The release of the Movie “The Kerala Story” kicked up a controversy recently. The movie showing the darker sides of the proselytizing face of Islam is bound to raise many dissenting voices. This is not unexpected in a society where tyrants like Tipu Sultan are glorified. The movie centers around the alleged religious indoctrination in Kerala and how Hindu and Christian girls are being targeted by radical Islamic clerics. The film claims that these women were converted to Islam and later sent to countries like Yemen and Syria, “to fight for the cause of Islam”.
The liberals in Kerala which includes two major political parties who are opposed to this movie stating that it spreads hate and false information intended to defame Muslims and Kerala. One of their arguments in opposing the movie is that the movie peddles a very big number as the women who have been converted and sent to other countries to fight the religious war. They say that the number is far less and not in thousands as alleged in the Film. Even the liberals who are the campaign managers for the anti-India forces are not able to outrightly deny it. Let us assume that the numbers are less as argued by the liberals. Does it reduce the enormity of issue? The fact that these elements are having a free hand in a culturally rooted state like Kerala to hoodwink the women in the guise of Love, convert them to their religion for the sake of Marriage, brainwash them in the name of imparting religious teaching and then transport them to hostile territories which are not safe for even men, proves that these fundamentalist elements are having enough scope and support in our country to operate and carry out their designs. Whether the number is ten or ten thousand, it is something to worry about. And this is not something that is confined to Kerala alone. The borders of our cultural nation are breached and we hear the sad stories from every other state.
There is a question which the Hindu society has to ponder about. How a person who was brought up in a culture for twenty years, is made turn up against it within six months or one year? They even go to the extent of working against the country and killing their own brethren. Does this mean that the campaign by the fundamentalists is so powerful and compelling? We have to a soul searching here. Anybody in his sane elements will reject these fundamentalist doctrines for their sheer absence of Logic and its ruthless intention to hurt others who do not subscribe to their point of view. Then what is that which lures them? What can our society do to avert this? The absence of connect to their cultural roots and heritage is the main reason for this. We have to groom our kids to be proud of our culture. This is an uphill task, but a task of civilizational importance, because the narrative which is popular among our youth make them shun all the symbols of our culture. It starts from small things like the Bindi on the Fore head or our ethnic dresses, or the rituals one should follow, to the Indian way of life, our medicines, our art forms, our value systems. Our youth are ready to shun them for embracing the alternatives from the west. This situation must be reversed. Swami Vivekananda once said that, we must think hundred times before rejecting anything from our culture and should think thousand times before accepting anything from other cultures.
We as a society are duty bound to make them feel proud about their own heritage, because it is now or never.