West Bengal Government bans screening of The Kerala Story to maintain harmony

It is a distorted story used by the BJP for running its narrative, says Mamata Banerjee

Updated - May 08, 2023 08:26 pm IST

Published - May 08, 2023 06:19 pm IST - Kolkata

Adah Sharma in ‘The Kerala Story’

Adah Sharma in ‘The Kerala Story’ | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The West Bengal Government on Monday banned the screening of the film 'The Kerala Story' to maintain peace and harmony in the State.

A press note from the West Bengal Government said that the decision has been taken to maintain peace and harmony in the State. “Fearing that the scenes shown in this film could be dangerous to the peace and order of the state, the screening of this film was banned in all districts including Kolkata,” the State government’s communication said. 

The West Bengal notification comes at a time when the Kerala High Court had refused to stay the screening of The Kerala Story

Also read | ‘The Kerala Story’ an attempt to spread hate propaganda, says Pinarayi Vijayan

Hours before the notification, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at a press conference described the film as a “distorted story” and accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of “running its narrative” through such films. Speaking about the film, the West Bengal Chief Minister also had a message for the Kerala Chief Minister. “Instead of me, it was their duty to criticise it [the film],” she said. 

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) chairperson accused the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) of working with the BJP in West Bengal. “I am sorry. I will request the State government, the Chief Minister...[It is] very sad that your party is working with the BJP. That BJP is showing ‘The Kerala Files’ [The Kerala Story], a distorted story,” Ms. Banerjee said. 

The Chief Minister said that attempts had been made a few days ago to create a similar film on West Bengal, and that a few film stars “nominated and funded by the BJP“ had come to the State. “Along with some distorted stories, concocted stories, they are preparing a film, The Bengal Files,” she said. The film The Kashmir Files was made to “condemn” and “humiliate” people of Kashmir, she alleged. “Now they are trying to defame Kerala people and Kerala State also. Every day, they are [running] their narrative to defame Bengal,” Ms. Banerjee added. 

The TMC chairperson also expressed concern over the current situation in violence-hit Manipur and described the situation as “man-made”. ”I am quite tense with the situation in Manipur. We are not getting a clear picture of the number of deaths in shoot-at-sight [order] as the State government is not giving any information,” she said.

Ms. Banerjee also commented on the Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s visit to West Bengal and added that instead of West Bengal, the Home Minister should have visited Manipur.

The Chief Minister said that 185 people from Manipur had contacted the State government on its helpline number and, so far 25 persons, including 18 students, had been brought back to the State. She also added that transit accommodation was being provided to students and residents of other States returning from Manipur. 

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