Kerala, often dubbed as God’s own country, has become the hotbed of religious conflicts. Muslims and Christian groups in the State are now settling mutual differences by releasing films in the name of each other’s Prophet.
As per reports, the controversy began after Mollywood (Malayalam cinema) director Nadirshah began directing his upcoming movie titled ‘Eesho: Not from the Bible’. The movie, featuring actor Jayasurya in the lead, has drawn the ire of the Christian community for using the name of Jesus Christ (Eesho) in the title of the movie. Following the controversy, Nadirshah claimed that the ‘Eesho’ was the name of the character and not that of Christ. Ex-MLA PC George, a Christian by faith, had lashed out at Nadirshah for his actions and claimed that Mollywood was being controlled by Islamic extremists.
In a Facebook post on August 2, Nadirshah clarified that he will not change the name of the movie. “This movie has nothing to do with Jesus, son of God, whom I respect a lot. This is just the name of a character. So, we have decided to remove the tagline – ‘not from the Bible’ considering that the title has caused distress to a few of my dear brothers from the Christian community,” he emphasised. Nadirshash further added that he believed in respecting ‘all religions equally’ and have friends from all faith. The director claimed to accept any punishment, from those whose sentiments were hurt, after the release of the film.
While speaking to the New Indian Express, Nadirshah reiterated that the title of the movie cannot be changed. “The title and first look of ‘Eesho’ was released three months ago. At that time, nobody came up against the poster or the tagline. However, after releasing the new look of my another movie last week (July end), many came up with objections to the ‘Eesho’ poster,” he said. The Mollywood director even went on to claim that the title was suggested by his ‘Christian’ cameraman Robby Varghese. It must be mentioned that Nadirshah also courted controversy for the title of his another movie named, ‘Keshu Ee Veedinte Nadhan.’ He added that the name of the lead character in the movie is Keshavan and had nothing to do with Yesu.
Given his tough stance to not change the title of ‘Eeasho’ and ‘Keshu’, a Facebook group named Christian Association And Alliance For Social Action (CASA) has decided to release a short film on child abuse. However, the movie has been named ‘Muhammad’. Muhammad is also one of the names of the prophet of Islam. As part of a global awareness campaign, CASA will release the film titled, ‘Muhammad: The POCSO Criminal’ on November 19 i.e. World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse.
The movie is based on the rape and murder of a 6-year-old girl in the Dibrugarh district of Assam by a Bangladeshi national named Muhammad. As per reports, the shooting of the movie will commence from the first week of November and will be released on various social media platforms. The poster of the movie was released by the Facebook page of CASA in a post on Monday (April 23). The short film titled ‘Muhammad: The POCSO Criminal’ has received an overwhelming response from Keralite Christians.
“Super idea. Congratulations to the CASA team for this endeavour,” wrote one Facebook user. Another user suggested to add ‘Not from the Quran’ in line with Nadirshah’s movie titled ‘Eesho: Not from the Bible’