Thursday, 16 February 2012

Press Release All India Students’ Association (AISA) 16/2/2012

Press Release
All India Students’ Association (AISA)

AISA and Students of Sociology Department (DU) Successfully
Screen Jashn-e-Azaadi in DU, Braving
Attacks and Threats by ABVP and ‘Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena’!
... Hundreds of Delhi University Students
Participate in Film Screening and Discussion with Sanjay Kak, Director
of Jashn-e-Azaadi!!
Today hundreds of DU
students and teachers participated the screening of the documentary
film Jashn-e-Azaadi
organized by AISA and students of sociology in the Department of Sociology,
Delhi University. “Predictably this
screening had to held in the teeth of opposition from right-wing fascist forces
like ABVP and the Bhagat Singh Kranti
Sena, who tried their level best to stall the screening. Moreover,
the DU administration and the Delhi Police also shamefully sided with these
forces and tried to pressurize the Sociology department to stop the screening”,
said Harshvardhan Tripathi Secretary DU, AISA.

AISA had taken proper
permission for this programme on Monday itself (13th of February,
2012). However, the DU administration and the Delhi
police tried to prevent the movie from being screened. Since early this
morning, the Delhi police kept calling the organizers (AISA representatives),
stating that the Police has been receiving “threats” from ABVP and Bhagat Singh
Kranti Sena. These forces openly told the Police that they would disrupt the
screening, if it was allowed. “Instead
of giving protection and preventing the hooligans from the entering the
premises of Delhi School of Economics, Delhi police kept pressurizing the
organizers to cancel the screening”, added Harshvardhan. The DU
administration initially also tried to pressurize the sociology department and
the organizers to cancel the programme.

However, the Sociology department stood firm in its defence of academic
freedom. They demanded that the
DU administration give in writing details of legal and academic grounds on
the basis of which the film screening should be cancelled. Unable to give any
logical response to this, the DU administration changed its stand and in a
written statement, it told the Sociology department that the film screening
could carry on. And so, the programme was held.

Commenting on today’s
incident, director Sanjay Kak said, “By defending their
right to screen the film, the Delhi School of Economics has stood for the best
traditions of academic independence. And by coming in large numbers despite the
intimidation, students have shown themselves to that trust. Thanks to AISA for
showing the way.” The film screening in DU today was followed by a
discussion with the director Sanjay Kak,
who pointed out that disruption of his movie or any other talk on Kashmir
serves the simple purpose of not letting the people know the reality in Kashmir.

AISA condemns the role
of the Delhi police, which instead of preventing the goons from entering the
premises of DSE, escorted them till the gates of Sociology department where
they were stopped by the huge gathering of teachers and students.
This incident should
also be seen in the light of the DU administration’s recent move to
remove AK Ramanujam’s
essay ‘Three Hundred Ramayanas’ from
BA History syllabus. Yesterday, several
groups in DU (including AISA) unitedly organized a massive seminar in DU against
such draconian attacks on academic freedom by right-wing forces. And today’s
incident is yet another victory of progressive forces who have been fighting to
reclaim the campus space from corporate and fascist take over. It is a victory
for campus democracy, against hooliganism and for a culture of debate and

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