Claiming to show the stories of non-Muslim women who were converted to Islam, majorly under the name of marriage, for the terrorist organization ISIS; ‘The Kerala Story’ is a 138-minute Hindi film that attracted the tags of political controversy and religious polarization soon after it’s teaser’s release. After the movie’s release last Friday, the first-day box office collected soared to 8.03 Cr and it was made tax-free in various states such as Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh by their respective governments. It was praised a lot by different politicians mainly because it showed the ‘reality of our sisters’.
On the other hand, the West Bengal government put an immediate ban on the movie citing reasons to maintain ‘peace and harmony’ within the State. This ban was challenged in the Supreme Court by the makers of the film. The Court agreed to hear the plea on 12th May 2023 and a bench comprising Chief Justice of India D. Y. Chandrachud and Justice P. S. Narasimha issued formal notices to West Bengal and Tamil Nadu, where the screening of the movie was facing a ‘shadow ban’.
The CJI posted the matter later to next Wednesday as the Court could not pass an interim order without hearing the State but he made some comments. Primarily, he questioned, “Why can the film not run in West Bengal if it is premiering in all other parts of the nation?” Secondly, he asked the State to give people the right to choose if they want to watch the film or not. Lastly, CJI Chandrachud asked the State of Tamil Nadu to file an affidavit stating the “specific administrative steps they have taken” to ensure proper law, order and safety as it’s their duty to ensure security.