
Politicians also stood divided on the film as it was banned in West Bengal but made tax-free in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. PM Modi and several Union Ministers including Anurag Thakur endorsed the film in their public meetings.
Directed by Sudipto Sen, the film is backed by Vipul Shah and stars Adah Sharma, Yogita Bihani, Sonia Balani, and Siddhi Idnani in the lead.