Karnataka college asks students to watch The Kerala Story mandatorily, later backtracks | Azad Times

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Azad Times News Desk.

The principal of the college in Karnataka’s Bagalkote district said that instructions asking women students to watch ‘The Kerala Story’ were withdrawn after government officials’ intervention.

A college in Ilkal city of Karnataka’s Bagalkote district, Shri Vijay Mahantesh Ayurvedic Medical College, issued a notice to its women students on Tuesday, May 23, instructing them to attend a mandatory screening of the controversial film The Kerala Story at a local theatre. However, the notice was withdrawn after the local tahsildar and Bagalkote Deputy Commissioner intervened and asked to revoke it, the college’s principal KC Das told TNM. “The notice was withdrawn around 11.30 pm. Students did not attend the screening, and attended their afternoon classes as usual,” said Das. 

The screening had initially been scheduled for 12 pm on Wednesday, May 24 at Ilkal town’s Srinivas Talkies. The notice issued by the college on Tuesday said it was cancelling all classes after 11 am on Wednesday, to enable students to attend the screening. “All of you must see the movie,” it said, addressing the “lady students” of the college. 

On learning about the mandatory screening, a citizens’ organisation named Jagruta Nagarikaru Karnataka wrote to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, condemning the college’s moive. “Our question is what is the need to show the controversial and hate-mongering movie The Kerala Story for free, when it is full of false details,” the letter said. 

While acknowledging that cinema is a means of entertainment, the impact it has on viewers should also be recognised, the letter said. It called on the state government to take action against the institution, and prevent it from organising screenings of movies like The Kerala Story in future. The letter was signed by Kannada writers K Marulasiddappa and SG Siddaramayya, educationist Niranjanaradhya VP and others. 

Read: The Kerala Story is based on incorrect numbers and manipulated statements: Alt News

Aslo read: The Kerala Story review: A no-nuance propaganda film that thrives on shock value

Previously, an organisation called Uttishta Bharatha had organised a free screening of The Kerala Story in Bengaluru. The event took place on May 17 at Orion Mall in Rajajinagar, with an invitation extended to young women aged 18 to 25. Neeraj Kamath, the organisation's founder and convener, said that 235 women attended the screening. During the screening, the enthusiastic audience, comprising students and other young women, passionately chanted slogans such as “Bharat mata ki jai" and "Vande mataram."

Read: The Kerala Story screened for free in Bengaluru theatre for women aged 18 to 25

Several people have criticised The Kerala Story, saying it spreads propaganda and misrepresents the number of women who had been radicalised from Kerala. While there are public records of only six women from Kerala joining ISIS, of which only one woman was a Hindu, the film obfuscates these cases with those of religious conversions for other reasons. 

Kerala’s Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has stated that the film is a product of the “Sangh’s lie factory.” He also slammed the movie for being an attempt by the Sangh to humiliate Kerala before the rest of the world. The Chief Minister further said, “Propaganda films and their otherisation of Muslims should be viewed in the context of various efforts made by the Sangh Parivar to gain an advantage in electoral politics in Kerala. Their usual tactics do not work in Kerala, so they are trying to spread their politics of division through the film based on fake stories.”

Watch: The Kerala Story: What the truth is| No Filter with Dhanya Rajendran

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