Mumbai:

Despite a warning against public screening of a controversial BBC documentary about PM Narendra Modi, a group of students at Mumbai’s Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) gathered and watched it on laptops and phones. 

The institute had issued advisories to students and the management of its branches, besides the main one campus in Mumbai, against any such mass event. Not heeding to the “advisory” would be “dealt with strictly as per the rules”, warned the advisory accessed by NDTV. It said the screening was an attempt to “trigger” students.

Outside the campus, the ABVP and BJYM — student and youth groups affiliated with the BJP and RSS — held protests against the screening plan but some of them dispersed after police said mass showing won’t be allowed.

The ruling BJP’s Mumbai unit chief, Ashish Shelar, had also tweeted: “The police should immediately ban it otherwise we will take the stand we want to take!”

The two-part BBC documentary ‘India: The Modi Question’ — covering the 2002 Gujarat riots, and PM Modi and BJP’s allegedly communal politics — has been denounced by the government as a “propaganda piece” designed to push a discredited narrative. Using emergency powers, the government has had it pulled down in India from social media platforms such as Twitter and YouTube.

TISS Student Union leader Pratik Permey said the association has not planned any screening, but a group called the Progressive Students Forum (PSF) is the organiser.

Such screenings — as part of a protest against censorship and “hiding facts” — have been held across the country, including at Delhi University, Jamia Millia Islamia and Jawaharlal Nehru University in the national capital.

On Friday, students at DU were dragged out of the campus before a planned screening could begin as university officials called the cops.




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