‘The Kerala Story’ movie spews violent clashes in India

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Students of GMC stage a protest after fellow students were allegedly assaulted at their hostel following a scuffle over 'The Kerala Story' movie | Photo: PTI

Kozhikode: The controversial movie ‘The Kerala Story’ has spurred communal tensions in several parts of India. In some places, alleged hate speech against Muslim communities has even resulted in physical violence against minorities.

Last week, violent clashes between students’ groups at Jammu’s Government Medical College erupted after a heated argument over the movie in an academic WhatsApp group of the medicos. Later, a series of brawls broke out among the students leaving five students injured. The college has witnessed several protests since then. According to reports, the assaults were pre-planned as some outsiders also joined the scuffles. Following this, 10 students were barred from the college until the investigation was completed.

In a similar event, a post based on the conversation between two persons with opposing views on the movie, made the rounds on social media platforms. This triggered numerous clashes and arrests of over 100 people at Akola in Maharashtra. The authorities imposed a curfew and shut down internet services in the region following the violent events, which claimed a life here.

One of the latest episodes in the sequence was the arrest of Vishva Hindu Parishad leader Sadhvi Prachi and two others over their communal remarks in a movie hall after the movie screening. In the footage, Sadhvi urged the women audience to be cautious of the minority community's attempts and reminded them of the violence during the Ram Navami processions. “If they (minority) exceed 40 (per cent), it will be difficult for our daughters to go out. This is what "The Kerala Story" is trying to explain, she says in the video.

On Thursday, the filmmakers agreed with SC to clarify in the disclaimer in the movie that "there is no authentic data available to back up the suggestion that the figure of conversions is 32,000 or any other established figure." However, the spread of misinformation is rampant on social media.

Movie director Sudipto Sen also courted a fresh controversy saying there are two Keralas inside the state. On one side Kerala has beautiful backwaters, landscape, Kalaripayattu and dance but on the other side, the northern part of Kerala, including Malappuram, Kasaragod, and Kozhikode are centres of terrorist activities, the director said.

‘The Kerala Story’ starring Adah Sharma claimed that women in Kerala are being forced to convert to Islam and getting recruited to the Islamic State. The opposition claimed that the Prime Minister and BJP’s backing of the fictional ‘The Kerala Story’ is an attempt to emit hatred among communities.

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