Bengal Bans; After Madhya Pradesh, Another BJP-Ruled State Makes ‘The Kerala Story’ Tax-Free

Lucknow: Adah Sharma starrer ‘The Kerala Story’ will be made tax-free in Uttar Pradesh, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced on Tuesday.

According to reports, he and his cabinet colleagues are likely to watch the movie at a special screening to be organised at Lok Bhawan on May 12.

This came a day after West Bengal government decided to ban the movie to avoid any incident of hatred and violence, and to maintain peace in the state. After a press conference at the state administration headquarters, Mamta Banerjee ordered Chief Secretary Harikrishna Dwivedi to issue a statewide ban, saying, “The film won’t be shown in any hall in Bengal.”

Uttar Pradesh is the second state after Madhya Pradesh to make the controversial film ‘tax-free’. The BJP, which is supporting the movie, is in power in both states. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also invoked it during his poll rally in Karnataka. “The movie ‘The Kerala story’ is trying to expose the consequences of terrorism in a society, especially in a state like Kerala which is beautiful land of hardworking, talented and intellectual people. The Congress party is now trying to ban the film and support the terror elements,” he said at a poll rally in Ballari last week.

The movie, produced by Vipul Amrutlal Shah and directed by Sudipto Sen, depicts forcible conversion of girls before being recruited by terror group Islamic State and has been boycotted in several districts of Kerala, and across Tamil Nadu by theatre owners.

Notably, Shabana Azmi tweeted that it is wrong to demand a ban on ‘The Kerala Story’, given that it has been cleared by the CBFC.  “Those who speak of banning #The Kerala Story are as wrong as those who wanted to ban Aamir Khan’s #Laal Singh Chaadha. Once a film has been passed by the Central Board of Film Certification nobody has the right to become an extra constitutional authority,” she wrote.

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