JNU students go ahead with documentary screening despite admin warning

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Ram Ke Naam, or In the Name of God, is a 1992 documentary about the campaign for a temple at the site of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, and the communal violence the dispute triggered.

The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) administration on Saturday objected to the screening of Anand Patwardhan’s national award winning documentary “Ram Ke Naam”’ and “advised” the JNU students’ union to cancel the screening, scheduled for Saturday night on the campus.

JNU said “strict disciplinary action” will be taken against students since permission was not taken for the event.

Ram Ke Naam, or In the Name of God, is a 1992 documentary about the campaign for a temple at the site of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, and the communal violence the dispute triggered.

In a circular, the JNU registrar said, “It has come to the notice of the undersigned that a group of students have in the name of JNUSU released a pamphlet for screening a documentary/movie ”Ram Ke Naam” scheduled for tonight at 9.30pm in Teflas. No permission for this event has been taken from the administration.”

The circular added: “This is to emphasise that such an unauthorised activity may disturb communal harmony and peaceful environment of the university campus.”

JNUSU refused to cancel the screening, and in a statement said, “It is ironic that the pretext of this request by the JNU administration has been that the screening may disturb the peace and communal harmony on the campus. The film in question has been awarded the National Award for Documentary Filmmaking and has been aired on national television for its advocacy of secularism and exposure of communalism…”

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