The brouhaha over the BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi “India: The Modi Question”- still continues with students in several universities planning to screen the series and Opposition parties sharing links to the same. In Kerala, various political organisations including the pro-left Students Federation of India (SFI), have organised screenings even as the BJP youth wing erupted in protest.
In Mumbai, in solidarity with dissident student groups in college campuses,the Progressive Students’ Forum (PSF) TISS, will screen the controversial documentary at its Deonar campus today.
The centre has successfully blocked multiple YouTube videos and Twitter posts sharing links to the BBC documentary.
PSF said the screening was a symbolic protest action against the government’s act of blocking access to the controversial doc. A TISS official denied requisite permission has been granted for the screening.
The first part of the documentary, ‘Modi: The India Question’, was banned by the government last week, creating pockets of tension on college campuses across the country.
A students’ body – Students’ Federation of India (SFI) – at Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia University had announced a screening on Wednesday, however, the situation turned ugly and security personnel were deployed after SFI’s protest against the detention of activists over the proposed screening.
Meanwhile, thirteen students detained for organising a screening of the BBC documentary, were released after the Republic Day parade on Thursday, a senior police officer said.
At Punjab University on Wednesday, the Chandigarh unit of Congress’s student’s wing National Students Union of India (NSUI) reportedly screened the series briefly before being stopped by security staff.
The JNU screening in the students’ union office, was disrupted by stone pelting and abrupt termination of the power supply in the campus.
“We want to protest the ban and are in solidarity with students from campuses who have screened the movie,” said a representative from the PSF which will keep the security staff in the loop about the screening.
In Mumbai, TISS Students’ Union, the official students’ body, has also released a notification on social media expressing solidarity with the students who, despite threats of disciplinary action, screened the documentary. They affirmed their believe in “an academic environment that develops and organises the culture of dissent”.
It may be noted that both the central government and eminent citizens (in a Change.org petition ) have critiqued the documentary as a “propaganda piece” that lacks objectivity and reflects a colonial mindset.