Shatrughan Sinha on The Kerala Story: Balancing Expression and Administration
Shatrughan Sinha drew a comparison between Vivek Agnihotri's film, The Kashmir Files, and The Kerala Story while commenting on the controversy surrounding the latter.
Shatrughan Sinha, the veteran actor-turned-politician expressed his disappointment with Vipul Amritlal Shah’s film, The Kerala Story, although he clarified that he has not seen the film yet. The movie has been garnering attention due to the controversies surrounding it, and recently, politician Jitendra Awhad criticized the producer, calling him out for “peddling lies” and suggesting he be “hanged in public.
Sinha stated that while he hasn’t watched The Kerala Story, the contentious film, he wishes to emphasize that he has consistently defended the right to free speech.
According to Shatrughan Sinha, a film cannot disturb the law and order and the administration of a state, regardless of its content. While he supports freedom of expression, he believes that it should not come at the expense of a state’s stability. He emphasized that if a film endangers the peace of a state, then limitations should be imposed on that freedom. Shatrughan Sinha stated that the right to expression should be balanced with the right to administration.
Shatrughan Sinha criticized Sudipto Roy’s The Kerala Story for its release timing, which coincided with the elections. Sinha believed that films on sensitive issues should be made, but with sensitivity and questioned the intentions behind making the film during the elections. He also supported the ban on the film in West Bengal and allied with the Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee, stating that if she feels the film can cause a law and order situation, she must have a valid reason for it. Sinha commended Banerjee for standing up for freedom of expression and claimed that she has the right to take any necessary action to preserve it.
Shatrughan Sinha drew a comparison between The Kerala Story and Vivek Agnihotri’s The Kashmir Files and explained why they were dissimilar. He remarked that he had discussed the suffering of Kashmiri Pandits long before Agnihotri’s film. However, the government had not taken notice. Sinha expressed contentment that Agnihotri’s film had sparked a discussion about the condition of Kashmiri Pandits.
The Kerala Story is a film that portrays the conversion of three Hindu women to Islam and joining ISIS. Initially, the film claimed that 32,000 women were missing from Kerala, who underwent such conversion. However, later the court intervened, and the figure was revised to three. Sudipto Sen directed the film, which stars Adah Sharma, Yogita Bihani, Sonia Balani, and Siddhi Idnani.
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