Published: 31st August 2019
SFI accuses ABVP of disrupting Ram Ke Naam screening at Ambedkar University 8 times
Earlier this month, students of UoH had been detained by the police for screening the film by Anand Patwardhan and campuses across India were screening the same in solidarity
The Students' Federation of India (SFI) accused the members of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) of gatecrashing and disrupting a screening of Anand Patwardhan's documentary 'Ram Ke Naam' eight times at Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD) on Friday.
The student body had organised the screening of the documentary in solidarity with the students of University of Hyderabad (UoH) who were recently detained by the police for organising a screening of the same film, and as part of the spate of protest screenings that followed, SFI AUD also joined the bunch. But things got out of hand when ABVP students, allegedly, barged into the venue and attempted to disrupt the screening. "They made casteist remarks and declared that they won't 'allow' the screening to happen. We had completed all prior paper works required for the screening, so there was absolutely no question of anyone allowing the event, let alone ABVP. One of the ABVP goondas began giving a speech about how his Brahman sentiments are being hurt by us screening the movie. The student community outrightly boo-ed him down. When even the Dean of Student Services and the Pro-VC were not able to persuade them to step out, they had to be physically evicted out of the room by the guards," said a statement from the SFI's AUD unit.
The ABVP, on the other hand, said that the SFI deliberately instigated the students and stamped on Ram's picture. "When the SFI announced their screening, they mentioned that RSS and VHP are an extremist right-wing terror group and that the movie will expose their real faces to everyone. But the truth is that this was a hidden agenda to create a hinduphobic atmosphere in Ambedkar University and to create a prejudice against hindus," said Monika Chaudhary, National Media Convenor, ABVP. "When they didn’t get the permission to conduct the screening, they started threatening the proctor and when ABVP protested against the screening, they started assaulting us. They intentionally threw posters on ground with shri ram pictures and stepped on him hurting our sentiments. We democratically protested against the forced screening," said Monika.
However, it did not end there. Within minutes of being dragged out, the ABVP members, reportedly, switched off the main supply of electricity. The police, later, came to the campus and intervened.
"Through an unprecedented display of unity from the student community, the movie was screened successfully with 8 disruptions. Even though half the movie was screened on a laptop with Bluetooth speakers in a stuffy room, the students did not disperse," said one of the students present there. "While the movie was being screened, outside there was ruckus created by ABVP goondas. One of the goondas picked up a big table and smashed it on the ground (he was about to smash it on a car). Others from the group started attacking the police. The police then literally dragged and threw them out of the classroom. They started shouting slogans against the police," he added. The screening that began with hardly 50 students ended with over 200 students.