After reports of a student group’s plan to screen a controversial BBC documentary about PM Narendra Modi and the BJP’s politics, Mumbai’s Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) on Friday issued advisories to students and to the management against any such event on campus. Not heeding to the “advisory” would be “dealt with strictly as per the rules”, said the institute.
“It is with utmost seriousness we note that some students, through a group, are engaged in activities contravening the advisory issued on 27th January regarding the screening of a BBC Documentary forbidden by the Government and attempting to mobilise and trigger students,” said the advisory accessed by NDTV.
The institute has “not permitted any such screening and gatherings which may disturb the academic environment”, said an advisory, according to news agency ANI.
Outside the campus, the ABVP and BJYM — student and youth groups affiliated with the BJP and RSS — held protests against the screening plan.
The ruling BJP’s Mumbai unit chief, Ashish Shelar, tweeted: “The police should immediately ban it otherwise we will take the stand we want to take!”
BBC च्या बोगस डॉक्युमेंट्रीचा शो करुन मुंबई आणि महाराष्ट्रातील कायदा सुव्यवस्था Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) बिघडू पाहतेय. पोलीसांनी तातडीने त्यावर बंदी घालावी अन्यथा आम्ही घ्यायची ती भूमिका घेऊ!
TISS ने हे असले धंदे बंद करावेत!!
— Adv. Ashish Shelar – ॲड. आशिष शेलार (@ShelarAshish) January 28, 2023
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.