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People calling for ban on 'The Kerala Story' as wrong as those against 'Laal Singh Chaddha': Shabana Azmi

MUMBAI: Those who want to ban "The Kerala Story" are as "wrong" as those who didn't want Aamir Khan-starrer "Laal Singh Chaddha" to be released, said veteran actor Shabana Azmi on Monday amid the row around the Sudipto Sen-directorial that hit the screens last week.

Her comments come a day after multiplexes across Tamil Nadu cancelled screenings of the controversial film from Sunday, citing law and order issues and poor public response.

In a tweet, Azmi said no one but the Central Board of Film Certification has the right to decide whether or not a film should release.

"Those who speak of banning #The Kerala Story are as wrong as those who wanted to ban Aamir Khan's #Laal Singh Chaadha (sic). Once a film has been passed by the Central Board of Film Certification nobody has the right to become an extra constitutional authority," the 72-year-old actor wrote on the microblogging site.

Azmi was referring to the #BoycottBollywood trend on social media ahead of the release of Aamir's "Laal Singh Chaddha" on August 11, 2022.

"The Kerala Story", starring Adah Sharma, was released in cinemas on Friday and was initially portrayed as "unearthing" the events behind "approximately 32,000 women" allegedly missing from Kerala.

According to the CPI(M) and the Congress in Kerala, the film falsely claims that 32,000 women got converted and radicalised and were deployed in terror missions in India and the world.

The filmmakers later changed the figure in the film's trailer.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on May 5 credited the movie, produced by Vipul Amrutlal Shah's Sunshine Pictures, for bringing out terror conspiracies and used it to attack the Congress during an election rally in poll-bound Karnataka.

Last week, the Kerala High Court also refused to stay the release of the film and said the trailer does not contain anything offensive to any particular community as a whole. Recently, the Madhya Pradesh government announced that "The Kerala Story" will be tax free in the state, while Uttar Pradesh minister Brajesh Pathak said it will not oppose any proposal to grant similar status in the state.


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