Patiala, January 29
After Jawaharlal Nehru University and Panjab University, the students at Punjabi University, Patiala, have now announced screening of BBC’s documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and 2002 Gujarat riots at the Patiala campus as a mark of ‘protest against curbing freedom of speech’.
India had, more than a week ago, described the documentary as a “propaganda piece designed to push a discredited narrative”. The BJP-led Centre also blocked its online access on multiple YouTube channels besides barring tweets sharing the links. Later, the documentary’s screening led to a ruckus atJawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and an altercation among students and administration also took place at Panjab University, Chandigarh.
Now, the students of Punjabi University, Patiala, have called for a screening of ‘India: The Modi Question’ as a mark of protest.
Amandeep Singh, student leader of Punjab Students' Union (PSU) said the event is being organized to spread the message that banning of the documentary is against the principles of democracy. “Educational institutions are places to discuss ideas. But by banning the documentary, they are trying to kill dissent. The ban is also an attack on freedom of speech. We are screening it as a form of protest against the government’s bid to curb freedom of expression by way of ban. We also aim to express concern regarding the administration’s way of snubbing its screening at various universities across the country,” he said.
He said the union has intimated the University administration about the screening which is supposed to take place at the campus on Monday. “We will submit a formal application for the screening on Monday morning,” he said.
Some students said in case the University fails to sanction the permission, they will screen the documentary in the open.
While the University Dean Student Welfare could not be contacted, Vice-Chancellor Professor Arvind said he has not received any application seeking permission to screen the documentary film.
Urban Estate SHO Amritvir Singh said the matter will be taken up with senior police officials and appropriate steps initiated in the regard.
#Gujarat #narendra modi #Panjab University Chandigarh #Punjabi University Patiala
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