Published: 26th January 2023
Two screenings, same venue at HCU? Students' group switches venue of BBC documentary after ABVP decides to screen The Kashmir Files
Anticipating violence, the screening of the BBC documentary by SFI members has now been rescheduled for 5 pm today at a different venue
Members of the Students' Federation of India (SFI) of the Hyderabad Central University (HCU) have shifted their venue and changed the timing for the screening of BBC's documentary on India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today, January 26, at 5 pm following calls from ABVP members of the university for screening of the film The Kashmir Files at the same time and venue.
Members of SFI informed EdexLive that they had given a nationwide call for screening of the documentary across all campuses. The posters by SFI HCU unit announcing the screening at the North ShopCom were shared around 7.30 pm yesterday (January 25). The ABVP HCU shared their announcement of their screening in the early hours of today and maintained the same time and the venue, students from the university said. Sravan, a member of the Central Working Committee of ABVP HCU confirmed that the screening of the movie would be done at the same time and venue.
"This is an intimidating move as we are seeing what is happening across campuses in the country. We do not want students to be attacked. We have requested ABVP to try and change their venue. We do not want any clashes, we only want a democratic dialogue on such critical topics," said SFI HCU Secretary, Shiva Durga Rao.
Students told EdexLive that the earlier venue had previously witnessed events by such opposing organisations. "The room is big enough for two sets of students but we do not know if students will be able to hear two movies running at the same time," said Loni Das, a student from HCU.
"The announcement of screening The Kashmir Files, which has evoked criticisms for its bogus representations across the globe, by ABVP HCU who has already screened the movie and arranged a discussion over it at the very same timing and venue is nothing but an open call for conflict and distorting the democratic ethos of the campus," read a statement by SFI HCU.
However, anticipating violence, the screening of the BBC documentary by SFI members has now been rescheduled for 5 pm today at a different venue — North LH — which will be followed by a Constitution rally that the students carry out every Republic Day, they said.
What happened earlier?
A section of students at the university screened the first part of the BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on its campus, prompting the university authorities to seek a report. The documentary was screened on Sunday, January 22 by a group of students under the banner Fraternity Movement - HCU unit, on the campus of the UoH. The university administration had then stated that no prior notice or permission was taken before the event.
"There was no trend of taking permission for any screenings on campus earlier as well. We always used to screen and debate, discuss things normally," Shiva stated.
EdexLive reached out to the administration but they refused to comment.