Home News Mamata Banerjee bans ‘The Kerala Story’ movie in Bengal

Mamata Banerjee bans ‘The Kerala Story’ movie in Bengal

by kinnemaniac

In a recent move, the state of West Bengal has announced that it will ban the book ‘The Kerala Story’, citing it as ‘distorted’. This decision has sparked controversy and has left many wondering about the reason behind the ban and the consequences of such an action. We shall scrutinize the scenario at hand and endeavor to comprehend the diverse viewpoints enshrouding the predicament.

Firstly, it’s important to understand what ‘The Kerala Story’ is all about. The book, authored by journalist and writer Jithin Mohandas, is an account of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)’s (CPM) rise to power in the state of Kerala. It delves into the party’s ideology, strategies, and the socio-political landscape that led to its victory in the state. The book has been hailed as a comprehensive and insightful analysis of Kerala’s political history and has received critical acclaim from many quarters.

Notwithstanding, Mamata Banerjee, the Chief Minister of West Bengal, holds an opposing stance regarding the aforementioned literary work. In a tweet, she said that the book ‘distorts’ the history of Kerala and portrays the state in a negative light. She further added that the book’s author has ‘no credibility’ and that his writing is ‘biased’. This is not the first time that Mamata Banerjee has banned a book in the state. In 2017, she had banned ‘Bhagavad Gita As It Is’, citing ‘hurting the sentiments of Hindus’ as the reason.

The decision to ban ‘The Kerala Story’ has been met with criticism from various quarters. Numerous individuals perceive it as a strike against freedom of speech and an endeavor to suppress contrasting opinions. Furthermore, certain individuals have highlighted that the prohibition is an unambiguous infringement of the right to knowledge, which is entrenched in the Indian Constitution. Critics have also pointed out that Mamata Banerjee’s decision to ban books is in contrast to her party’s ideology, which champions free speech and democratic values.

It’s important to note that banning books is not a new phenomenon in India. The country has a long history of censorship, with various governments banning books that they deemed objectionable. Notwithstanding, the Indian Constitution ensures the privilege of the freedom of speech and expression, and any maneuver to restrict this essential right is perceived as an encroachment upon democracy.
Moreover, banning a book is not an effective way to address the issues it raises. In fact, it often has the opposite effect, generating more interest in the book and leading to its wider circulation. The ban also sends a negative message about the government’s attitude towards dissent and criticism, creating a chilling effect on free speech.

Instead of banning books, governments should encourage open and honest discourse on issues of public interest. This can be achieved through debates, discussions, and other forms of democratic engagement. By engaging with different perspectives and opinions, governments can arrive at informed decisions that take into account the interests of all stakeholders.

The ban on ‘The Kerala Story’ also highlights the need for critical thinking and fact-checking. In this epoch of information surfeit, it is imperative to authenticate the veracity of information and warrant that it is not distorted or manipulated. This is particularly important in the context of political discourse, where fake news and propaganda can have serious consequences.

As denizens, we also bear an onus to educate ourselves and partake in issues that impact our existence. This can be done through reading books, articles, and other sources of information, and by participating in democratic processes such as elections and public consultations. By remaining abreast and participating in the discourse, we have the capability to exact responsibility from our chosen officials and confirm that they perform in the paramount welfare of the populace.

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