Kochi, Feb 6 (PTI) The Kerala High Court today refused to stay the exhibition of Kamal-directed Malayalam film “Aami”, which is based on the life of noted writer Madhavikutty.

Justice Shaji P Chaly, however, admitted a petition filed by lawyer K P Ramachandran of Kochi, challenging the screening of the movie.

While declining to stay the screening of the movie, the court directed the Censor Board and the Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry to file counter affidavits in two weeks.

The petitioner alleged that the film, based on the life of Madhavikutty, was sending a message favouring “love jihad”.

“Love jihad” is a term used by sections of Hindu activists to describe marriages between Hindu women and Muslim men, who, they claim, seek to propagate Islam.

Madhavikutty had converted to Islam and taken the name of Kamala Surayya.

The petitioner urged the court to direct the Censor Board to ensure that the movie be certified only after ensuring that the film picturised the actual life of Madhavikutty.

“The film was directed by omitting the real life incidents of Madhavikutty, with a view to justify love jihad.

Such a film comes to the fore in the wake of such cases (of love jihad) pending before the apex court and the NIA investigating such cases,” he said.

Ramachandran argued that Kamal, the director of the film, is often depicted as a pro-radical faction of Islamic society.

“The conversion of Madhavikutty into Islam was the beginning of love jihad in Kerala. Love jihad is the grave menace society faces in the southern state today,” he alleged.

“Now the well oiled machineries are working to meet the said end. The film, ‘Aami’, is intended to be a catalytic agent for the said process,” Ramachandran submitted.

The petitioner also alleged that the movie was made to re-write history and “twisted” the narrative according to the director’s whims under the guise of freedom of expression.

Even if ‘Aami’ was exhibited in cinema theatres, the “wrong” and “contradictory” picturisation of Madhavikutty and justifying the forcible religious conversion would certainly inject a wrong message into the minds of audience, he added.

‘Aami’ is based on the autobiography of Kamala Surayya’s Ente Katha (My Story). She wrote under a pseudonym Kamala Das in English.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.