The SFI has accused the Sangh of trying to eliminate student agitations from the history of India.

Dissent unlimited SFI Kerala to screen banned films at 150 campuses
news Dissent Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - 12:51

Kerala has proved time and again that it’s not a state that’s going to take the Centre’s diktats lying down - whether it’s the implicit ban on cattle slaughter or the denial of permission for screening films on dissent at the International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala.

Days after the I&B Ministry denied permission for screening of three films at the festival, the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) has decided to screen two of the three films on at least 150 campuses across the state. The student wing of CPI(M) has declared that the screenings will be held through the week, mainly on Tuesday.

In a press release, SFI said, “India is a land of diversity, not of bans. The denial of permission to screen the films is part of the Sangh Parivar agenda, which has been implemented throughout the country.”

“The festival has been going on for the last 10 years. It is a gathering of artistes and cultural activists who hold different views. The festival is also a mark of the diversity of India, and the RSS is infringing on this diversity,” the release stated.

Accusing the Centre and the Sangh Parivar of trying to “eliminate the history of campus agitations in the country,” the release said, “There have been agitations in the JNU campus after February 9, 2016, that have attracted nationwide attention. Kathu Lukose’s documentary, March, March, March, narrates the story of this agitation. The unbearable being of lightness directed by Ramachandran shows the story of the martyrdom of Rohith Vemula at the HCU. The agenda behind banning these films is to eliminate campus agitations from the history of the country.”

The SFI declared that the campuses in Kerala though are not ready to “bow their heads before the Sangh Parivar agenda.”

“Today in all campuses, the banned films will be screened. We will be raising the slogan - India is a land of diversity, not of bans,” the release by SFI state president Jaik C Thomas and secretary M Bijin said.

The screenings, some of which started on Monday, will not be without opposition. Speaking to TNM, Jaik Thomas said that the ABVP had agitated against one of the protest screenings at Sanskrit College on Monday. “We are expecting similar protests by ABVP in other colleges too, but that will not stop us from screening the films,” he said.

Screening in Kannur

While two of the ‘banned’ films - In the shade of the fallen chinar, and The unbearable being of lightness - will be screened on Tuesday, the third film, March, March, March will not be screened due to technical reasons.

Speaking to TNM, the director of March, March, March, Kathu Lukose said, “Unlike the other two films, I haven’t uploaded my film anywhere yet. It won’t be screened at the campuses today.”