Keralites have every right to state that The Kerala Story is a "misrepresentation of our reality", senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said on Monday, stressing that he was not calling for a ban on the film as freedom of expression does not cease to be valuable just because it can be misused.
Tagging a poster of the Muslim Youth League Kerala offering a reward of Rs 1 crore if someone can prove allegations that 32,000 Keralites converted and fled to Syria, Tharoor said, "Now there's an opportunity for all those hyping the alleged conversions of 32,000 women on Kerala to Islamism -- to prove their case and make some money."
"Will they be up to the challenge or is there simply no proof because none exists?" the MP from Thiruvananthapuram said, using the hashtag 'Not Our Kerala Story'.
In another tweet, he said, "Let me stress, I am not calling for a ban on the film. Freedom of expression does not cease to be valuable just because it can be misused. But Keralites have every right to say loud & clear that this is a misrepresentation of our reality."
Sharing a poster of the movie, Tharoor had tweeted on Sunday, "It may be 'your' Kerala story. It is not 'our' Kerala story."
The Kerala Story, starring Adah Sharma, is set to be released in cinemas on May 5. Written and directed by Sudipto Sen, the film is portrayed as "unearthing" the events behind "approximately 32,000 women" allegedly going missing from Kerala.
According to the Communist Party of India-Marxist and the Congress in Kerala, the film falsely claims they converted, got radicalised and were deployed in terror missions in India and the world.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan Sunday had slammed the makers of the film, saying they were taking up the Sangh Parivar propaganda of projecting the state as a centre of religious extremism by raising the issue of 'love jihad' -- a concept rejected by the courts, probe agencies and the Home Ministry.
'The Kerala Story' is backed by Sunshine Pictures Private Limited, founded by Vipul Amrutlal Shah, who serves as the producer, creative director and co-writer of the film.
The film's writer-director Sudipto Sen's earlier movies are Aasma, Lucknow Times and The Last Monk.