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JNU Cut Power Supply To Prevent Screening Of BBC Documentary On PM Modi, Claim Students: Report

The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) turned off electrical supplies on Tuesday to prevent the screening of a BBC documentary about Prime Minister Narendra Modi on campus, news agency PTI reported citing a student outfit. 

Students, on the other hand, downloaded the documentary onto their mobile phones through an online application to watch and share, PTI reported quoting All India Students Association (AISA) national president N Sai Balaji.

The Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union announced yesterday the screening of ‘India: The Modi Question,’ a documentary that has sparked widespread political debate in India and abroad. The university administration had threatened disciplinary action if the film was shown without permission from the authorities, as per the report. 

The administration had expressed concern that the documentary’s screening might disrupt the university’s peace and harmony, the report said. 

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The documentary is based on events that occurred during the 2002 Gujarat riots when PM Modi was the state’s chief minister. The first episode of the series was broadcast in the United Kingdom on January 17, causing a tremendous uproar. The ministry of external affairs described the documentary as propaganda and said it reflected a colonial attitude last week.

Following the centre’s crackdown on the documentary, more than 50 tweets were removed. The government even asked YouTube to remove videos of the documentary.

Kiren Rijiju, the law minister, also condemned the BBC documentary, calling it a vicious campaign launched both inside and outside the country. “Some people consider the BBC above the Supreme Court of India,” he had added.

The opposition parties have condemned the government’s crackdown on the BBC documentary. The Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), the youth arm of the ruling CPI(M), has announced that the documentary will be screened in the state capital Thiruvananthapuram today evening, the report added. 

The centre had sharply criticised the BBC, describing it as “a propaganda effort aimed to propagate a specific discredited narrative.”

The foreign ministry has stated that “the bias, lack of objectivity, and frankly continuing colonial mindset are blatantly visible.”

Student Group Of Hyderabad University Screens BBC Documentary Without Prior Permission: Report 

A student group at the University of Hyderabad (UoH) screened a controversial BBC documentary on PM Modi on campus without prior notice or permission, causing University authorities to seek a report on the event in order to take appropriate action, news agency PTI reported. 

According to UoH Registrar Devesh Nigam, the Fraternity Movement on UoH campus, a students’ group, organised the screening of the BBC documentary “India: The Modi Question” on January 21 at the shopping complex in the University’s North Campus without previous notice or permission, the report said. 

According to the procedure, any student organisation intending to host an event on the University Campus must first acquire permission from the authority through the Dean of Students’ Welfare, as stated in the report. 

When the security crew and the Dean of Students’ Welfare learned about the documentary screening, they rushed to the site and asked the organisers to halt the screening. The organisers, however, did not comply with this request and kept screening the documentary in the presence of a few pupils, the report said.

(With Inputs From Agencies)

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