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JNU: Poster announces screening of BBC documentary, varsity orders cancellation

January 24, 2023

A fresh row erupted in JNU as a poster was purportedly released by its students’ union announcing the screening of a controversial BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi at its office on Tuesday, prompting university authorities to issue a warning to cancel the event or face “strict disciplinary action”.

The government had on Friday directed social media platforms Twitter and YouTube to block links to the documentary titled “India: The Modi Question”. The Ministry of External Affairs has trashed the documentary as a “propaganda piece” that lacks objectivity and reflects a colonial mindset.

However, opposition parties have slammed the government’s move to block access to the documentary.

The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) administration, in an advisory on Monday, said the union has not taken its permission for the event and it should be cancelled as it could “disturb peace and harmony”.

Calls and messages to JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) president Aishe Ghosh did not elicit a response.

The poster, purportedly released by the union, said the documentary ‘India: The Modi Question’ will be screened at 9 pm in the student body’s office.

The university in its advisory said, “It has come to the notice of the administration that a group of students have in the name of the JNUSU released a pamphlet for screening a documentary or movie (titled) “India: The Modi Question” scheduled for 24 January, 2023, at 9:00 pm in Teflas.”

No prior permission for this event has been taken from the JNU administration, it said.

“This is to emphasise that such an unauthorised activity may disturb the peace and harmony of the university campus. The concerned students or individuals are firmly advised to cancel the proposed programme immediately, failing which a strict disciplinary action may be initiated as per university rules,” the advisory read.

The two-part BBC documentary “India: The Modi Question” claims it investigated certain aspects relating to the 2002 Gujarat riots when Modi was the chief minister of the state. The documentary has not been screened in India.

Also Read: Students group screens BBC documentary on PM Modi at Hyderabad varsity

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