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Academics and artists caution against falling into the hate of 'The Kerala Story'

Academics and artists caution against falling into the hate of The Kerala Story

In a striking denouncement of what they perceive as political propaganda, a coalition of 46 academics, writers, artists, and filmmakers has issued a scathing statement condemning certain Christian churches for their decision to screen the contentious film The Kerala Story.

The film, known for its divisive narrative on the alleged "love jihad," has sparked widespread concern among the signatories, who fear its screening may exacerbate inter-community tensions.

Despite its adult certification, the film has reportedly been shown to audiences, including children, prompting outrage from the coalition. They argue that the content of the film is not only inflammatory but also unsubstantiated by factual evidence.

This sentiment is echoed by government statements, with the Ministry of Home Affairs explicitly stating in Parliament that "love jihad" is not a recognized category, and no such cases are under investigation by national agencies in Kerala.

In a plea to the public, the signatories implore Keralites to reject the divisive rhetoric propagated by the film. They emphasize the importance of maintaining peace and harmony in a region known for its tradition of interfaith coexistence.

Furthermore, they call upon the Christian churches, historically pillars of social welfare and community support, to refrain from endorsing what they deem as "vulgar propaganda" that threatens to disrupt the delicate balance of interreligious relations.

The coalition's statement comes at a crucial juncture as the general elections loom, raising concerns that the screening of The Kerala Story may be exploited for political gain. They caution against allowing such narratives to drive a wedge between communities and urge all stakeholders to uphold the principles of justice and unity.

This development has reignited the debate over the responsibilities of religious institutions in shaping public discourse and fostering communal harmony. While freedom of expression is upheld, the coalition argues that it must be exercised responsibly, especially in sensitive matters that have the potential to incite social unrest.

As tensions simmer, the call for restraint and discernment grows louder. The coalition's plea for a return to reason and solidarity serves as a poignant reminder of the shared values that bind Kerala's diverse communities together.

The full statement

It is most unfortunate that a film made as part of a political propaganda and with little concern for ground facts is being screened by a certain section of Christian churches; creating fears of an impending inter community division that too on an issue dismissed by the Central Government as non-existent. The film itself is certified as Adults only (A) by the censor board and we wonder how it is being shown to students in general, as reported in the media.

Answering a question in Lok Sabha, the Ministry of Home Affairs categorically said on 4 February 2020 that “No such Love Jihad has been reported by any of the central agencies”. They went on to add that, “However, two cases from Kerala involving interfaith marriages have been investigated by the National Investigation agency” and added that “The term Love Jihad is not defined under the extant laws”.

We as concerned citizens and inheritors of generations of interfaith-co-existence deplore the issues raised in the said propaganda film and urge Keralites in general to ignore such a build-up and generalization over a sensitive community issue raised by a film on which even the Courts have come down heavily regarding the facts. The Christian church known for centuries of social outreach for the welfare of the community in general must not fall prey to such vulgar propaganda which can upset the generations-long community balance and affect peaceful interreligious /interfaith existence.

We request all concerned to stop being a party to such misguided and motivated propaganda in the best interests of the community at large and allow the legal system to take care of any aberrations.


1. K.P. Fabian (Ambassador (rtd))

2.Dr.NJ Kurian (Planning commission. rtd)

3.M.N. Karassery, Writer.

4.Arundhati Roy, Writer

5. Sara Joseph, Writer

6. Shashi Kumar, Asian College of Journalism, Chennai

7. BRP Bhaskar, Sr Journalist.

8. TV Chandran, Filmmaker

9. Kamal, Filmmaker

10. John Dayal -(Former member, National Integration Council, GoI-Former President, All India Catholic Union)

11.AJ Philip -(Ex-Editor Tribune,Vice- President, Kerala Club, New Delhi)

12. Dr.George Mathew, Chairman, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi

13.Jamal Kochangadi , Sr. Journalist

14.Dr. Sakhi John , Academician, New Delhi

15.John Samuel, Adoor, Activist

16. Tony Joseph-Author

17.R. Rajagopal, editor-at-large, The Telegraph.

18.Dr. Ummar Tharamel, Writer

19.Dr Azad RP, Writer

20.Dr. Khadeeja Mumtaz, Writer

21.Abul Kalam Azad Pattanam, Photographer

22.E.Santhosh Kumar, Writer,

23.Premchand. Film maker/critic

24.Sheela Tomy, Novelist

25.Sunil Jaliyath, Writer.

26. V K Joseph-Film Critic

27.Paul Zachariah, Writer

28.V K Cherian,Writer/ Media- New Delhi

29.OK Johny , Documentary Filmmaker

30.Venkatesh Ramakrishnan- Sr.Journalist

31.C.S Chandrika, Feminist writer

32.P.K.Sreenivasan, Witer/ Journalist

33.V.R.Sudheesh , Writer

34.Poly Varghese, Hindustani musician

35.Sunny Joseph, Filmmaker.

36.Binu John, Journalist and Author –New Delhi

37.Deepak John Mathew- Professor IIT, Hyderabad

38.Dr Abey Koshy, Prof. Kalady ,Sanskrit University.

39. Dr P J Antony (Principal Secretary -Rtd, Nagaland) New Delhi

40 .Lizy, Novelist

41.V Sasikumar, Writer Documentary filmmaker.

42.Sukumar Muraleedharan, Journalist, New Delhi.

43.Tom Vattakuzhi- Artist.

44. Joshy Joseph, Filmmaker.

45. Roy Thomas, Artist, New Delhi.

46. K.P. Thomas, Artist/ Painter

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TAGS:Love JihadThe Kerala StoryLok Sabha Elections 2024
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