Several BJP leaders on Monday watched a show of The Kerala Story at a cinema hall in the walled city with a number of female students from the Delhi University, invited by them, among the viewers.
The media relations department of the partys state unit had booked an exclusive show at Delite cinema hall in Daryaganj. The exclusive show was attended by Union minister Meenakshi Lekhi, BJP national general secretary Tarun Chugh, state president Virendra Sachdeva, and former Union minister Harsh Vardhan.
The politicians were joined in the screening by members of ABVP, the RSS student wing, a group of DU girl students, some local traders, and members of press, the Delhi BJP said in a statement.
Sachdeva claimed the film to be based on Kerala women who were “forced love jihad and conversion victims.” It raises awareness against dangers of “love jihad” across the country, he said.
The film which has been mired in controversy even before its release has been directed by Sudipto Sen and has been boycotted in several districts of Kerala, and across Tamil Nadu by theatre owners. The central claim of the film that 3,200 women from Kerala joined ISIS remains unsubstantiated. The producers of the film even removed the claim from all its social media posts after it was asked to do so by Kerala High Court. The film was released on May 5.
The state BJP has asked the Delhi AAP government to exempt the film from entertainment tax and hold its special screenings for girls in the 15-16 age group.
In a letter to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal earlier, Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor had asked him to watch the film, claiming the film was based on the “serious issue of love jihad”, “religious conversion” and pushing innocent girls into “terrorism.” Junior home minister G Krishna Reddy had in 2020 informed parliament that the term love jihad is not defined in law, and no police cases have been filed under it.
Union minister Smriti Irani will watch the movie in a theatre in Chanakyapuri on Tuesday evening, Kapoor said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)