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Concerned Catholics Condemn Screening of ‘The Kerala Story’ by Idukki Diocese

10 Apr. 24

In a collective statement released by concerned Catholics, a strong condemnation was expressed regarding the recent screening of the film ‘The Kerala Story’ by the Diocese of Idukki, Kerala. The film was shown to students in Stds. X to XII as part of the Annual Summer Catechism programme.

The statement, signed by prominent individuals including Dr. Kochurani Abraham, Adv. Susan Abraham (Bombay High Court), Adv. MA Britto (Forum for Secularism and Democracy, Tirunelveli), Dr. John Dayal (Ex Member, National Integration Council, GoI; Ex President, All India Catholic Union, New Delhi), Brinelle D’Souza (Chairperson, Centre for Health and Mental Health, TISS, Mumbai), Dr. Ruth D’Souza (Citizen, Archdiocese of Bombay), Dr. Joseph Victor Edwin SJ (Secretary, Islamic Studies Association, Delhi), Midhun J. Francis SJ (Doctoral Student Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome), Adv. Julie George (Lawyer, Mumbai), Dr. M.K. George SJ (Former Principal, Loyola College, Trivandrum), Adv. Anastasia Gil (former Delhi Minorities Commission member), Dr. Josantony Joseph (Human Rights Training Consultant; Former Supreme Court Advisor (Maharashtra) on the PIL on the Right to Food, Mumbai), Ozelle Lobo (Jagrut Nagarik, Ahmedabad), Dr. Frazer Mascarenhas SJ (Former Principal, St. Xavier’s College Mumbai), Anand Mathew IMS (Director Vishwa Jyoti Communications, Varanasi), Dr. Suresh Mathew (Former Editor ‘Indian Currents’), Cedric Prakash SJ (Human Rights Activist & Writer, Ahmedabad), Ronald Saldanha SJ (Administrator, Indian Social Institute, New Delhi), Adv. Mary Scaria SCJM (Supreme Court of India), Varghese Theckanath s.g. (Former National President, Conference of Religious India (CRI)), Paul Thelakat (Writer; former editor ‘Sathyadeepam’), and Adv. Henri Tiphagne (Advocate and Executive Director People’s Watch), highlighted several grave concerns about the screening event.

The signatories collectively criticized the film as a Hindutva propaganda piece, containing lies, factual inaccuracies, and distortions aimed at advancing a divisive narrative. They argued that the decision to show such a film was contrary to the teachings of the Church and the message of Jesus Christ, promoting hatred, intolerance, and prejudice instead of fostering peace, compassion, and acceptance –core values of Christianity.

Furthermore, the statement raised questions about the legality and appropriateness of screening an ‘A’-rated film to children, emphasizing the missed opportunity to promote inter-religious dialogue and harmony, particularly during the Holy month of Ramadan.

In conclusion, the signatories urged Church authorities to actively promote reconciliation, fraternity, and peace, emphasizing the critical importance of fostering good relations between communities, especially in a socio-political climate where hatred is weaponized.

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