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

By Shivam Patel and Sudipto Ganguly

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – 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 minimize and intimidation by rivals.

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

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

Modi was chief minister of the western state throughout the violence during which greater than 2,000 folks have been killed, most of them Muslims.

“Imposition of undeclared emergency continues … however they will not cease the voice of dissent,” mentioned Mayukh Biswas, normal secretary of the SFI, the scholar wing of the Communist Celebration of India (Marxist).

On the Jawaharlal Nehru College in New Delhi, a whole lot of scholars watched the documentary on cellphones and laptops on Tuesday after energy was minimize within the campus earlier than a scheduled screening, mentioned pupil chief Aishe Ghosh.

The college had threatened disciplinary motion if the documentary was screened, saying it had not given permission for a present that may disturb peace and concord on campus.

“It was clearly the administration that minimize off the facility,” Ghosh mentioned. “We’re encouraging campuses throughout the nation to carry screenings as an act of resistance in opposition to this censorship,” Ghosh mentioned.

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

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

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

A police spokesperson didn’t instantly reply to queries.

The 2002 Gujarat violence erupted after a prepare carrying Hindu pilgrims caught hearth, killing 59. Crowds later rampaged by way of Muslim neighbourhoods.

Modi has denied accusations that he didn’t do sufficient to cease the riots and was exonerated in 2012 following an inquiry overseen by the Supreme Courtroom. A petition questioning his exoneration was dismissed final 12 months.

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.

(Reporting by Shivam Patel in New Delhi and Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; Modifying by Robert Birsel)

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