'Vile propaganda': FTII students' association protests against screening of 'The Kerala Story'

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Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) | Photo: Rahul G R

Pune (Maharashtra): Amid the protest going around the state over Sudipto Sen's, "The Kerala Story" movie, the Students' Association of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) is holding a protest against the screening of the movie being planned at the institute today.

"A special screening of "The Kerala Story" by the director Sudipto Sen is to be held in our institute today. It is organized by the film society MITEE, after renting out the Main Theatre space from our institute," FTII students' association said in a release earlier.

"The student community of FTII was not informed of this event, let alone asked to be part of the arranged proceedings. Perhaps in an attempt to curb any protestation against the screening and its associated fanfare, the matter has been kept under wraps and its news only came out the evening before. But protest against it, we must. For we believe it is our student community's duty to denounce the vile propaganda that this film aims to unfurl," the students association said.

"To protest against this event and to express our opposition to the makers of this film, to the organizers of this event and to our administration that allowed it a place on our campus, we will be holding a demonstration outside the venue," it said.

"The core crew is set to present the film here, with important dignitaries such as ministers from the legislative assembly of Maharashtra and higher police officers in attendance. Minister Chandrakant Patil is the special invitee for this event," it read.

They further stated, we firmly stand against such state-backed propagation of Islamophobia in our institute. The screening of the film is all set to be celebrated by ministers and three hundred other people in attendance.

"We do not believe that our institute and our Main Theater, where we learn and where we thrive as students, are the right place for such a celebration," the students' body said while adding that neither the propaganda in the film nor the harm caused by it to our society can go unchecked.

Unsurprisingly, the Prime Minister along with other ministers have gone on to praise the film in the recent past, with some states declaring it tax-free. It is plainly visible for all that this is nothing but part of the growing trend to amplify stories that stoke the ruling dispensation's Hindudva-nationalist agenda, it further stated.

"Under the protective umbrella of blatant lies, which have scarily become commonplace, and have come under threat of remaining unchecked, the film's promotions have been obvious in their aim to encourage and reinforce Islamophobia and hence also the hate crimes emerging from it," student association said.

"Not only are these stories false and present a wrong picture of the state of affairs that they claimed to have done research on, but also add fuel to the ongoing misguided and prejudiced debates about Muslim men forcefully converting women to Islam," it stated.

In addition to the violence and disenfranchisement, any such work that adds to the oppression of communities that are already threatened in our country needs to be met with defiance and that is where the student community of FTII stands, the students' body further stated.

'The Kerala Story' film depicts how thousands of young women were allegedly brainwashed into joining the Islamic State (IS) and heading to countries like Syria and Afghanistan.


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