‘The Kerala Story’ | Truth or Fake | Fact-Checking

The Kerala Story

The latest controversy to emerge from the Indian film industry revolves around the film ‘The Kerala Story’, which has faced criticism for allegedly spreading lies and propaganda against the state of Kerala.

The movie’s trailer was released last week and is set to hit theatres on May 5. Since the trailer’s release, there has been a heated online debate and criticism surrounding the movie’s authenticity.

What is ‘The Kerala Story’?

Directed by Sudipto Sen and produced by Vipul Amrutul Shah, ‘The Kerala Story’ is a film that centers around the alleged forced conversion of a group of women from Kerala to Islam, and their subsequent recruitment into the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The movie asserts that ISIS recruited over 32,000 girls from the Hindu and Christian communities in Kerala after converting them to Islam, and they are now missing.

However, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has criticized the film for allegedly spreading lies and propaganda aimed at creating communal polarization and hate propaganda against the state.

The Chief Minister highlighted that courts, probe agencies, and the Home Ministry have all dismissed the issue of love jihad,” which refers to the supposed coercion of Hindu women into converting to Islam for marriage.

However, the issue is still raising the connection with Kerala solely for the purpose of defaming the state on the global stage.

The Plot of ‘The Kerala Story’

The plot of the movie revolves around Fathima Ba, a Hindu Malayali nurse played by Adah Sharma, who allegedly converted to Islam and later joined ISIS, only to end up in an Afghan jail.

According to the movie, Fathima is among the 32,000 girls who were allegedly converted to Islam through coercion or deception and subsequently enlisted by ISIS.

However, the film’s allegations lack substantial evidence. While some individuals have claims that they are fabricating the entire story, others argue that it sheds light on the frequently overlooked the issue of forced conversions in Kerala.

The Controversy Around the Film

The most controversial claim made by the film is that around 32,000 girls have gone missing from Kerala after being forcefully or deceitfully converted to Islam and recruited by ISIS.

However, Director Sudipto Sen has not publicly shared any evidence to support this claim.

In an interview on the YouTube channel ‘Festival of Bharat’, Sen claimed that then-chief minister Oommen Chandy tabled a report in 2010 stating that approximately 2,800-3,200 girls were converting to Islam every year.

“Calculating over ten years, it adds up to 32,000-33,000 girls, the same number quoted in his film,” Sen argues.

Although Chandy denied these figures when questioned by Sen, the director claims to have the document that proves his claim.

It is worth noting that Sen was a member of the jury for the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) last year, and its chairperson Nadav Lapid called ‘The Kashmir Files’ a “propaganda” movie during the closing ceremony. Sen distanced himself from Lapid’s comments and was the first jury member to do so.

ISIS Recruitment from Kerala

The film’s claims that the conversion of around 32,000 girls from Kerala to Islam and then their recruited by ISIS as jihadi fighters are highly controversial, and little evidence has been provided to support it.

Although it is a known fact that several Indians have traveled to Iraq and Syria to join ISIS since the organization first appeared on the Indian intelligence agencies’ radar in 2013, the exact number of recruits from Kerala is hard to verify.

Journalists, experts, and government officials have widely contested the claim. Additionally, the suggestion that these girls convert to Islam by force is also problematic.

India is a secular country where individuals have the right to choose their religion, and it is illegal to forcibly convert someone.

While there have been instances of coercion and pressure use to the attempt to convert people, it is not accurate to suggest that 32,000 girls from Kerala were forcibly converting into Islam.

The film has faced criticism for its portrayal of Kerala as a hotbed of radicalization. However, Kerala has a long history of religious tolerance and pluralism and also known for its high levels of education and social development.

While there have been cases of radicalization in Kerala, they are not unique to the state and are a concern across India and the world.

What about the four girls whose story the film portrays?

The film under discussion portrays the experiences of four young women from Kerala who converted to Islam and traveled to Afghanistan between 2016 and 2018 to join the terrorist organization ISIS.

These women, namely Nimisha (also known as Fathima Isa), Merin (also known as Mirriam), Sonia Sebastian (also known as Ayisha), and Rafaella, are currently detained in an Afghan prison.

In December 2019, the website StratNewsGlobal published interviews with these four women under the title “Khorasan Files: The Journey of Indian Islamic State Widows.”

courtesy – StratNewsGlobal

The movie draws upon the story of these women to shed light on the alleged ISIS recruitment in Kerala.

It is worth noting that the circumstances surrounding the conversion and subsequent journey of these women are deeply disturbing.

The film brings attention to the issue of radicalization and highlights the need to address the root causes that lead to such extreme measures.

In summary, while the issue of ISIS recruitment and radicalization is a serious concern, it is important to approach it with accuracy and nuance.

Claims made in the film should be thoroughly fact-checked and placed in the context of broader trends and patterns. Although, the story is real the number “32000” has not been proven yet except for the Six girls in which three of them were already of Muslim origin.

Also, read out “The Violence in Manipur’s Churachandpur before CM N Biren Singh’s Visit“.


Q1. Who is the director of the Kerala story?

Sudipto Sen, “The Kerala Story” depicts how women from Kerala are forcely to convert to Islam and recruited by the terror group Islamic State (IS).

Q2. What is Kerala story?

The Kerala Story is a 2023 Indian Hindi-language film, Director – Sudipto Sen and Producer – Vipul Amrutlal Shah. The plot follows the story of a group of women from Kerala who converted to Islam and joined the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Q3. Is “Kerala story” based on real events?

Although, the story is real but the number “32000” has not proven yet except for the six girls. Yet it needs investigation.

Watch the full and real incident of the Kerala Story in video format on:

Youtube/Dhruv Rathee

Tez Pratap

I am Tezz Pratap, a passionate and creative content creator and blogger. I specialize in writing articles and am known for my expertise in this domain.

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