The Kerala Story is a film that depicts the story of three women who were converted to Islam and manipulated into becoming involved in terrorist activities. The film is based on the events that happened in the life of Nimisha, one of the four girls who traveled to Afghanistan and is currently in jail with her child. While the film deals with sensitive subjects, its dialogues provide inflammatory lines on several religions. The movie's intention to hit a nerve with an emotionally charged audience is evident, but the writing raises questions about its intention to educate or extract a reaction from the public. Despite its flaws, The Kerala Story highlights a real problem that cannot be ignored.
Despite being told that terrorism is not tied to any religion, the reality is that terrorists often carry out attacks in the name of their god. Hindi movies have been known to portray terrorism in a justifiable context, but this is a dangerous misrepresentation of the truth. In the Kerala Story, the film takes a bold approach by showing how individuals can be lured into converting to another faith and eventually becoming involved in terrorism. While it is important for individuals to have the freedom to choose their own religion, this choice must come from their own free will, not through manipulation or deceit. The story follows three roommates, two Hindus and one Christian, who are lured into converting to Islam through a hijabi Muslim girl who works to recruit others. The Muslim girl plants doubts in their minds about their own religions and encourages them to wear hijabs. They eventually meet other Muslim men who try to convert them as well. The girls are eventually convinced to travel to Syria to live under Islamic law, but they soon discover that they have been trapped and are now sex slaves with no rights. This story is not propaganda, but rather a truthful depiction of what happens to individuals who fall victim to religious manipulation. It is not just women who are targeted, but men as well, and it is important for people to understand the danger of Islamic radicalization and the tactic of soft conversion.
There are still those who are hesitant to call out Islamic radicalization for what it is. They are afraid to speak the truth, for fear of being labeled as bigots or Islamophobes. But the truth is that radicalization is a serious problem that needs to be addressed, and we cannot afford to turn a blind eye to it.
The story of Nimisha Fathima and her peers serves as a reminder of the dangers of religious radicalization and extremist propaganda. It is important to recognize that religious conversion should always be a matter of personal choice, made out of one's own free will. The tactic of 'soft conversion' is a dangerous and insidious tactic used by extremists to spread their ideology and recruit new members. We must remain vigilant to prevent it from taking hold in our communities.