BBC documentary row: The banned BBC documentary -- "India: The Modi Question" was screened in Kerala and Hyderabad on Republic Day (Thursday). Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) screened the banned film -- at the Shanghumugham beach for the general public, while The Students Federation of India (SFI) organised the screening of the controversial documentary at the University of Hyderabad (UoH).
The screening of the documentary on the 2002 Gujarat riots when Prime Minister Narendra Modi helmed the western State was first shown at the KPCC headquarters here for its staff and party workers, KPCC general secretary GS Babu said.
"We received a positive response to the screening from the general public. Lots of people turned up to see it. In view of the positive response, we will show it across the State at various places," Babu told PTI.
KPCC showed the introduction portion of the first part of the documentary and the entire second part at the screening, he said.
He further said the response indicates that people want to know what is there in the documentary and what it is all about. Various wings of Congress have already screened the first part of documentary in several parts of the State.
Also Read: Why did Vajpayee remind Modi of 'raj dharma': Congress targets govt over BBC documentary 'censorship'
BBC documentary Vs The Kashmir Files at Hyderabad varsity
SFI members held the screening of the BBC documentary on the 2002 Gujarat riots at the University of Hyderabad even as the RSS' student wing, ABVP showed the controversial film 'The Kashmir Files', on the campus.
The Fraternity Movement in UoH campus, a students' group, had earlier organised the screening of the BBC documentary "India: The Modi Question" on January 21, at the varsity campus without prior notice or permission, prompting the University authorities to seek a report on the incident for taking necessary action.
The screening of the documentary "India: The Modi Question", the access to which was recently blocked by the Centre on social media platforms, was earlier announced by the SFI at the university campus.
“Glimpses from the successful screening of the documentary 'India: The Modi Question' organised by SFI HCU on the Republic Day following the call of SFI CEC. More than 400 students turned up for the screening, rejecting the false propaganda and the attempts of ABVP to create unrest and the administration to disrupt the screening of the documentary. SFI-HCU salutes the student community who have stood for freedom of expression and campus democracy,” a social media post by SFI HCU said, tagging the photos. UoH, is also known as Hyderabad Central University (HCU).
Countering it, the students of ABVP HCU organised the screening of 'The Kashmir Files,' on the university campus today.
Written and directed by Vivek Agnihotri, the Bollywood film depicts the exodus of Kashmiri Hindus from Kashmir following systematic killings of people from the community by Pakistan-backed terrorists.
UoH Registrar Devesh Nigam in a statement said the Dean-Students' Welfare had counselled the student groups and issued an appeal not to do any screening of films in view of the law and order issue, maintaining peace and tranquility in campus and forthcoming end semester exams starting from next week. However, students decided to go ahead with their programme schedule.
“We have come to know that one group held the screening in one of the hostels,” he said adding the campus is peaceful.
Earlier, a group of ABVP members staged a protest in front of the main gate of the varsity and raised slogans against the University administration alleging that the security personnel did not allow them to enter the varsity premises along with the screening equipment.
They held a sit-in and sought to know from the University administration how permission was granted to the SFI to screen the BBC documentary and said they will not allow its screening.
“The University Administration tried to stop the screening of the movie "The Kashmir Files". When ABVP Karyakartas were bringing the projector from the main gate, University Security manhandled our Karyakartas.
There was another attempt by the administration to seize our projector. We protested at the main gate and we have arranged everything for the screening. We appeal to the student community to join us in large numbers at Ambedkar Chowk (North ShopCom),” a social media post by the ABVP HCU said.
Government's action against the documentary
The Union government had last week directed social media platforms such as Twitter and YouTube to block links to the documentary "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.
The two-part BBC documentary, which claims it investigated into certain aspects relating to the 2002 Gujarat riots when Narendra Modi was the Chief Minister of that State, has been trashed by the Ministry of External Affairs as a "propaganda piece" that lacked objectivity and reflected a "colonial mindset.
(With PTI input)