The PM said: “There is a lot of discussion about The Kerala Story, which discusses ploys to make the country hollow from within. They say The Kerala Story is based on the terrorist plots in just one state. Such a beautiful state, where people are hardworking and talented, The Kerala Story exposes terror conspiracies (there). But look at the misfortune of the country. The Congress today is standing with such terror elements that have destroyed the nation. Not only that, the Congress has a backdoor understanding and deals with such elements. People of the state should be wary of the Congress.”
On May 29 2022, in a Mann Ki Baat address, Modi spoke of ‘Ramayana: The Legend of Prince Rama’, the first animation film co-produced by India and Japan and released in 1993.
“This project was associated with Japan’s very famous film director Yugo Sakoji. About 40 years ago, in 1983, he came to know about Ramayana for the first time,” the PM said, an official release by the Press Information Bureau (PIB) quoted him as saying. Sako was touched by ‘Ramayana’ and started researching deeply about the epic, Modi said. “He read 10 versions of Ramayana in Japanese language, and not only did he stop at this, he also wanted to showcase it through animation… He was told how people in India wear dhoti, sari, how they groom their hair, how children respect each other within the family, offering salutation to the elders of the household, seeking their blessings.”
In March 2022, in an address to party MPs after the BJP stormed back to power in four state Assembly elections, Modi referred to The Kashmir Files film, on attacks on Kashmiri Pandits and their exodus from the Valley in the 1990s.
He questioned attempts to “discredit” the film, saying: “Aur ye film ka tathyon ke aadhaar par, art ke aadhaar par uski vivechna karne ke bajaye, usko discredit karne ke liye bada muhim chalaya. Aap ne dekha hoga. Yeh poori ecosystem. Koi satya ujagar karne ka sahas kare, usko jo satya laga usko prastut karne ki koshish ki. Lekin us satya ko na samajhane ki taiyyari na sweekar karne ki taiyyari hai. Nahi duniya isko dekhe, uski manzoori hai. Jis prakar ka shadyantra pichale paanch-chheh din mein chal raha hai… mera vishay ye film nahin hai, mera vishay hai jo satya hai usko sahi swaroop mein desh ke saamne lana, desh ki bhalayi ke liye hota hai (Instead of assessing the film on the basis of facts, a campaign is on to discredit it. The entire ecosystem opposes anyone who dares to show the truth. Someone tried to depict what he thought was the truth. But there is reluctance to understand or accept the truth. The conspiracy for the last 5-6 days is to ensure no one sees the truth. My issue is not this film, but bringing out the truth for the good of the country),” he said.
The Congress filed a complaint with the Election Commission (EC), saying the film was not an “artistic venture”, and its leaders called it political and motivated.
Eventually, the EC stalled the release till the final phase of voting on May 19, citing the model code of conduct and noting that the film had “the potential to disturb the level playing field during the elections”. The film was eventually released on May 24, 2019.
Earlier that year, the BJP’s official social media handles had shared the trailer of the film The Accidental Prime Minister, a biopic on former PM Manmohan Singh. “Riveting tale of how a family held the country to ransom for 10 long years. Was Dr Singh just a regent who was holding on to the PM’s chair till the time heir was ready? Watch the official trailer of #TheAccidentalPrimeMinister, based on an insider’s account, releasing on 11 Jan!” a post by the party had said.
The film, directed by Vijay Ratnakar Gutte, the son of Maharashtra MLA Ratnakar Gutte, was widely noted for poking fun at Singh.
The same month saw the release of Uri: The Surgical Strike, based on strikes carried out by India on Pakistani terrorist camps. At an inaugural event of the National Museum of Indian Cinema in Mumbai, Modi quoted a dialogue from the film, asking the audience: “How’s the josh?”