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Sat. Jan 28th, 2023
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HYDERABAD/THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The first part of the blocked BBC documentary on PM Narendra Modi was illegally screened by a students’ group on the campus of the University of Hyderabad last Saturday, officials of the central institute confirmed Tuesday amid reports of similar screenings across Kerala by youth organisations affiliated to CPM and Congress.
Fraternity Movement, the group that organised the Hyderabad screening, thanked the audience of around 200 students for turning up to watch “India: The Modi Question” and declared it would arrange to screen the second part of the documentary soon.
The statement coincided with the university instituting an inquiry into the screening and ABVP demanding “concrete action” against those behind it within 48 hours. Registrar Devesh Nigam said the dean of students’ welfare had rushed to the venue on January 21 and requested the organisers to stop the screening, but they remained defiant. “No prior permission was obtained,” he said.
Fraternity Movement said it “believes in building voices of dissent and a culture of questioning injustice”.
In Thiruvananthapuram, Youth Congress organised a screening at Manaveeyam Veedhi on Tuesday, while DYFI held one at Poojappura Maidan. Both screenings took place under police watch as Yuva Morcha members marched to venues in protest.
SFI screened the documentary at Cochin University of Science and Technology, Kalady Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, Maharaja’s College Ernakulam and Government Law College, among other institutions. Kerala Students’ Union president Aloshious Xavier said more public screenings were being planned. CPM state secretary V Govindan came out in support of the screenings, calling for public resistance to attempts to prevent people from watching the documentary that the external affairs ministry has described as “a propaganda piece” without an iota of objectivity and smacking of colonial bias.
“Banning the documentary is an undemocratic stand. Ideas should not be banned in a democratic society,” Govindan said.
Former leader of the opposition Ramesh Chennithala of Congress said the documentary ought to be screened everywhere, “daring all sorts of protests”.
BJP state committee member CG Rajagopal termed the screenings part of a campaign by “anti-national parties” to tarnish the image of PM Modi and India.

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