Kerala: Faithful demand ban on ‘Kakkukali’ drama for portraying Christianity in bad light

The drama brought to the stage by Alapuzha-based Neythal Nataka Sangham is scripted by K B Ajayakumar and directed by  Job Madathil.
​  A scene from Kakkukali   ​
​ A scene from Kakkukali  ​

THRISSUR: Upset over a drama that deals with the struggles of a young nun in the convent, a section of believers tried to stop its staging in Guruvayur. This has enraged some activists who claim that it is an intrusion into the freedom of expression and have promised more stages for the drama. “Kakkukali’, a drama based on a story by  Malayalam writer  Francis Norona is in the centre of a storm with KCBC Pro-life activists protesting against it saying that it insults Christianity.

When the drama was set to perform in  Guruvayur Municipality’s cultural events as a part of the annual festival at the temple, KCBC Pro-life activists protested and even tried to influence the organisers to back off from staging the drama.

The drama brought to the stage by Alapuzha-based Neythal Nataka Sangham is scripted by K B Ajayakumar and directed by  Job Madathil. It tells the story of a Christian girl who joined the  Christian church and became a nun opposing the wish of her father, who was a communist. The drama deals with the challenging situation that the nun faces while living within the rules and regulations of a convent.

According to James Azhchangad of the KCBC Pro-Life  movement, “From beginning to its end, Kakkukali is trying to insult the entire religion, especially the priests and nuns of Christianity.”   However, AIYF and other organisations had come out in support of the drama. In an official statement issued by the AIYF district committee, unnecessary controversies against the drama would only lead to division among people in society and such trends should not be encouraged. “Such interventions will only be considered as an intrusion to the freedom of expression,” the official statement said. AIYF also expressed willingness to arrange stages for Neythal Nataka sangham, if they were ready to perform it again in Thrissur. 

Christian outfit seeks ban 
Taking affront to the portrayal of Christianity and the monastical community of the church in a bad light in the drama titled ‘Kakkukali’, the Joint Church Protection Committee sought a ban on its staging. “The drama insults the Christian religion and the monastic community, which has made innumerable contributions to the growth of the society. Hence, the government should take steps to ban it,” said  Mathai Muthirenthi, general convenor. 

“The only aim of this drama is to insult the Church and the nuns. Right from the start to finish, the public is misled. “Staging of the play with the support of government machinery is a secret agenda to eliminate the church and the monastic community under the guise of freedom of expression. This cannot be allowed,” alleged the committee.

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The New Indian Express