With outrage over Malayalam film Oru Adaar Love‘s song Manikya Malaraya Poovi reaching peak levels, actress Priya Prakash Varrier, as well as the producer and the director of the film, have been forced to approach the Supreme Court to seek an order quashing the criminal complaints made against them in Telangana and Maharashtra, Bar and Bench reported.
Since the song was released on YouTube, one FIR was registered at a Hyderabad police station by a person claiming that the song had hurt his religious sentiments. To top it, In Mumbai, a number of criminal complaints were filed by persons and organisations in Mumbai. The complainants have alleged that the song’s video insults Prophet Mohammad. Varrier is seen winking at a male student in the video.
The film’s director, Omar Lulu, has earlier told Scroll.in that the song’s title, Manikya Malaraya Poovi, means “a pearl flower that is very precious”. He added that the song is about the love story of the Prophet Mohammad and his first wife.
Oru Adaar Love is due to be released in June on Eid.
According to Bar and Bench, “The petition claims that the song has been misunderstood by people residing outside Kerala, as it is being translated and taken out of context, leading to the registration of multiple criminal cases against the petitioners. Moreover, the fact that no such complaint was filed in Kerala goes to show that the criminal complaints filed against them lack sound legal basis.”
— Murali Krishnan (@legaljournalist) February 19, 2018
The petition, drawn by advocate Haris Beeran and filed through advocate Pallavi Pratap, questions why the 18-year-old actress has been been dragged into the case for simply playing a role in the film. The petition also says that the case violates their freedom of speech and expression and right to life and liberty.
“Just because the song became viral, viewers started to use Google and/or online translations tools to translate the lyrics which has led to distortion of the lyrics and meaning of the song in other states where Malayalam is not the language.”
“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 is 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.”
The plea is likely to be taken up on Tuesday by a bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, The Indian Express reported.