FIRs were issued against Varrier for a song in her debut movie on grounds that it hurt religious sentiments of Muslims.
New Delhi: Kerala actress Priya Prakash Varrier moved the Supreme Court on Monday seeking to quash the FIRs (First Information Report) and fatwa issued against her in Maharashtra and Telangana for the Malayalam song in movie ‘Oru Adaar Love’ on the ground that it hurts the religious sentiments of Muslims.
Director NP Abdul Wahab and Producer Joseph Valakuzhy Eapen are the other petitioners in this writ petition filed through counsel Harris Beeran seeking apex court’s intervention.
The petitioners said this is the debut movie of Varrier and she is a student pursuing her B.Com (Bachelor of Commerce) from Vimala College at Trichur District Kerala. On February 9, the producers of the movie ‘Oru Adaar Love’ released a promotional video of a song ‘Manikya Malaraya Poovi’ from the movie on Youtube. The Movie is an adolescent Love Story.
The song ‘Manikya Malaraya Poovi’ has been misunderstood by people outside Kerala (Non-Malayalam speakers), as it is being wrongly translated/ interpreted and taken out of context, which is leading to the registration of multiple criminal cases against the petitioners in Maharashtra and Telangana.
In Telangana, an FIR has already been registered against the Petitioner no.2. The criminal complaints have been instituted by various fringe groups based on a distorted and incorrect interpretation of the song in the states of Telangana, Maharashtra and similar complaints are likely from other non Malayalam speaking states as well.
The entire controversy which has resulted in the filing of various criminal complaints and one FIR arises from the lyrics of the song ‘Manikya Malaraya Poovi’ which is a Mappila song, or a traditional Muslim song from the Malabar region of Kerala. The song describes and praises the love between the Prophet Mohamed and his first wife Khadeeja.
The translation of the lyrics of the song are as follows: “She bloomed like a precious flower in the sacred land of Mecca, great Khadeeja Beevi Was roaming in the sacred land; The lady roaming; She called for the respected lord, prophet And send him for trade; She saw him and Coveted him in the heart of hearts; She came back after trade And she sought her hand Sought her hand.”
They said that the aforementioned song is originally from an old folk song from Kerala, which was written in 1978 by PMA Jabbar and was first sung by Thalassery Rafeeq, in the praise of the Prophet and his wife Beevi Khadija. The claims that it hurts the religious sentiments of the Muslim Community are without any basis. What is hard to fathom is that a song, which has been in existence for the past 40 years, which was written, sung and cherished by the Muslim Community in Kerala, is now being treated as an insult to the Prophet and his wife.
It was submitted that a song, which has existed for more than 40 years and which has been cherished by more than 1 crore Muslim population of Kerala cannot suddenly offend the religious sentiment of the Muslim community. There is a threat to the life of a young girl, the Petitioner No.1 herein and her family as fatwas alleged to have been issued against her and her family. That the same is violative of her rights under Article 21 of the Constitution.
The registration of FIRs and complaints against the Petitioners is violative of their rights under Article 19(1)(a) and 19(1)(g) which prescribe that a citizen shall have the freedom of expression and profession. They prayed that the FIR and complaints should be quashed as no ingredients have been made out against the Petitioners and there have not been any malafides.