There was a protest against the screening of a film titled “In The Mame Of Love – Melancholy of God’s Own Country” in the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus, which led to violence.
The screening had been organised by an organisation called the Vivekanand Vichar Manch and the Global Indian Foundation. The former is associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. The film was on the issue of ‘love Jihad’, an alleged Islamic conspiracy to lure Hindu women into marriage with the ultimate aim of getting them converted to Islam and the alleged conversion of girls in Kerala into Islam. In the ensuing violence, some of the students were injured and one security guard had to be hospitalised as well.
The Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) and other students protested against the screening of the film. News18 reported that the students took part in disrupting the screening by holding placards right in front of the screen.
JNUSU claims that the protesters were attacked by ABVP members despite protesting peacefully. In a press release by the JNUSU, it is written, “ABVP pelted stone and eggs at students, abused, manhandled and created a mob lynching scenario on students who were present there.”
Mohit Pandey (JNUSU President; 2016-2017) claimed that he was violently attacked.
Meanwhile, the politics of this violence was not just restricted to the student populace. Jignesh Mevani, a prominent and independent Dalit MLA from Vadgam in Gujarat also tweeted:
That physical attack on former JNUSU president Mohit Pandey is an attempt to traumatize this fearless youth .The way he was attacked it most shocking.We all are with Mohit and we not only condem the cowardice act but seek immediate arrest of ABVP goon who have done this.
— Jignesh Mevani (@jigneshmevani80) April 27, 2018
However, from the other end, the ABVP has criticised the JNUSU and the other protesters for curtailing freedom of speech and expression and they have also claimed that violence actually took place from the other end. Delhi University professor and prominent RSS member Rakesh Sinha tweeted:
Left liberals freedom of expression means coercing alternative voice by ruthlessly using violence and propaganda. They did in JNU during the screening of Love Jihad.
— Prof Rakesh Sinha (@RakeshSinha01) April 27, 2018
Nidhi Tripathi, a prominent leader of ABVP JNU also tweeted:
‘In the Name of Love’ documentary being screened by Vivekananda Vichar Manch & Global Indian Foundation.
Communists came & attacked students watching documentary there.
This is an attack on Freedom of Expression & Democratic Ethos of JNU by Left goons.#CommunistViolenceInJNU pic.twitter.com/gc9JUYZul8
— Nidhi Tripathi JNU (@nidhitripathi92) April 27, 2018
According to a Press Trust of India report, the Delhi Police had received complaints from both sides and was looking into the matter.
Meanwhile, the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) has called for a march in JNU tonight at 9 pm to protest against the alleged violence by the members of the ABVP.