Right-wing group objects to screening of film at NFAI, says it showed Indian Army in bad light

PUNE — Members of a right-wing organisation barged into the National Film Archive of India (NFAI) premises in Maharashtra’s Pune city objecting to the screening of a docudrama, claiming it showed the Indian Army in a bad light, a police official said.

The incident took place on Sunday when the docudrama, titled ‘I Am Not The River Jhelum’, was being screened as part of ‘A Festival of Contemporary Indian Films’ organised by the Pune International Centre and the International Federation of Film Critics-India Chapter.

Shouting slogans, the protesters demanded the screening be stopped, the official said.

The protesters, belonging to Samast Hindu Bandhav Sanghatana, were detained and released after being issued notices under the Maharashtra Police Act, 1951, the official said.

Ravindra Padwal, president of the right-wing organisation, said they objected to the film after learning that some of the scenes in it showed the Indian Army in Kashmir in a bad light.

“Some people who were in the audience informed us about such a portrayal of the Army in the film. By the time we reached there, the movie was about to get over. We objected to the scenes and raised slogans in support of the Army,” said Padwal.

He said they demanded the director show them the docudrama and explain his side. When they were discussing the matter with the organisers, the police came and took them to a police station, said Padwal.

“Even if people follow a certain ideology, be it progressive or regressive, they should be proud of the Indian Army. If the director has projected the Indian Army in a bad light, it amounts to sedition and an offence should be registered against him,” he said.

The festival was held from February 9 to 11, during which many award-winning films in Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Manipuri-Tangkhul, Rajasthani-Hindi, and Khasi-Jaintia-Garo-Hindi were screened, said the organisers. — (PTI)