A film screening at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) here on the contentious issue of ‘love jihad’ was disrupted on Saturday by a few students’ group. A scuffle broke out between members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad(ABVP) and the Left-wing at the Jawaharlal Nehru University on Friday 27 April 2018, over the screening of a movie based on alleged conversions of Hindu women by Muslim men in Kerala.
The screening of the film, titled In the name of love – melancholy of God’s own country, was organised by the Global Indian Foundation and Vivekanand Vichar Manch of JNU.
Members of the Jawaharlal Nehru Students Union (JNUSU) and Gender Sensitisation Committee Against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH) disrupted the screening, alleging that a hate campaign was being propagated in the guise of the film screening.
The screening of the movie was opposed by students of the left-wing organisations, including the AISA, in the university. They shouted slogans and burnt effigies of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
Soon after, a scuffle broke out in the university campus in which guards were also beaten.
According to the organisers of the programme, the film focused on religious conversion of girls in Kerala and the issue of love jihad
However, the students opposing the screening assembled at Sabarmati dhaba to protest against the “hate propaganda in the name of love jihad”.
The students breached the security cordons and disrupted the screening by holding placards in front of the screen.
“Why is the ABVP/RSS hiding behind Vivekanand Vichar Manch? We won’t let the RSS’s venomous ‘Love Jihad’ myth be propagated,” said a statement issued by the protesters.
“No more Dhanyashree will die because of their hate campaign. No more Hadiya will be imprisoned because of their hate campaign & no girl from Meerut will be forced to suffer because she loved,” it said.
Minor scuffles also ensued between the protesters and ABVP members
Former JNUSU president Geeta Kumari said the movie “spreading communal venom and bigotry” has been screened by the Vivekananda Vichar Mach, a frontal organisation of the ABVP.
“JNU students standing up for gender justice and against politics of hate in the name of Love Jihad protested against such politics. The peaceful demonstrators were showered with eggs and stones to create a situation of chaos,” she said.
“The JNUSU condemns these anti-social elements that have vitiated the university’s atmosphere. It is reminiscent of Ramjas College where the ABVP beat up university students,” she added.
Meanwhile, the police said they have received complaints from both the sides over the scuffle and were looking into the matter.
“Those who have suffered injuries will be sent for medical examination following which appropriate action will be initiated by us,” a senior police officer said.
My film is on an international conspiracy being hatched against India
“My film is not about love jihad. It is on an international conspiracy being hatched against India. It is on conversion, and how Kerala has become a hotbed of women being tricked – not by ordinary Muslims, but people being funded by foreign agencies,” Sen told The Telegraph.
He added: “I have interviewed (CPM leader) Brinda Karat, (former chief ministers) Oommen Chandy and V.S. Achutanandan on this. Instead of protesting, if they watch the film, then we can debate.”
It has created a storm in twitter also and it has created a trend with hashtag #CommunistViolenceInJNU . Many politicians and prominent individuals along with others have expressed their concern over freedom of expression.
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