Despite failing to obtain permission from the university administration, a section of students at the Presidency University on Friday screened a 1992 documentary on the Babri Masjid demolition, Ram ke Naam, in the badminton court of the campus.
The students had initially chosen the portico of the University’s main campus as the venue for the screening after the administration did not approve the event. However, they changed the venue at the last moment.
“Ram ke Naam was screened at Presidency University’s badminton court today (Friday). Over 200 students and some of the faculty members attended the screening which was shifted as the authorities snapped power line. This prompted the students to hold the screening at the badminton court where there was an alternative power line,” said university student Sayan Chakraborty, a spokesperson of the group of students.
“Film personalities like Aparna Sen and Kaushik expressed solidarity with the students on the issue of screening,” he added.
Dean of students Arun Maity told reporters that he did not receive any application for the screening at the portico or anywhere else.
“The institute had always stood for liberal views and upheld freedom of expression. But at the same time, it is also important to ensure that the sentiment of others are not hurt when an event is organised by some group,” he said.
The screening had earlier been scheduled on August 27 but was postponed for want of permission.
On August 26, a group of students at Jadavpur had screened the Anand Patwardhan directed film, in solidarity with the arrested students of the University of Hyderabad. On August 20, police had reportedly entered the University of Hyderabad’s sociology department when the administration complained that students were screening Ram Ke Naam without permission. The police detained six students and seized a laptop.