Actor and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Manoj Tiwari, on Thursday, slammed veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah for his criticism of 'The Kerala Story'. Naseeruddin had reacted to the film's box office success and called it a 'dangerous trend'.
In an interview with Aaj Tak, actor-turned-politician Manoj Tiwari said that films such as The Kerala Story are based on facts. He said if Naseeruddin Shah has a problem with it, he can go to court.
Manoj Tiwari said in Hindi, "He is a good actor but Naseeruddin ki niyat achi nahi hai (his intent is not right). I say this with a heavy heart. When films were made that showed a guy sitting at a shop and passing remarks about a woman, Naseer sahab (Naseeruddin) had nothing to say. It is very easy to talk. The way he has identified himself, it is not good as an Indian and as a human being."
In an earlier interview with India Today, Naseeruddin Shah had said, "Worthwhile films like Bheed, Afwaah, Faraaz, all three collapsed. Nobody went to see them, but people are flocking to see The Kerala Story, which I have not seen, and I don’t intend to see it as I have read enough about it."
He had added, “On one hand, it is a dangerous trend, no doubt. We seem to be heading the way of Nazi Germany where, in Hitler’s time, the filmmakers were co-opted, attempted to be co-opted, by the supreme leader to make films praising him and what he has done for the countrymen, and running down the Jewish community."
Written and directed by Sudipto Sen, The Kerala Story stars Adah Sharma, Yogita Bihani, Siddhi Idnani and Sonia Balani in lead roles. The film was released on May 5. It is produced by Vipul Shah and has become one of the highest-grossing films of the year.
Earlier, actor Kamal Haasan had also talked about The Kerala Story. The actor-politician had called the Sudipto Sen directorial a ‘propaganda film’. He was in Abu Dhabi for an awards event, when he addressed the media. During the interaction, he said that it was not enough for the makers to add a ‘true story’ at the bottom of the film's name and make anyone believe it.
As quoted by the news agency ANI, Kamal Haasan had said, “I told you, it's propagandist films that I am against. It's not enough if you write 'true story' just at the bottom as a logo. It has to really be true and that is not true.”
The controversy around The Kerala Story started after the release of its trailer in April, which had claimed that over 32,000 women from Kerala were forced to convert to Islam and were allegedly made to join the terror group ISIS. Later, the figure was omitted from the trailer and the trailer description mentioned it as the story of three women from Kerala.