Six students arrested for showing a film on campus

In a chilling incident, students and activists of AISA and SFI in University of Hyderabad were arrested for screening Anand Patwardhan’s award winning 1992 documentary ‘Ram ke Naam’. The HCU administration had initially withdrawn permission for the film to be screened at the Seminar hall and when the screening was later shifted to the Sociology department, police intervened, entered the classroom, stopped the screening and arrested Bawajan, Sonal, Nikhil, Vikash and Arif. Protests erupted in the campus against the arrests. The arrested students were later let off.

Image Courtesy: @Farhan_Ahmad586 (twitter)

Despite having a ‘U’ certificate and being screened on prime time Doordarshan, why is ‘Raam ke naam’ such a problematic film to be screened within a campus?

The film is a documentary based on real incidents and accounts for narratives of people on communal propaganda and violence in the name of God while exploring the VHP’s campaign to demolish the Babri Masjid. 

So why are the University Authorities so afraid to witness students watching the truth?

It’s becoming clearer that the Modi Government is afraid of documentaries that show how their hate machinery works. 

But most importantly, it is afraid to let reasoned and well informed voices of youth to surface over their politics of hate

And for the same reason, our higher education spaces have been completely entrapped by the visions of bigoted people in power

This incident bears chilling similarities to how ABVP had stalled the screening of Muzaffarnagar Baki Hai on the HCU campus in 2016. This had set off a chain of events which culminated in the suicide of Rohith Vemula. 

Watch Patwardhan’s entire film here




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