'The Kerala Story' movie: Controversy Explained

3 May 2023  Read 16450 Views

A movie that sparked controversy just after the trailer was released is all set to be released on May 5th; that is ‘The Kerala Story’, directed by Sudipto Sen and produced by Vipul Amrutlal starring Adah Sharma. The teaser claimed that 32,000 women from Kerala were converted to Islam and recruited by the terror group Islamic State. Those opposing the movie are raising questions such as where is this stunning figure coming from. How is it based on true events? 

The Censor Board had issued an 'A' certificate to the movie and reportedly deleted 10 scenes, including an interview with a former Kerala Chief Minister. The movie has been facing major criticism from the Left government and  Congress demanding a ban on film screening in the state. 

This article discusses the plot and the controversy revolving around “The Kerala Story”. Take a tour!

What is the controversy around 'The Kerala Story'?

Even after the controversies, the film’s screening was held at Jawaharlal Nehru University on May 2nd. Although the Left government or Congress is demanding a ban, this movie has also received remarkable support from University students in the form of heavy cheers. The filmmakers also had interactions with the students. 

The film is based on the 2016 Kerala case (Hadiya Case) where many girls went reportedly missing and who were converted to Islam to join ISIS.

10 Facts on ‘The Kerala Story’ Controversy 

  1. 'The Kerala Story' highlights the alleged issue of forced conversion & radicalisation of women in Kerala, which sparked controversy as soon as the trailer was released. 

  2. Many petitions against the film's release reached the Supreme Court on grounds of "worst kind of hate speech" and "audio-visual propaganda", but the SC has refused to interfere in the matter.

  3. The Supreme Court refused, saying, "There are varieties of hate speeches. This film has got certification and has been cleared by the board" and also added that "it's not like a person getting on the podium and starts giving an uncontrolled speech. If you want to challenge the movie's release, you should challenge the certification and through the appropriate forum,"

  4. The movie is directed by Sudipto Sen and produced by Vipul Amrutlal Shah, starring Adah Sharma, Yogita Bihani, Sonia Balani, and Siddhi Idnani & is set to release on May 5.

  5. The film director Sudipto Sen and producer Vipul Amrutlal Shah also insisted that 'The Kerala Story' is based on true events.

  6. As per the film's plot, around 32,000 women in Kerala were converted to Islam and many were taken to ISIS-ruled Syria when the terror group bragged by its power, but some says the number is 3, not 32,000 which became the major point of controversy.

  7. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan slammed the filmmakers, accusing it as "propaganda" by "the Sangh Parivar". 

  8. The film's teaser on YouTube, which initially read as "heartbreaking and gut-wrenching stories of 32,000 females in Kerala", was toned down to "true stories of three young girls from Kerala" post-backlash.

  9. Congress leader Shashi Tharoor accused the filmmakers of indulging in "gross exaggeration" and "distortion" of the reality of Kerala.

  10. Shashi Tharoor also tweeted Rs. 1 crore to anyone who can prove that 32,000 women in Kerala were allegedly forced to convert to Islam. 


It will be vague to speculate the success of this film as it is being both criticised and appreciated. As the debate rages on over the facts of this movie and whether its content could be justified by invoking the right of freedom of expression, the BJP came in support of the film. In contrast, the CP and the Congress came up against the movie for spreading fake propaganda.


About the Author: Kakoli Nath | 275 Post(s)

She is a Legal Content Manager at Finology Legal! With a Masters in Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), a BBA.LL.B from ITM University, and patent analyst training from IIPTA, she truly specializes in her field. Her passion for IPR and Criminal laws is evident from her advanced certification in Forensic Psychology and Criminal Profiling from IFS, Pune.

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