Documentary on 10 laptops and ‘even on mobile phones’ | News from Mumbai

Mumbai: The call for screening of banned BBC documentary on PM Narendra Modi on TISS The campus was taken over by a student collective called the Progressive Students’ Forum (PSF) earlier this week. Representatives from the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) also supported the call, and the official student union, the TISS Students’ Union, even shared the documentary’s QR code during an impromptu protest rally convened on Friday afternoon. Although the institute issued two pieces of advice – one on Friday and the second on Saturday morning – the students went ahead with their plan around 7 p.m.
The recommendation, issued on Saturday morning, reads: “We note with the utmost seriousness that some student groups are engaged in activities that contravene the recommendation issued on 27 January regarding the screening of a BBC documentary… All such actions… lead to Disturbances of peace and harmony … will be addressed with relevant institutional rules on the subject.’
Ramadas Prini Sivanandan, a member of PSF and a member of the Central Committee of SFI, said they first started showing the documentary on a laptop and then added nine more laptops after the number of students started to increase. “It was a presentation, but not on the usual projector and big screen. Some of them even watched the film on their phones,” he said, adding that they had a meeting with the administration that evening and the authorities refused to provide screening facilities.
In an official statement released by PSF, the group congratulated the institute’s “brave” students on the success of the demonstration. “Together, the TISS students upheld the culture of debate, discussion and, above all, dissent in our institution. Despite the slanderous campaign against TISS and the refusal of any form of cooperation by the administration, more than 200 students showed solidarity,” the statement said.
A TISS official said: “There has been no screening on campus. Some students may have been watching on their personal devices, which can hardly be monitored,” he added, adding that no facilities were provided for the screening.
However, after the performance, another student collective on campus, the Democratic Secular Students’ Forum, condemned the act. Sairam M from the Forum said: “Despite warning from the authorities of the institute and in the presence of Mumbai Police, the controversial BBC documentary was shown on campus on laptops and phones. We condemned this performance.” Sairam called on the TISS administration to take strict action against PSF and other student organizations that extended their support.
Most of the police officers were dispersed after the demonstration ended around 9 p.m., but a police vehicle will be stationed off campus to avoid any law and order situation, an official said. A senior official said there was no violence and all was peaceful. “If there is an application, we will consider it,” he said.
Earlier in the evening, activists from BJP Yuva Morcha held a protest in front of the campus, claiming the film was being shown with malicious intent. The protesters left after assurances from the police. Earlier in the day, BJP Mayor Ashish Shelar tweeted: “By showing this fake BBC documentary, the law and order situation in Mumbai and Maharashtra is being compromised. The police should stop the screening or we’ll take a stand. TISS should stop such activities.”
(With contributions by Mateen Hafeez)