BBC Documentary Row Updates: A day after Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) planned a screening of the controversial BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, left-affiliated Students’ Federation of India (SFI) on Wednesday announced to screen the documentary on the Jamia Millia Islamia campus at 6 pm. Issuing a notice, the university, however, said no permission has been sought for the screening of the documentary and “we will not allow” it.
The university added that they are taking all measures to prevent people and organisations with a “vested interest to destroy Read More
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The Delhi Police said, “A screening for a BBC Documentary was to be organised by a group of Jamia Students inside the university today, which was not allowed by the administration of the University.”
University administration informed the police that some students were creating ruckus on the streets and therefore a total of 13 students were detained around 4 pm to ensure peace in the area: Delhi Police
— ANI (@ANI) January 25, 2023
Issuing a statement, the Jamia Millia Islamia University said, “It has come to the knowledge of the university administration that some students belonging to a political organisation (SFI) have circulated a poster about screening of a controversial documentary film on the university campus today. University administration again reiterates that no meeting/gathering of students or screening of any film shall be allowed in the campus without permission of competent authority, failing which strict disciplinary action shall be taken against the organisers.”
Jamia Millia Islamia Vice Chancellor Najma Akhtar has called SFI “a small student group with no following” and accused it of disturbing peace on the campus. “We do not want any disturbance on the campus. We desire to keep the peace and harmony in the university where students are studying and giving exams,” Akhtar told PTI. “A small group like Students’ Federation of India (SFI), which has no following, is holding protests. We do not approve of this kind of behaviour. Their aim is to disturb peace and harmony on the campus. At no cost I will allow this kind of behaviour under my watch,” she said.
Delhi Police has detained over 70 students who were gathered at Jamia Millia Islamia to protest against the detention of four activists over the proposed screening of a BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Students’ Federation of India said. There was no immediate response from the police. Heavy deployment of police personnel was seen outside the campus where the students were gathered. Personnel from the Rapid Action Force were deployed at the gate.
Pritish Menon, secretary of the Students’ Federation of India’s (SFI) Delhi state committee, said the police detained the protestors who had gathered there. “We were about to begin the demonstration but they were detained before that. They were taken to the police station,” Menon told the news agency PTI.
Security strengthened outside Jamia Millia Islamia University in Delhi after a group of students planned to screen the BBC documentary on PM Modi.
Delhi | Security strengthened outside Jamia Millia Islamia University after a group of students planned to screen the BBC documentary on PM Modi. pic.twitter.com/9LB5XVivxe
— ANI (@ANI) January 25, 2023
Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan has questioned the timing of the release of the controversial BBC documentary, saying it came at a time when India assumed the presidency of the G20. He also said that he is surprised that people are attaching more importance to the opinion of a foreign documentary maker, “that too our colonial masters”, than the verdict of the highest court of the land.
“So many judicial verdicts, including that of the highest court of the land, the timing, all these things have to be taken into consideration. This is a time when India has assumed the G20 presidency. Why has this particular time been chosen to bring out this scurrilous material? You cannot ignore these things and particularly when it is coming from a source who ruled over us for over 200 years,” the Governor said.
Issuing a notice, the Jamia Millia Islamia university has reiterated that no meeting of students or screening of any film will be allowed in the campus without permission. “University is taking all measures to prevent people/organisations having vested interest to destroy peaceful academic atmosphere here,” it said.
The University reiterates that no meeting of students or screening of any film will be allowed in the campus without permission. University is taking all measures to prevent people/orgs having vested interest to destroy peaceful academic atmosphere here: Jamia Millia Islamia pic.twitter.com/zWnkQwVSP1
— ANI (@ANI) January 25, 2023
After JNU, now Left-affiliated Students’ Federation of India (SFI) Wednesday announced that it will screen the controversial BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Jamia Millia Islamia campus at 6 pm.
The university administration, however, said no permission has been sought for the screening of the documentary and “we will not allow” it. The SFI’s Jamia unit has issued a poster informing the documentary will be screened at 6 pm at the MCRC lawn gate no 8.
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Two JNU students have alleged they were assaulted and harassed by some members of the students union, an allegation rejected JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh, who claimed they threw stones at a gathering watching a controversial BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday night.
The Left-backed AISA, whose members took part in the screening of the documentary, rejected the allegation, claiming they caught two Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) members but they were not harassed.
While speaking on the documentary on PM Modi by BBC, senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said: “How can a (BBC) documentary affect sovereignty of our nation? The ban is an overreaction and unnecessary by Centre. We’re a strong country, we could’ve ignored this. Our sovereignty and national security isn’t something that can be easily affected by a documentary.”
While critics and supporters of the Narendra Modi government have questioned the call to block access to the BBC’s contentious documentary ‘India: The Modi Question’, the Centre seemed to back its decision to block digital access to the programme. READ MORE
JNU ABVP president said said students from Jamia came to attend the screening of the Modi documentary by BBC. The student leader said the JNU authority had strictly warned not to screen the documentary. Later, after the screening was done, a group of students tried to lynch an ABVP worker.
“I hope Delhi Police will identify the miscreants and take appropriate action,” said the ABVP President.
Senior Congress leader AK Antony’s son Anil Antony quits Congress after being asked to take down post criticising BBC documentary on PM Narendra Modi. His resignation has come a day after he extended support to the BJP over the controversial BBC documentary on PM Narendra Modi. READ MORE
I have resigned from my roles in @incindia @INCKerala.Intolerant calls to retract a tweet,by those fighting for free speech.I refused. @facebook wall of hate/abuses by ones supporting a trek to promote love! Hypocrisy thy name is! Life goes on. Redacted resignation letter below. pic.twitter.com/0i8QpNIoXW
— Anil K Antony (@anilkantony) January 25, 2023
Trinamool leader Mahua Moitra posted again on Twitter, this time with the link of the documentary’s second episode.
“Here is Episode 2 (with buffering delays). Will post another link when they get one this removed,” wrote Mitra in her twitter post.
Kerala Police has registered a case against BJP workers who protested at Poojapura and Manaveeyam Street in Thiruvananthapuram where DYFI and Youth Congress had screened the BBC documentary on Tuesday.
Case has been registered against the BJP workers for unlawful assembly and traffic disruption, news agency ANI reported.
Hyderabad University on Wednesday issued a statement over the incident of screening of the controversial BBC documentary on PM Modi. The statement read, “On 21st January 2023, the Fraternity Movement in University of Hyderabad (UoH) campus, a students’ group, organized a screening of the B.B.C. documentary ‘India: The Modi Question’ at the Shopping Complex, in the North Campus of the University without an prior notice or permission.”
On receiving the information, the security team and the Dean, Students’ Welfare rushed to the venue and requested the organizers to stop the screening of the documentary, the statement said adding that the the organizers, however, did not accede to this request and continued the screening of the documentary in presence of few students.
“As per the prescribed procedure, any student organization desiring to hold an event in the University Campus is required to obtain prior permission from the authority through the Dean, Students’ Welfare. In this case, no prior permission was obtained which is a violation of the existing norms. Though the event passed off peacefully, the University has asked for the report on the event for taking further necessary action,” the statement read.
There has been no untoward incident and the campus is quiet and peaceful, it added.
The Internet Archive, a US-based non-profit library, removed the first part of the controversial BBC documentary The Modi Question. This comes after Union government asked Twitter, YouTube and other social media sites to take down the documentary, terming the documentary as an “anti-India garbage” and a “propaganda piece”.
Left students’ body SFI has announced that it will screen the BBC documentary on PM Modi’s at Presidency College’s campus in Kolkata on Friday.
The SFI’s Jamia unit has issued a poster informing the documentary will be screened at 6 pm at the MCRC lawn gate no 8.
Meanwhile, the Delhi Police said they have detained four students after the SFI announcement plan to screen the controversial BBC documentary on the Jamia campus.
A Delhi Police official said four SFI members were detained, just hours before the screening planned for 6 pm by the student body. The SFI called for a protest at 4 pm against the detention.
“In an atrocious manner, Azeez, a student of Jamia Milia Islamia and SFI Jamia Unit Secretary; Nivedya, a Jamia Student and SFI South Delhi Area Vice President; Abhiram and Tejas, both Jamia students and SFI Unit members have been detained by the Delhi Police prior to the screening of the documentary,” the SFI said, adding, “The SFI Jamia Unit had decided to screen the BBC documentary today on the campus.”
The second episode of the BBC docuseries on PM Modi, meanwhile, came out, links to which surfaced on social media amid the central government trashing the documentary as a “propaganda piece” that lacks objectivity and reflects a colonial mindset. TMC MP Mahua Moitra on Wednesday shared a link to the second part of the series which questioned PM Modi’s leadership during the 2002 Gujarat riots.
The documentary by BBC on PM Modi has divided people with some sharing links and screening it and some slamming the UK’s national broadcaster and those supporting the documentary for being victims of “colonial intoxication”.
The row over the documentary titled “India: The Modi Question” snowballed on Tuesday with students of Hyderabad University screening it at campus and the students union of Delhi’s JNU also planning a screening, which did not happen as planned as the students’ outfit alleged that the varsity administration snapped power and internet connections at the union’s office. The students raised the issue and also alleged stone pelting and protested outside the Vasant Kunj police station in Delhi in the late hours of Tuesday.
On the other hand, the documentary was screened across Kerala on Tuesday by various political organisations including the SFI, as the BJP youth wing went up in arms protesting against the screening.
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