Adah Sharma, Sudipto Sen react to Naseeruddin Shah calling The Kerala Story ‘jingoistic’ film: ‘Yeh paagalpan hai…’

Adah Sharma, Sudipto Sen react to Naseeruddin Shah calling The Kerala Story ‘jingoistic’ film: ‘Yeh paagalpan hai…’

Vivek Agnihotri, Anil Sharma, and Nana Patekar had earlier slammed Naseeruddin Shah for his negative comments on The Kerala Story, Gadar 2, and The Kashmir Files.

Naseeruddin Shah recent said that the popularity of ‘jingoistic’ films like The Kerala Story, The Kashmir Files, and Gadar 2 is ‘disturbing’. After Gadar 2 and The Kashmir Files directors Anil Sharma and Vivek Agnihotri slammed the veteran actor for his comments, now The Kerala Story director Sudipto Sen and actress Adah Sharma have also reacted to his statements.

While talking to Free Press Journal, Shah had said, “Now the more jingoist you are, the more popular you become, because this is what has been ruling this country. It’s not enough to love your country; but beat drums about it, and you have to create imaginary enemies. What these people don’t realise is that what they are doing is very harmful. In fact, films like The Kerala Story and Gadar 2, I haven’t seen them, but I know what they are about. It’s disturbing that films like The Kashmir Files are so massively popular whereas films made by Sudhir Mishra, Anubhav Sinha, and Hansal Mehta, who are trying to portray the truth of their times, don’t get seen. It’s frightening where filmmakers are being co-opted into making films which praise all the wrong things and run down other communities for no reason at all. It’s a dangerous trend.”

Responding to him, The Kerala Story director Sudipto Sen told Hindustan Times, “Ek aadmi bina film dekhe comment kare, toh woh paagalpan hai. Hum unko respect karte hain, but thoda responsible kaam toh karte. (If a person comments without seein the film, it’s just crazy. We respect him but he should also be responsible) I worked on this film for 10 years, and it was approved by the CBFC after two months of scrutinising. If he hasn’t even seen the film and still commented, then that is a dangerous trend for the country. He has the right to comment, but it is just childish, what more can I say. So many technicians worked on it, it should be respected. Yeh shobha nahi deta hai unhe. He is a school of acting by himself, and he has put a big question mark on his reputation. I respect Naseer ji, but calling my film jingoistic is such an irresponsible comment from someone who hasn’t even watched it yet.”
Adah Sharma, who played the protagonist in The Kerala Story, added, “My elders have always taught me to respect all kinds of opinions and not necessarily those that align with mine. Moreover, after such massive love from the audience and it being the highest female grossing film of all time, I cannot be anything but grateful. It would be so nice if members of the society would watch a movie before commenting on it. However, if they want to comment without watching, I guess that’s also fine. I respect my seniors in the industry so we welcome Mr. Shah’s input. I feel fortunate to be born in a country where freedom of speech is allowed. Ours is a flourishing democracy and everyone has a right to an opinion.”

The Kerala Story, released in May this year, is based on the alleged radicalisation and conversion of young Hindu women to Islam in Kerala before inducting them into the terrorist outfit Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Despite facing ban and opposition in several states across India, the film turned out to be a blockbsuter as it earned Rs 240 crore net in India against its estimated budget of Rs 15-20 crore.

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