The FTII Students’ Association issued a statement on Saturday saying that they screened the banned BBC documentary, “India: The Modi Question”, on January 26.
The documentary, which shows the 2002 Godhra riots, has been banned by the ministry of external affairs terming it a “propaganda piece” that lacks objectivity and reflects a colonial mindset. The Centre last week also directed social media platforms Twitter and YouTube to block links to the documentary.
The association said the government should know that the sure-fire way for something to be watched is to ban it.
“Throughout history, banning of literature, music, and in recent times, media, has been a sign of a crumbling society. The act of scrutiny should be welcomed by our elected representatives. Instead, they quickly tag it as false propaganda and try to shove it under the rug,” the statement read, adding the BBC documentary barely scratches the surface of the kind of “violence that has been perpetuated throughout the country for a dedicated, singular, vicious purpose”. “It would be startling to us if anyone in India was surprised by the happenings in this documentary,” said the students’ association.
FTII registrar Sayyid Rabeehashmi said the matter will be looked into.
Since the release of the documentary, students at many educational institutes across India have screened the BBC documentary, leading to ruckus at some places like Delhi University and Pondicherry University. On Saturday, the Delhi University even formed a seven-member panel to investigate the ruckus which happened outside its arts faculty over screening on Friday, following which 24 people were detained.
The students at Madras University screened the documentary on a laptop on Friday after the authorities denied their request to use the university auditorium.
The students affiliated to the Left-wing Students’ Federation of India (SFI) held screenings across Tamil Nadu on Friday.
The SFI also organised the screening at Presidency University in Kolkata on Friday evening, albeit marred by a power cut that led students to allege a sabotage bid. The show resumed after 30 minutes. The screenings, however, at another premier institute of the city, Jadavpur University, on Thursday and Friday were glitch-free. At Presidency University, the screening was done at the general common room with more than 70 students in attendance.
The SFI organised two shows in a week at the central University of Hyderabad, with the second on Republic Day. The first screening at the University of Hyderabad was held on January 21 with around 200 students in attendance. The administration has launched an inquiry into the screening.
At Pondicherry University, the SFI took on the right-wing ABVP on January 25 after at least five students watching the film there were allegedly injured in an assault.
In Thiruvananthapuram, the Kerala Congress screened the introductory portion and the entire second half of “India: The Modi Question” for the public at Shanghumugham Beach on Thursday, news agency PTI had reported. The party had first shown the film to a gathering of party workers and staff at the Pradesh Congress Committee headquarters.
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