PIL seeks ban on writer Kamala Das' biopic, says it justifies 'love jihad'

Petition filed in Kerala High Court against Kamala Das' biopic, Aami, starring Manju Warrier

Lawyer K P Ramachandran has petitioned the Kerala High Court for staying the release of Kamala Das’ biopic, Aami, starring Manju Warrier. The movie set for release on February 9 tells the life story of popular feminist writer, Kamala Das, who later converted to Islam. The petitioner contends that the movie promotes ‘love jihad’ and has asked the court to direct the Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC) to stop its nationwide release.

Made by veteran Malayali director Kamal, the movie is partially based on Kamala Das’ autobiography ‘Ente Katha’ (later translated into English ‘My Story’) . The book courted controversy even when it was published for the first time in 1973. Born in Kerala’s orthodox Nair family, Kamala Das converted to Islam towards the end of her life and changed her name to Kamala Surraya.

Kamala Das

A still from Aami/ YouTube

The PIL has come after the director, in an interview to a channel last year said that the movie is a mixture of real-life and fictional situations and doesn’t portray Kamala Das’ controversial image, reported Scroll.

According to the Mint, after she converted to Islam, Kamala’s sharp comments on Hinduism angered the right-wing organisations of that time, specially the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP). Interestingly, Kummanam Rajashekaran, the person who led the protests against her is VHP’s state president now.

Quoting New Indian Express, the report further stated that the petition contend:

“The director has no right to make such a film rewriting history and real incidents that happened in the life of Madhavikutty according to his own whims and fancies under the guise of filmmaking freedom… The very purpose of releasing such a film having a link with religious conversion by the scriptwriter-cum-director at this crucial period is ulterior and he is using the position of the president of Kerala State Chalachithra Academy for the purpose.”

Manju Warrier in a still from Aami/ YouTube

Speaking to the Telegraph, the lawyer clarified that he has no political interest and has filed the petition because the movie portrays one of the most famous Malayalam authors in a wrong way.

Watch Aami‘s official trailer here:

While the CBFC has cleared the movie with U/A certificate, it’s to be seen if the movie would witness a similar fate like Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat — that is a delayed release.