ABVP members complained to university authorities against the group of students who organised the screening of the controversial documentary India: The Modi Question.

The controversial BBC documentary being screened in HCUBy arrangement
news Controversy Tuesday, January 24, 2023 - 15:36

A few students at the University of Hyderabad (UoH) have screened the BBC documentary on the 2002 Gujarat riots and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on their campus. Following a complaint from the RSS-affiliated student organisation Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the university authorities have sought a report over the screening from the campus security department. The documentary, titled India: The Modi Question, was screened on Saturday, January 21 by a group of students under the banner ‘Fraternity Movement - HCU unit’, on the campus of the UoH, also known as the Hyderabad Central University (HCU).

The screening was held a day after the Union government directed social media platforms Twitter and YouTube to block links to the documentary. No permission was sought by the students’ group from university authorities before screening the documentary, official sources at UoH said on Tuesday, adding that they got to know about the screening only after members of ABVP complained to the varsity's Registrar. 

The University has asked for a report from its security wing over the matter, they said. A police official said that so far, they have not received any written complaint regarding the screening.

Read: Indian govt used emergency powers to block links to BBC's Gujarat riots documentary

Meanwhile, Fraternity Movement in a Twitter post on January 21 said that the BBC documentary was screened by ‘Fraternity Movement - HCU unit’. “BBC documentary ‘India: The Modi Question’ which was removed from YouTube screened in HCU by Fraternity Movement- HCU unit," the tweet said.

Addressing the media, Mahesh Namani, a political science research scholar and HCU ABVP member, said, “The intention of the organisers was to insult the nation by broadcasting the propaganda movie. We condemn the move to air the movie. The ABVP has appealed to the university officials and the cyber crime police, and demanded action against the students who organised the screening of the movie.”

The two-part BBC documentary titled India: The Modi Question traces tracks PM Modi’s rise within the political ranks of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) during his time as the Chief Minister of Gujarat. It cites an inquiry conducted by the United Kingdom government into the 2002 Gujarat riots when PM Modi was the Chief Minister of the state. The report states that the violence was “planned, possibly in advance” by the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), and also says: “Chief Minister Narendra Modi is directly responsible.” The Ministry of External Affairs had called the documentary a "propaganda piece" that “lacks objectivity” and reflects a “colonial mindset.” 

Also read: ‘Gujarat riots pre-planned’: Caravan accesses UK report shown on BBC Modi documentary


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