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Students at Hyderabad University Screen BBC Documentary on PM; JNU Warns Against Screening in Campus


Last Updated: January 24, 2023, 07:52 IST

Students at the Hyderabad Central University watching the screening of the Modi documentary.

The JNU admin has also warned of “strict disciplinary action” in case the event is not cancelled.

The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has asked its students’ group to cancel the screening of a BBC documentary critical about Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The admin decision comes after a poster was released by the university’s  students’ union, announcing the screening of the controversial documentary at its office on Tuesday. On the other hand, a students’ group from Hyderabad Central University organised the screening of the BBC documentary inside the university on January 21.

The JNU admin has also warned of “strict disciplinary action” in case the event is not cancelled.

Sources in Jawaharlal Nehru Students Union (JNUSU), however, said since the documentary has not been banned legally, they will go ahead with the screening.

The screening in Hyderabad was organise by Student Islamic Organisation (SIO) & Muslim Student Federation known as Fraternity group. Over 50 students from the group attended attended the screening.

The government had on Friday directed social media platforms Twitter and YouTube to block links to the documentary titled “India: The Modi Question”. The Ministry of External Affairs has trashed the documentary as a “propaganda piece” that lacks objectivity and reflects a colonial mindset.

However, opposition parties have slammed the government’s move to block access to the documentary.

The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) administration, in an advisory on Monday, said the union has not taken its permission for the event and it should be cancelled as it could “disturb peace and harmony”.

Calls and messages to JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) president Aishe Ghosh did not elicit a response, reported PTI.

The poster, purportedly released by the union, said the documentary ‘India: The Modi Question’ will be screened at 9 pm in the student body’s office.

The university in its advisory said, “It has come to the notice of the administration that a group of students have in the name of the JNUSU released a pamphlet for screening a documentary or movie (titled) “India: The Modi Question” scheduled for 24 January, 2023, at 9:00 pm in Teflas.” No prior permission for this event has been taken from the JNU administration, it said.

“This is to emphasise that such an unauthorised activity may disturb the peace and harmony of the university campus. The concerned students or individuals are firmly advised to cancel the proposed programme immediately, failing which a strict disciplinary action may be initiated as per university rules,” the advisory read.

The two-part BBC documentary “India: The Modi Question” claims it investigated certain aspects relating to the 2002 Gujarat riots when Modi was the chief minister of the state. The documentary has not been screened in India.

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