ILS Pune Allegedly Censors Anand Patwardhan’s Documentary Ram Ke Naam ; Faculty Says ‘No Movie Screenings’ a Day Before Schedule

By Tanuj Kalia

ILS Pune, as a part of their intra-college fest Legal Ease was to screen the Anand Patwardhan directed movie Ram ke Naam (In the name of God) on December 27 from 5 pm.

The movie screening has now been cancelled.

(Below is the poster announcing the movie screening).

 

anand patwardhan, ils pune, ram ke naam, censorship

LEGAL EASE! Outside books, freedom of speech is ‘difficult’

Commenting on this incident, Anand Patwardhan has said via Facebook:

“The students of Law College Pune had invited me to screen Ram Ke Naam on 27 Dec 2014 (tomorrow) at 5 pm and posters to the effect are all over their campus for the last week.

This afternoon they called to say that after receiving threats, their faculty decided to cancel the event. They are refusing to say where the threats came from or to divulge the names of the faculty who cancelled the event. Obviously the students are themselves under threat.

The film is 24 years old. It has a “U” certificate. It has a national award. It has a Filmfare award. It was already shown on Doordarshan many years ago after the High court ruled that it must be screened at prime time in the national interest.”

See his full post here.

Apurva Bhilare, a member of the student Cultural Committee of ILS Pune told us that Mr. Patwardhan had confirmed his coming to Pune around 7-8 days back.

According to Bhilare the faculty at ILS told the students yesterday (a day before the scheduled movie screening) that they cannot have any movie screening in the fest.

This is like any other event being cancelled” , she explained.

Inayat Dhanda, a student of ILS Pune has said this via her Facebook post:

“It saddens me to see the state of affairs in one of the top law schools in the country. Day in and day out we are taught about the freedom of expression and its importance as a Fundamental Right.

I apologise to Anand Patwardhan on behalf of my hypocrite college. Sadly this is the truth. A stringent dress code where teachers pin us down if at all girls wear sleeveless clothes is another feature of this prestigious institution. There are so many more.”

According to Patwardhan’s website IN THE NAME OF GOD focuses on the campaign waged by the militant Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) to destroy a 16th century mosque in Ayodhya said to have been built by Babar, the first Mughal Emperor of India.

The VHP claim the mosque was built at the birthsite of the Hindu god Ram after Babar razed an existing Ram temple […]

This controversial issue which successive governments have refused to resolve has led to religious riots which have cost thousands their lives, culminating in the mosque’s destruction by the Hindus in December of 1992.

UPDATE (December 26, 8.50 PM): Scroll.in has published a piece here.

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