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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Friday, 23 February 2024 7.35 PM IST

"'Kaathal' used Christian background to preach same-sex love": KCBC issues statement against Mammootty starrer

kaathal

KOCHI: KCBC's 'Jagratha Commission' has come up against Mammootty starrer 'Kaathal-The Core'. Vigilance Commission Secretary Fr. Michael Pulikal said in a CMI press release. The commission secretary Fr Michael Pulikal said in a CMI press release that they protest the use of Christian background to promote same-sex love and that the film is anti-Christian.

Translation of KCBC Jagratha Commission's statement:

Kaathal: Art and Lies

'Kaathal - The Core' is a Malayalam film that has members of the Catholic community, who oppose claims related to LGBTQIA+, including homosexuality, in the lead roles. The film has a complete Christian background. A second background is that of left-wing politics. Director Jeo Baby and writers Adarsh Sukumaran and Paulson Skaria are to be commended for skillfully blending two contrasting backgrounds.

Beyond the merits and demerits of the film technically, there are certain facts that become clear when analyzing the subject matter the film deals with, the ideas it presents and its method. The first of these is the idea that homosexuality is a natural phenomenon and that people around and society should accept gay rights. Second, there are some indirect ideological propagandas that are against the Christian community and the Christian faith. Another feature of the plot is the overemphasis given to sex.

What is significant is that such a story is presented in the context of a Christian family, especially in the rural setting of Kerala. The team members have taken special care to ensure that the Christian family background is not limited to the two names Mathew Devassi and Omana Philip. A village called Theekoyi in Kottayam district, a Christian-majority area, the film maintains a clear backdrop of the Christian faith throughout the film, such as the church-prayer scenes that are shown several times from the beginning of the film, the heroine Omana's deep devotion to God, family prayer and the family's closeness to the parish priest. Mathew, the left-wing sympathist and hero, is also a believer in God.

Heterosexual encounters and activists

The influence of some of the ideas that are popularized in various ways today under the label of progressive ideas is evident in the film. There are organizations and activists all over the world working hard to promote LGBTQIA+ ideas and work for transgender rights. Although not so active in the general public in Kerala, there are regular campaigns centered in colleges. Ideas about same-sex sexuality often appear as arguments that self-proclaimed progressives use to brand themselves.

It was a few weeks ago that India's Supreme Court was approached for the legalization of same-sex marriage, following the example of some foreign countries, and the court rejected the request. The central government has taken a stand on this issue that same-sex marriage is not compatible with Indian culture and the concept of marriage. Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalized unnatural sex, was declared unconstitutional by the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in 2018. It was only after that that homosexuality claims began to emerge in mainstream society. There are references to IPC 377 struck down by the Supreme Court in the movie 'Kaathal - The Core'. It has been portrayed as a proud and progressive move.

Left-wing progressive politics

The story goes on to associate the 'progressive' idea of homosexuality with left-wing political ideology. While everyone else views homosexuality with disdain, the left-wing political leadership is embracing the hero. The basic idea is the success and 'glory' of that stand. It may not be a coincidence that the film puts forward the idea that the left-wing politics of Kerala is advocating for the rights of homosexuals at a time when misguided and unnatural sexist propaganda is going on in colleges led by left-wing student movements.

Anti-Christianity

It can be clearly suspected that the makers of the film have the goal of challenging the moral values strongly advocated by the Catholic Church. The first reason is that Catholic family and church settings were chosen as the setting for the film. Although the religious background was not a necessity for the concept presented by the film, it cannot be assumed that such a family was chosen innocently. A Catholic priest who thinks 'progressively' is also a character in the film. It can be assumed that a family in the Catholic society that rejects homosexuality was chosen as the characters, with the aim of indirectly establishing that the stand of the Church in this regard is not correct.

Another part of this film is the new generation who are not believers. The daughter of devout Matthew and Omana, she is a college student who is not interested in going to church and supports her father's homosexuality by thinking 'progressively'. A mother who comes to the church with her son and a small boy appear as characters, promising to give his favourite food after coming to church. One has to wonder whether the church atmospheres involving only a limited number of people, the festival processions of no more than fifty people, etc. are part of cost cutting, or the 'director's brilliance' to present the vulnerability of the faith community. The broad-mindedness of Omana, a perfect believer in God, who understands her husband's homosexuality and 'lovingly' lets it go is also a part of the film.

It is clear that behind the film there is a conscious attempt to bring up such an issue, which has not been discussed much in the mainstream of Kerala, and to gain public support for the 'progressives'. The director went from casting Suraj and Nimisha Sajayan, leads in the his previous film 'Great Indian Kitchen', to casting two of India's finest actors as the leads in a movie without a big canvas. The presence of the Mammootty-Jyothika star duo made the screens tenfold and filled the theatres.

The position of the Church on this matter is that if the heterosexuals cannot change their physical and mental conditions, they are treated with compassion. Neither the Christian community nor any morally conscious person can sympathize with such extravagant claims and sexual anarchists. Instead of the mature approach of seeing sexual orientations and sexual questions as two, we cannot agree with the basic ideas that this film touches, which often gives space to sexual excess. The act of misusing the background of the Christian faith for such propaganda is objectionable.

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TAGS: KAATHAL, MAMMOOTTY, SAME SEX, LOVE, KCBC, CHRISTIAN
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