‘The Kerala Story’ has not been banned by Kerala and Tamil Nadu

By: Toibah Kirmani
May 12 2023

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‘The Kerala Story’ has not been banned by Kerala and Tamil Nadu


The Verdict False

While the movie has been banned in West Bengal over allegations of stoking communal tensions, it is still running in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Claim ID 93e769e8


Multi-lingual film ‘The Kerala Story’ which claims to tell the stories of a few women in Kerala forced to join the Islamic State, has been at the center of a controversy with critics claiming it furthers propoganda. A description under the film's trailer says it depicts "a spine-chilling, never told before true story." It has been the subject of fierce online debate with many saying that the story is completely fabricated. 

After protests against the movie in many parts of India, the state of West Bengal announced that it will be banning the movie. Similar claims other states banning the film are now emerging. However, the claim that Tamil Nadu and Kerala also banned the movie is misleading. 

In Fact

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced on May 8, 2023 that the movie will not be screened, "to maintain peace in the state," and avoid incidents of hate crime and violence. The ban was imposed on the grounds that the film stokes communal passions and projects a fake narrative against Muslims.

Although Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has publicly criticised ‘The Kerala Story’ as a propaganda movie aimed at communal polarisation, there is no official ban on the movie being screened in Kerala. The movie continues to run in the state, and we have confirmed this by accessing online movie booking sites of cinemas in Kerala, such as Carnival Cinemas, PVR Cinemas Oberon Mall, and Cinepolis Centre Square Mall Kochi, where the movie is currently being shown. 

While the Tamil Nadu government has not officially banned ‘The Kerala Story,’ the decision not to screen the movie was taken by the Tamil Nadu Theatre and Multiplex Owners Association. M Subramaniam, the association's president told Press Trust of India that locally-owned multiplexes had decided not to show the film, citing its lack of popular stars and poor performance in the limited screenings that had already taken place. 

However, the movie was shown in a few multiplexes owned by pan-India groups, mostly PVR. The Madras High Court had also dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) that sought to stall the release of the movie, saying it is up to the state government to maintain law and order. Therefore, there is no official government ban on the movie in Tamil Nadu.

The Verdict

The movie has been banned officially by the government in West Bengal, but not in Kerala or Tamil Nadu. Therefore, we have marked this claim as misleading.

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