SFI Holds Screening Of The Ban BBC Documentary In College Campuses


Hyderabad: Campuses are witnessing a battle over the screening of controversial BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the 2002 Gujarat riots, with some students seeking to screen it while being met with warnings from university authorities, power cuts, Wi-Fi disruptions, police detentions and retaliatory screenings of The Kashmir Files by RSS student arm ABVP.

At Jadavpur and Puducherry University, Students Federation of India (SFI) groups organised screenings of the BBC film -‘India: The Modi Question’ despite the central government rejecting it as “propaganda” and a reflection of a “colonial mindset”. The ABVP, which denies the charges, adopted a counter strategy in some universities by screening The Kashmir Files, which depicts how militancy forced many Kashmiri Pandits to flee the Valley in 1990.

The screening at Kolkata’s Jadavpur University was reportedly held without any interference from the police or the administration.

All India Students’ Association (AISA), another Left body, also decided to screen the documentary on the campus of Jadavpur University on Friday, said Sandip Nayak, a senior member of the organisation, news agency PTI earlier reported.

The SFI, a Communist Party of India (Marxist)’s student wing, has also sought permission for screening the documentary at Presidency University in the West Bengal capital on Friday. Members of Presidency University’s visual arts society will also screen the documentary on February 1, said Moitreyo Sarkar, one of the organisers.

At Puducherry University, the CPM-backed SFI had announced a plan to screen the BBC film at the hostels of Pondicherry University in the evening. Before the event, the Wi-Fi connection snapped, with the students blaming the varsity authorities. Following this, about 300 students from the various hostels gathered at the Gender Gate of the university and watched the documentary over laptops and cell phones, using mobile hotspot. As the event began, a group of ABVP members allegedly started sloganeering. After sometime, there was a scuffle.

The event was held comes even as various Left organisations have either planned or screened it after the Centre had last week directed the blocking of multiple YouTube videos and Twitter posts sharing links to the documentary.

In Hyderabad, the SFI on Thursday organised the screening of the documentary at the University of Hyderabad even as the RSS’s student wing ABVP showed another controversial film ‘The Kashmir Files’, on the campus, PTI reported. The Fraternity Movement on UoH campus, a students’ group, had earlier organised the screening of the BBC documentary on January 21 at the varsity campus without prior notice or permission, prompting the university authorities to seek a report on the incident for taking necessary action.

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