After Idukki diocese, Syro Malabar Catholic Church’s Thamarassery diocese screens ‘The Kerala Story’

A day after the Idukki diocese under the Syro Malabar Catholic Church in Kerala screened The Kerala Story for its young students, the Thamarassery diocese of the same Church has also decided to screen the movie.

The Church announced the decision amid the row over the Idukki diocese’s screening of the movie for teens to warn them of the dangers of love affairs.

The Themarassery diocese in north Kerala stated that they will screen the movie in all the Kerala Catholic Youth Movement (KCYM) units. They said that the decision was announced as even the Chief Minister opened up about organised recruitment for terrorist groups in the state.

The diocese said that screening a movie that was not banned in the state was fine. According to reports, the KCYM questioned why the political parties were scared of the movie.

The Idukki diocese screened the movie on Sunday, 7th April for students from grades 10 to 12 as part of catechism classes. Father Jins Karakkat, chairman of the Idukki Diocese Media Commission, gave a statement on the same saying, “The movie was screened to educate youngsters about the dangers lurking behind love affairs and marriage.”

The students were asked to watch the movie and review it after discussion within their groups. The dioceses also circulated a book on the matter among students.

Father Karakkat said intensive training programmes for children are held every year during vacation. He said that specific topics are selected for the programme and books prepared for it.

“This year, the programme was held on April 2, 3 and 4. The theme of the textbooks prepared for the children of Classes 10, 11, and 12 was love relationships,” he said.

Various diocese’s under the Syro Malabar Church have often raised the issue of the dangers of love jihad with their community. In 2021, the bishop of Pala diocese of the Syro-Malabar Church issued circular on Saturday to warn Christian families against various ‘groups’ trying to trap young girls from their community.

Bishop Mar Joseph Kallarangatt of the Pala diocese, in his circular elaborated on how certain people are laying traps to befriend young girls of the local community through phone calls.

“You must be aware of the various sections and groups that have been trying to trap our female children with various tactics,” read the opening lines of the letter.

In September 2021, Bishop Mar Joseph Kallarangatt of the Pala diocese of the Syro-Malabar Church stated that young Christian boys and girls of Kerala are being targeted for not just ‘Love Jihad’ but for ‘Narcotics Jihad’ too.

On 5th April, Doordarshan announced that The Kerala Story would be on Friday following which Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan condemned the decision.

He said that this is an attempt at polarization just before the Lok Sabha elections. Kerala Congress leader VD Satheesan has also demanded that the government channel back off the move to screen the ‘The Kerala Story’ on Doordarshan, saying the movie is a “collection of untruth.”

It is important to note that Adah Sharma-starrer ‘The Kerala Story’ is one of the successful movies of 2023. The film saw popularity and ran well but there were attempts to corner the film and ban it for the subject matter.

The film brought a spotlight on subjects like forced/lured religious conversions, ISIS brides, and love jihad. The film was even banned in West Bengal initially and the makers had to plead before the Honourable courts to get its ban lifted, which was eventually lifted.

Source: OpIndia

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