However, inside deputyON, Assam and Uttarakhandyou can watch the movie at a discount with the Governments of the BJP in these states making it tax free.
Such widespread polarization on films, rarely seen before, is set to dominate political discourse in the year that will see assembly polls in five states followed by next year’s general election.
Since the controversy erupted, the BJP has spoken out on the issues portrayed in the film. Prime Minister Modi made it a major polling issue in Karnataka, arguing that the film exposed the consequences of terrorism in society, especially in a state like Kerala.
His reference to the film during a rally in Ballari set the tone for other party officials, many of whom highlighted the “threat” in Kerala.
The film caused a vertical rift in the political space after some opposition-ruled states banned it, citing potential law and order issues.
Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday said the film will be tax-free in the state, just days after a similar announcement by the Madhya Pradesh government.
Directed by Sudipto Sen, ‘The Kerala Story’ depicts how women of Kerala were forced to convert to Islam and recruited by the Islamic State (IS).
BJP IT department chief Amit Malviya said Mamata’s decision to ban The Kerala Story in West Bengal raises serious questions about civil liberties and freedom of expression. “The film is a real-life account of the victims, who endured the horrors of the demographic invasion and were used as cannon fodder for ISIS, one of the most barbaric forces in the world,” he said.
Party officials must watch the film in theaters to promote the film. Union Minister Smriti Irani saw the film at a theater in the national capital, a day after his ministerial colleague Anurag Thakur arranged a special screening for journalists.