Students of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) on Saturday (January 28) screened the controversial BBC series on Prime Minister Narendra Modi amid protests by members of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) and despite the government’s ban on the public screening of the documentary.
According to reports, the documentary titled India: The Modi Question was shown on at least nine laptops in the campus and watched by over 200 students. The TISS management, which had earlier issued an advisory asking students to refrain from screening the film, however, maintained that no public screening was held inside the campus.
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The Progressive Students’ Forum (PSF) organised the screening had dubbed it a symbolic protest against the Centre’s ban on the film and a mark of solidarity with students’ organisations at other campuses including Jawaharlal Nehru University and Jamia Milia Islamia, Delhi University and Ambedkar University.
On Saturday evening, the Deonar campus of TISS turned into a protest site after members of BJYM started raising slogans like “Desh ke gaddaron ko, goli maaro saalon ko” against the plans by a certain section of students to screen the film.
On Friday, the university in an advisory had asked students to refrain from screening the series and had warned of disciplinary action if its directions were flouted.
Reports said the students on Friday itself had circulated QR codes to watch the controversial documentary as well as others including Anand Patwardhan’s Ram ke Nam, Maktoob Media’s film on the Gujarat riots and Gujarat Unhealed.
On Saturday, the administration issued a second advisory warning students against screening the controversial documentary and stating that it may lead to “disturbance of peace and harmony” on campus.
Also read: India dubs BBC documentary on Gujarat riots a propaganda piece
“Some students group are engaged in activities contravening the advisory issued on January 27 regarding the screening of a BBC documentary forbidden by the government and attempting to mobilise and trigger other students to do the same. We cautioned the students to understand that any such acts by any student or groups violating the instructions issued on January 27, 2023, and engaging in any activities, leading to disturbance of peace and harmony will be held responsible for the same and will be dealt with relevant institutional rules on the matter,” the advisory said.
Students’ bodies such TISS Students Union, Muslim Students Federation (MSF), and Fraternity Movement supported the PSF’s initiative.
The campus was cordoned off on Friday itself and around 100 policemen were deployed to avert and law and order situation arising out of protests.
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