‘Ram ke Naam’ (In the Name of God), Anand Patwardhan’s 1992 award-winning documentary is in the news again, after a screening of the film organised by All India Students’ Association (AISA) was allegedly stopped by the police at University of Hyderabad on Tuesday, 20 August.
One of the organisers, Bhaskar Sarkar, on a telephone interview told The Quint, “Half an hour before the screening, our Dean called to inform us that we cannot hold the screening. We then tried to screen the documentary in our classroom but police came and stopped us.”
Bhaskar Sarkar, Organiser of the event “The police then confiscated our laptops, manhandled six of our members and detained them.
The ones who went to get the members released were also detained.”
When more members joined in and were protesting near the gate, members of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) allegedly came to the spot and raised slogans against the organisers.
‘Completely Illegal to Stop The Screening’: Anand Patwardhan
Reacting to the incident, filmmaker Patwardhan said, “freedom of expression was violated by stopping a legal screening.”
Anand Patwardhan”The film has a ‘Universal’ certificate which means it can be shown anywhere in the country. It was ordered by Bombay High Court to be shown on Doordarshan on prime time in 1996. So, the film is eminently a film in the national interest which must be seen by everybody. It is completely illegal to try and stop a screening like this.”