Published: 08th February 2024
‘Hate speech towards JNU’: Students protest against upcoming Sudipto Sen film, Bastar: The Naxal Story
The upcoming film Bastar: The Naxal Story comes from director Sudipto Sen and producer Vipul Amrutlal Shah, starring Adah Sharma, the same face behind the controversial film The Kerala Story
The students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) protested against the upcoming film Bastar: The Naxal Story directed by Sudipto Sen by burning an effigy of Sen and film posters today, Thursday, February 8.
The students highlighted that the new teaser of the film contains hate speech towards JNU and also calls for public lynching of students.
The upcoming film Bastar: The Naxal Story, comes from director Sudipto Sen and producer Vipul Amrutlal Shah, starring Adah Sharma, the same face behind the controversial film The Kerala Story. The upcoming movie, proposed to be released in March 2024, has been facing strong criticism since an official teaser for the film was released on Tuesday, February 6.
In the teaser, a character played by Adah Sharma criticises students from JNU for allegedly ‘celebrating’ the killing of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) policemen in the Dantewada Maoist attack in 2010. The teaser also comments on the “pseudo-intellectuals” in big cities, saying that they are the country’s biggest enemy.
Taking the criticism to social media platform X, Aishe Ghosh, President of JNU Students' Union (JNUAU), said, “We demand immediate action against Sudipto Sen, Adah Sharma, Vipul Amruthlal Shah against the open call for genocide of JNU students. Such a step to mislead people is a criminal act. All legal steps will be taken and we appeal to our alumni and VC to take urgent action.”
The United Students of India, an alliance of 16 student organisations including Students' Federation of India (SFI), All India Students' Association (AISA), Progressive Students' Forum (PSF) and others, also released a statement on Wednesday, February 7, condemning the upcoming film.
“Playing on a favourite right-wing trope of the ‘urban naxal,’ the teaser of this new movie closes with a statement by the lead character stating she would shoot to death ‘left liberal pseudo intellectuals, and attacks the university students especially from Jawaharlal Nehru University,” the statement read.
The students added that the film is part of an "ongoing fascistic project" to tarnish not only the Indian left, but to also undermine the rule of law and the tenets of the Constitution of India.
The statement added that there has been widespread propaganda being cultivated through the media and culture industry against the progressive and democratic movements across India. It also called for students across India to protest against the film and the attack on JNU students.