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Kerala HC dismisses petition seeking stay on release of film ‘Eesho’

The petition, filed by the Kochi-based Christian Association and Alliance for Social Action, pleaded for a stay on the film's release as it argued that the filmmakers were intending to hurt the sentiments of the Christian community through the title and tagline of the film.

By: Express Web Desk | Kochi |
Updated: August 13, 2021 8:38:34 pm
Meanwhile, Nadirshah, the director of the film, has made it clear that he would not change the film's title. (Photo: Facebook/Nadhirshah)

In a shot in the arm for the makers of the Malayalam film ‘Eesho’, the Kerala High Court Friday declined to entertain a petition that sought a stay on the release of the film.

The petition, filed by the Kochi-based Christian Association and Alliance for Social Action, pleaded for a stay on the film’s release as it argued that the filmmakers were intending to hurt the sentiments of the Christian community through the title and tagline of the film.

‘Eesho’ is Malayalam for Jesus and the tagline of the film is ‘Not from the Bible.’

The HC orally observed that the tagline itself makes it clear about the film’s intentions and said that it cannot interfere just because the title is the name of the god. The tagline was later dropped by the filmmakers.

The Catholic Congress, a laymen association backed by the Church, ran protests in front of the state secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram earlier this week asking for a ban on the film. It also demanded a probe into the funding of the film.

Without directly naming the film, the Kerala Catholic Bishops Council said, “Even as giving due importance for freedom of expression, that right should not hurt religious sentiments…it (is) expected that persons concerned would make necessary corrections after realising the anxiety of the Christian community.”

However, Nadirshah, the director of the film, made it clear that he would not change the film’s title. He said he was backed by the director’s union and if the title were to be changed under pressure, it would be difficult in the future to name films in the industry.

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