Kerala: Christian diocese screens 'The Kerala Story' for teens

Kerala: Christian diocese screens 'The Kerala Story' for teens

PTI | Thiruvananthapuram | Updated: 08-04-2024 19:58 IST | Created: 08-04-2024 19:58 IST
Kerala: Christian diocese screens 'The Kerala Story' for teens
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Amidst a raging row over national broadcaster Doordarshan airing the controversial Bollywood movie 'The Kerala Story', a Catholic diocese in Kerala has screened the film for teenagers as part of an ''intensive training programme.'' The Idukki Diocese, under the prominent Syro Malabar Catholic Church, screened the movie last week for its children studying in classes 10, 11, and 12, and asked them to discuss the film and write a review about it.

Directed by Sudipto Sen, the film is about a group of women from Kerala who were forced to convert to Islam and join ISIS.

As news of the screening of the controversial movie hit headlines, the Diocese on Monday came out with an explanation, claiming the movie was shown to ''create awareness about love relationships and its consequences and dangers.'' Fr Jins Karakkat, media in-charge of the Diocese, said they conduct an intensive training programme for children every year during vacation.

Specific topics are selected for the programme and books prepared for it, he added.

''This year, the programme was held on April 2, 3 and 4. The theme of the textbooks prepared for the children of classes 10, 11, and 12 was love relationships,'' the priest said.

The objective of selecting the topic was to create awareness about falling in love and their consequences, he said.

''Nowadays, there are circumstances in which teenagers are largely falling in love and facing dangers. So, we intended to create awareness among our children about such dangers,'' he explained.

To take the idea to the children more effectively, the movie 'The Kerala Story' was shown, Fr Karakkat further said.

Children, who participated in the intensive training programme, were also asked to discuss the film in their WhatsApp group and compile reviews, he said.

When quizzed about the controversy surrounding the film, the priest said he had no idea about it and only knew that it was released on an OTT platform.

Meanwhile, the screening of the film by the Catholic diocese again triggered a political debate in the state on Monday, with the BJP saying the movie received support from all walks of life.

BJP state chief K Surendran, who is also the party's candidate from Wayanad constituency in the Lok Sabha polls, said 'The Kerala Story' movie has been receiving support from all walks of life and many parts of Kerala.

Hundreds of girls in Kerala are victims of Love Jihad, and this has been reported from districts including Kannur, he alleged.

However, ruling CPI(M) state secretary M V Govindan and senior Congress leader V D Satheesan reiterated the film was made to tarnish the image of the southern state.

Satheesan said Congress and the UDF do not agree with any attempt to humiliate the state.

UDF would oppose both majority and minority communalism, he said and claimed no political party has taken such a bold stand in state politics in the past 50 years.

Govindan described 'The Kerala Story' as ''anti-Kerala, anti-Communist and anti-Muslim.'' ''The movie has no value and has no connection with the socio-cultural life of the state. It's a waste movie...made with the investment of the RSS and BJP to tarnish the state,'' the veteran alleged.

He, however, did not react to the screening of the movie by the Idukki Diocese.

The Left leader said what the party opposes is the screening of the movie through the official broadcaster, Doordarshan.

Despite a strong protest raised by the ruling CPI(M) and Congress in Kerala, Doordarshan last week aired the controversial Bollywood movie 'The Kerala Story'.

Leaders of various political parties in Kerala including Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Leader of the Opposition Satheesan strongly criticised the screening of the movie by the public broadcaster.

Vijayan had condemned Doordarshan's decision and asked it to withdraw the decision, saying it would only ''exacerbate communal tensions'' ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

Vijayan had also asked the national broadcaster not to become a ''propaganda machine'' for the BJP and RSS.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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