Gross exaggeration, distortion of Kerala’s reality: Tharoor slams makers of The Kerala Story
New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Tuesday hit out at the makers of the movie “The Kerala Story”, accusing them of indulging in “gross exaggeration” and “distortion” of the state’s reality.
Tharoor’s assertion came in response to those accusing him of double standards over his criticism of the film, referring to his 2021 tweet in which he had said that he had been approached by three Kerala mothers whose daughters are stuck in Afghanistan having been taken there by their misguided husbands.
“The Kerala Story”, starring Adah Sharma, is set to be released in cinemas on May 5. Written and directed by Sudipto Sen, the film is portrayed as “unearthing” the events behind “approximately 32,000 women” allegedly going missing from Kerala.
According to the CPI(M) and the Congress in Kerala, the film falsely claims that the women converted, got radicalised and were deployed in terror missions in India and the world.
In a lengthy Twitter post tagging his 2021 tweet on the three Kerala mothers who had approached him, Tharoor said, “Many are spreading this 2021 tweet of mine as if it undermines my present objections to the trailer and publicity for ‘The Kerala Story’.”
“Yes, I was approached then by three Kerala mothers and was aware of a fourth, and I was open about my concerns about their daughters’ radicalisation. But four cases are a far cry from the 32,000 that the film-makers are alleging,” the MP from Thiruvananthapuram said.
If there really were so many ISIS female members from Kerala, that would mean double the number when you count their husbands, whereas even Western intelligence sources say the number of ALL Indians in ISIS does not approach three figures, Tharoor said.
“This gross exaggeration and distortion of the Kerala reality is what I am objecting to,” he added.
Film’s producer Vipul Amrutlal Shah has said the film is a true story and every scene in the film is true, but it deals with three girls.
“However, we are not changing our stand. If we look at the issue, the number of 32,000 is what we have stated and we are staying by it. But the film is not, so they’re two different things,” he told PTI.
“Since the matter has become sub judice, I would not like to elaborate on that. If we are asked this question… ‘How did we get to this number and everything?’ We’ll answer those questions there (in court),” he said.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had on Sunday slammed the makers of the film, saying they were taking up the Sangh Parivar propaganda of projecting the state as a centre of religious extremism by raising the issue of ‘love jihad’ — a concept rejected by courts, probe agencies and the home ministry.
“The Kerala Story” is backed by Sunshine Pictures Private Limited, founded by Shah, who serves as the producer, creative director and co-writer of the film.
The film’s writer-director Sudipto Sen’s earlier movies are “Aasma”, “Lucknow Times” and “The Last Monk”.