The Kerala Story: now claims of true story of only 3 girls?

After a severe backlash and prize money announced for proving claims of conversion of 32,000 girls, the film makers have done a U-turn and claim the movie is based on stories of only 3 girls

When the trailer of Sudipto Sen directed and Vipul Shah produced ‘The Kerala Story’ released last week, it caused much furore as it claimed that 32,000 girls were converted to Islam and sent to join ISIS. Many demanded that the filmmakers come up with evidence to prove this.

Two posts then started circulating on Twitter where an individual and a Committee in Kerala have offered prize money to those who can prove the claims made in the teaser and trailer of the movie.

A user called Nazeer Hussain Kizhakkedathu offered Rs. 10 lakhs to those who can give names and addresses of women who were converted to Islam and sent to ISIS. He said only 10 names were enough. Even the Muslim Youth League Kerala State Committee has announced a reward of 1 crore if anyone can prove The Kerala Story allegations.

The Kerala Story

After these challenges were issued, the makers of the film quietly went ahead and changed the description of the movie in the YouTube upload. Earlier the description of the teaser read:

“heartbreaking and gut wrenching stories of 32,000 females in Kerala!”

Now the description reads:

“The Kerala Story is a compilation of the true stories of three young girls from different parts of Kerala”.

During a screening at JNU organised by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) on Tuesday, Sen was addressing a crowd and said, “Do you think the number actually matters? The 32,000 number is an arbitrary number. It is based on facts,” reported The Quint. He further said that “the number doesn’t matter” and that “even if one girl faced this, the story needs to be told.”

Sen had earlier said, “In 2010, former Kerala CM Oommen Chandy made a statement before the Kerala assembly. Before my camera, he denied that anything had happened. But in 2010, I documented a case where he (Chandy) said that every year approximately 2,800 to 3,200 girls were taking up Islam. Just calculate it for the following 10 years, and the number is around 32,000.”

It appears the lead protagonist of the film is inspired from the real life of Nimisha from Trivandrum, since she allegedly converted to Islam and her husband, a Christian had converted to Islam. The Print report also states that between 2016 and 2018 only 21 people had thus “fled” to Afghanistan.

A plea has been filed against the preposterous claims being made in the movie and while the Supreme  Court refused to entertain the plea, a petition before the Kerala High Court is set to be heard on May 5. The apex court had asked the petitioners to go before the high court first.


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