How True Is The Story Of ‘The Kerala Story?’ A Movie That Stir The Nation; Here Are The Details

True Story Behind The Kerala Story Film

The film The Kerala Story has created a stir in the nation. It is released on May 5, 2023, claiming to be based on true stories. The Kerala Story stars Adah Sharma, Sonia Balani, Yogita Bihani, and Siddhi Idnani. Sudipto Sen’s film has also given rise to a political storm. Netizens are divided on social media based on their views related to the movie. Even Pinarayi Vijayan, the Chief Minister of Kerala, called it a propaganda film. Even the censor board has made 10 cuts in the film before providing it with an A certificate.


The Story Of ‘The Kerala Story’

The Kerala Story Adah

The movie’s main lead, Adah Sharma, was forcefully converted to Islam under the name Fathima Ba. She was then made to join ISIS and eventually ended up in an Afghan jail. Initially, it was claimed that she was one of the 32,000 women who went to Kerala and faced similar problems. The film’s trailer on YouTube showed this number. However, now the number has been changed to three.


Is The Movie Based On True Events?

The Kerala Story Movie

The movie claims to be based on true incidents, but it fails to back it up with evidence. The most controversial fact that the film claims to be true is that 32,000 women were converted to Islam and then recruited by ISIS. In an interview with a YouTube channel, the film’s director tried to justify the above-mentioned claim. Sudipto Sen said that in 2010, then-chief minister Oommen Chandy submitted a report,

“Every year approximately 2800-3200 girls were being converted to Islam.” 

Sen then stated,

“just calculate this number for ten years and that gives you 32,000 to 33,000 girls.”

This is the only evidence that the director could present in his defense. However, on the investigation, The Indian Express could not find the report by Oommen Chandy, as stated by Sudipto Sen.


Major Claims

The Kerala Story Actresses

Another major claim that the film makes is that 32,000 women who went missing were recruited by Islam after their conversion. In 2013, Indian intelligence agencies became aware of the presence of Indians among the ISIS fighters. Some of these individuals, inspired by ISIS, were arrested while they were preparing to carry out an attack in India. In 2019, the Minister of State for Home Affairs, G. Kishan Reddy, told Parliament in a written reply that,

“the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the state police forces have registered cases against ISIS operatives and sympathisers, and have arrested 155 accused from across the country so far.”

However, the number of Indians in ISIS is very low. As of November 2020, only 66 people of Indian origin were known. In December 2019, the website StratNewsGlobal released interviews of the four women (whose stories inspired the movie) titled ‘Khorasan Files: The Journey of Indian Islamic State Widows.’ The women identified themselves as Nimisha (also known as Fathima Isa), Sonia Sebastian (also known as Ayisha), Merin (also known as Mirriam), and Rafaella. Therefore, the claims made in The Kerala Story may be true to some extent.


Reactions From Some Renowned People

Kerala CM, Pinarayi Vijayan, referred to it as a propaganda movie. While Congress leader Dr. Shashi Tharoor took to Twitter, and his views were against the claims made by the movie. He tweeted,

“It may be *your* Kerala story. It is not *our* Kerala story.” 

What we think is yes, the film is the topic of debate, but it cannot be ignored. You can also read our reviews of  The Kerala Story. Have you watched the movie? How did you find it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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