'Right To Administration': Shatrughan Sinha on The Kerala Story ban

Subhash K Jha in conversation with veteran actor and politician Shatrughan Sinha about The Kerala Story

'The Kerala Story' promotional poster of four burkha-clad women (Photo Courtesy: IMDb)
'The Kerala Story' promotional poster of four burkha-clad women (Photo Courtesy: IMDb)

Subhash K Jha

Shatrughan Sinha has been travelling nonstop. I finally cornered the affable forthright actor-politician for his comments on the controversial film The Kerala Story about the alleged Islamic conversion of Hindu women in Kerala.

Never known to mince words Sinha says, “Firstly, let me make it very clear that I haven’t seen The Kerala Story. I’ve been so busy travelling that I have not yet seen my own daughter's (Sonakshi SInha) series Dahaad. Having said this, I would  also like to say that I’ve always stood up for the freedom of expression. I firmly believe that every individual has the right to say what they want to, but not at the cost of a state’s law and  order. If a film poses threat to the peace of the state then there should be a curb on that freedom.”

Is Sinha speaking about his party leader Mamata Banerjee’s ban on the film?

“Yes, Ms Mamata Banerjee is a very far-minded leader. If she feels this film (The Kerala Story) can create a law and order situation then she must have reason for it. She too has always stood up for the freedom of expression. If she feels the film is dangerous  to a certain section of people, she has every right  to do what she thinks right. As for me, I’ve always stood up for the right to freedom. Long before Vivek Agnihotri’s The  Kashmir Files, I spoke about the plight of Kashmiri Pandits. The Government then paid no attention. If Vivek’s film has opened up a debate on Kashmiri Pandits, then I am happy. Film on sensitive issues must be made, but sensitively. Why was the film made about religious conversions during election time? The timing seems a little suspicious.”

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