Kerala Christian outfits clash with titles, filmmaker says there is no change
While part of Kerala’s Christian community, including the influential Catholic Church, alleged that the titles of two upcoming Malayalam films directed by Nadirshah insulted Christ and sought to rename them, the filmmaker refused to change titles, even if he agreed to drop the slogan of one of the films.
“I have the support of the directors’ union, which felt that if the titles were changed, it would be difficult in the future to give a title to a film,” Nadirshah said. “The slogan ‘not from the Bible’ was given for the film ‘Eesho’ to avoid confusion. But since it created a controversy, we have already ditched the slogan, ” he said.
Nadirshah recently released the teasers for “Eesho”, with the slogan “not from the Bible” and “Keshu Ee Veedinte Nathan (Keshu is the lord of this house)”. Christians in Kerala call Christ Eesho.
Protestant Christian groups also drew a parallel between Eesho and Keshu in the title of the second film – they said that too amounted to an insult to Christ.
In a statement released on Monday, the Kerala Council of Catholic Bishops said, without naming the films: “Even if it gives the importance it deserves to freedom of expression, this right should not harm religious feelings.” …. Those concerned are expected to make the necessary corrections after realizing the concern of the Christian community.
The Catholic Congress, an association of lay people promoted by the Catholic Church, announced an unrest outside the Secretary of State from August 11, demanding a ban on the two films.
The outfit also called for an investigation into the funding of the films, saying the titles were intended to insult the Christian faith.
Veteran director and director of the directors’ union Siby Malayil called the criticism immature. He said: “No one expects such a reaction from the Christian community, which has a history of tolerance. An artist has the freedom to talk about his work to his audience. This kind of protest would have an impact on freedom of expression in the future. They protest without knowing the content of the films.
Nadirshah said all of his previous films were titled after the protagonists, and this has been maintained in later projects. “The titles were finalized following a collective decision involving other professionals in the making of the films. If there is anything that hurts religious feelings, I am ready to face any punishment…. As a film professional, I have encouraged people of all faiths.