JNUSU to screen BBC documentary, varsity threatens action
In the circular, the university registrar said that “ “strict disciplinary action” will be taken against the students if they go ahead with the screening.
The Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) on Monday announced the screening of the BBC documentary ‘India: The Modi Question’ even as the varsity administration threatened strict disciplinary action against showing the film since no prior permission was sought from the authorities.
The university issued a circular after JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh tweeted on Monday, announcing the screening of the documentary on the varsity campus at 9pm on Tuesday. “Join us for the screening of the documentary which has been “banned” by an “elected government” of the largest “democracy”,” Ghosh tweeted on Monday.
In the circular, the university registrar said that “ “strict disciplinary action” will be taken against the students if they go ahead with the screening. “It has come to the notice of the administration that a group of students have in the name of JNUSU released a pamphlet for screening a documentary/movie ‘India: The Modi Question’ scheduled for January 24 at 9.30pm in Teflas. No prior permission for this event has been taken from the JNU administration,” the circular issued by JNU registrar Ravikesh said.
“The concerned students/individuals are firmly advised to cancel the proposed programme immediately failing which a strict disciplinary action may be initiated as per the university rules,” the circular said.
“This is to emphasise that such an unauthorised activity may disturb peace and harmony of the university campus,” it added.
Ghosh could not be reached of a comment on the circular by the JNU administration. However, in another tweet tagging a previous tweet by Modi that said criticism makes democracy strong, Ghosh said, “I think the JNU Administration missed the tweet by our PM tweeted some years back. Just reminding. We take his words quite seriously.”
Ghosh said that if the movie “Kashmir Files” could be screened on campus, the documentary also had a “space”.
“Kashmiri Files was recently screened inside the university campus. Nobody opposed the screening since people have the right to spread propaganda in a democratic country. We were not in agreement since the film does not have any factual basis and chose to register our dissent by not going for the screening of the film whereas those who wanted to see Kashmir Files were able to do so,” said Ghosh.
The documentary has generated controversy since the first part of the series aired in the UK on January 17. Last week, external affairs ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that the film has not been screened in India and is not legally available on social media or streaming platforms.
The ministry has said that the documentary is “propaganda” and reflects bias and a colonial mindset.