Ruckus in JNU: Students Watch BBC's Modi Documentary on Phones Amid 'Power Cut'

5 days ago 50

Some students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Tuesday, 24 January, alleged that the electricity supply on campus was cut off in the area where the JNU Students' Union (JNUSU) was scheduled to organise the screening of BBC documentary, 'India: The Modi Question.'

Speaking to The Quint, a current student of JNU, who was present at the venue of the screening said, "The electricity has been cut off here."

They also claimed, "There has been stone-pelting near the venue, in an attempt to disrupt the screening, which was going on completely peacefully."

Another individual present at the screening said, "Despite there being no electricity, we are continuing with the screening. A few people here are sharing links of the documentary, and people are watching it together on their phones."

Students who came for the screening.

(Photo: Accessed by The Quint)

Students gathered for the screening.

(Photo: Accessed by The Quint)

What's the matter? The JNUSU had organised the screening of the documentary, which is currently officially unavailable to watch in India, on Tuesday at 9 pm.

Taking cognisance of the same, JNU registrar on Monday released an advisory to cancel the screening, describing it as an "unauthorised activity" which "may disturb the peace and harmony of the campus"

The advisory also claimed that no prior permission was taken for the event from the administration.

JNUSU's Reply: In a reply to the registrar, JNUSU said that "this is a voluntary action by the students who wish to watch the screening" and "by screening the documentary/movie, we do not seek to create any form of disharmony."

More details: The students claim that the administration cut off the electricity at JNUSU's office and nearby areas around the time of screening.

The students, however, distributed the documentary link and watched it together on their respective mobile phones.

A screening of the same documentary was also organised by the Fraternity Movement in University of Hyderabad (UoH) campus on 21 January.

"On receiving the information, the security team and the Dean, Students’ Welfare rushed to the venue and requested the organizers to stop the screening of the documentary. However, the organizers did not accede to this request and continued the screening of the documentary in presence of few students," a statement from University's registrar said.

It further added that "no prior permission was obtained which is a violation of the existing norms" and "the University has asked for the report on the event for taking further necessary action."

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Published: 24 Jan 2023, 11:06 PM IST

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