Row over Kunjali Marakkar biopic

Row over Kunjali Marakkar biopic

Agency News

A family member of Kunjali Marakkar, Muslim naval chief of the Zamorin of Calicut (King of Calicut) during the 16th century, has filed a writ petition in the Kerala High Court seeking to stop the release of the upcoming Mohanlal-starrer Arabikadalinte Simham (Marakkar: Lion of the Arabian Sea) based on Kunjali Marakkar IV.

The suit, moved by Mufeeda Arafath Marakkar, wife of Muhammed Yaser Arafath Marakkar, of Koyilandy in Kozhikode district, through advocate K. Noorudheen and others, said that the big-budget cinema with mega stars “disseminates a wrong message to the scholars and researchers” through the distorted and perverted version of the history of Marakkars.

Mufeeda’s petition for staying the movie’s release, which was considered by the High Court on Wednesday, has been posted for March 9. The epic historical drama, said to be the most expensive Malayalam film ever made, directed by Priyadarshan is scheduled for worldwide release on March 26.

The petitioner has alleged that the film offended the religious sentiments of Muslims for the reason of showing the great martyr in poor light. From the exhibits, Kunjali Marakkar was portrayed as a romantic hero and suggested that he was “a dancer singing songs with women.”

Kunjali Marakkar IV, who is depicted as a hero of the cinema, was a bachelor and had no love affair in his life. But the leaflet published by the respondents showed vulgar scenes of the great martyr thereby bringing disgrace to his family.

The cinema also showed the perverted attire of Kunjali Marakkar. It is a historical fact that he was a pious Muslim and his attire was according to the religious tenets at that time. However, the leaflet published by the respondents showed that Kunjali Marakkar sporting an image of Lord Ganapati in the centre of his turban.

As pointed out by Portuguese historians, Kunjali Marakkar and his 40 lieutenants were promised pardon by Portuguese if they embraced Christianity but they opted death to conversion. The CBFC had given a U/A certificate for the movie in a mechanical manner without application of mind and without even verifying as to whether it was the true story of Kunjali Marakkar.

The petitioner’s father-in-law P.V. Muhammed, was a research scholar and has written a book in Malayalam, Ariyappedatha Kunjali Marakkar, and it was edited by the petitioner’s husband and published by Kunjali Marakkar Smaraka Vedi , Kottakkal in May 2015.

The petitioner is also a social activist working for safeguarding and preserving records pertaining to the family history of Kunjali Marakkar. Earlier, the Censor Board had dismissed Mufeena’s plaint. Her counsel Adv K Noorudheen said the high court deferred the case after it sought the Censor Board report in the matter.

Meanwhile, Santhosh T Kuruvilla, one of the producers of the film, said once the film hits the theatres, all misconceptions will be debunked.