Defiant Indian college students to carry extra screenings of BBC documentary on Modi

 India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi walks after the handover ceremony through the G20 Leaders’ Summit, in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, November 16, 2022.— Reuters 

NEW DELHI: Indian college students mentioned they might present once more a BBC documentary about Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the federal government has dismissed as propaganda after a Tuesday campus screening was disrupted by an influence reduce and intimidation by opponents.

The College students’ Federation of India (SFI) plans to point out the documentary, “India: The Modi Query”, in each Indian state, its basic secretary advised Reuters on Wednesday.

Greater than a dozen college students have been detained by police at a New Delhi college on Wednesday forward of the screening, broadcaster NDTV reported.

Modi’s authorities has labelled the documentary, which questions his management throughout riots in his dwelling state of Gujarat in 2002, as a “propaganda piece” and blocked its airing. It has additionally barred the sharing of any clips on social media in India.

Modi was chief minister of the western state through the violence by which about 1,000 folks have been killed, most of them Muslims. Human rights activists put the toll at round 2,500.

“They will not cease the voice of dissent,” mentioned Mayukh Biswas, basic secretary of the SFI, the coed wing of the Communist Celebration of India (Marxist).

A warning was issued by the Jamia Millia Islamia College in New Delhi on Tuesday towards unapproved scholar gatherings forward of SFI’s scheduled screening of the BBC documentary on Wednesday night, NDTV reported.

Police then detained greater than a dozen college students there about an hour forward of the screening, in line with the broadcaster.

The Delhi Police didn’t instantly affirm if college students have been detained however mentioned there was heavy deployment of police and safety forces in riot management gear on the college.

The deployment was “to keep up legislation and order” each due to the screening and India’s Republic Day on Jan. 26, police mentioned.

The college noticed violent clashes in December 2019 between protesters, together with college students, and the police over a brand new legislation that blocks Muslims in nations neighbouring India from gaining citizenship.

On Tuesday, a whole lot of scholars watched the BBC documentary on cellphones and laptops at Jawaharlal Nehru College after energy was reduce on the campus, mentioned scholar chief Aishe Ghosh.

The college had threatened disciplinary motion if the documentary was screened.

“It was clearly the administration that reduce off the ability,” Ghosh mentioned. “We’re encouraging campuses throughout the nation to carry screenings as an act of resistance towards this censorship,” Ghosh added.

The media coordinator for the college administration didn’t remark when requested in regards to the energy reduce on the campus.

Ghosh mentioned members of a right-wing scholar group threw bricks at college students hoping to look at the documentary, hurting a number of, and college students had complained to the police.

A spokesman for the right-wing scholar group didn’t reply to a message searching for remark.

A police spokesperson didn’t instantly reply to queries.

The 2002 Gujarat violence erupted after a suspected Muslim mob set fireplace to a practice carrying Hindu pilgrims, setting off one in every of impartial India’s worst outbreaks of non secular bloodshed.

At the least 1,000 folks, principally Muslims, have been killed in reprisal assaults throughout Gujarat over days when crowds roamed the streets, concentrating on the minority group.

Critics accuse Modi of failing to guard Muslims. Modi denies the allegations and a Supreme Courtroom-ordered investigation discovered no proof to prosecute him. A petition questioning his exoneration was dismissed final yr.

The BBC has mentioned the documentary was “rigorously researched” and concerned a variety of voices and opinions, together with responses from folks in Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Celebration.

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