Film and Television Institute of India,
Law College Road, Pune: 411004
On the 21st of August 2013 students of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) and Yugpath, Pune organized a screening of ‘Jai Bhim Comrade’, followed by a discussion with Anand Patwardhan and a performance by members of the Kabir Kala Manch. At the close of this event, five students of FTII were physically attacked by twelve members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).
Maharashtra has for centuries produced socially progressive activists. Dr. Narendra Dabholkar was one among them. The event on the 21st was organized by the students of FTII to also pay homage to Dr. Narendra Dabholkar. It is unacceptable that an attack of this nature can be inflicted on students for organizing cultural events, in a state, which has a rich and diverse cultural tradition.
This is not an incident in isolation. The attacks on Amdavad ni Gufa an art gallery in Ahmedabad and the cancellation of Sanjay Kak’s film at Symbiosis College of Arts and Commerce, Pune are recent examples of mindless violence by right-wing fascist groups. It is critical to challenge the growing impunity with which fascist groups are intolerant of artists, thinkers, students and any individual who are either opposed or not inclined to their politics. Such attacks by any fascist force violate the fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression. At a time when such attacks are becoming increasingly routine we appeal to the student community and all concerned individuals to register their protest.
On the 26th, this Monday, we are organizing a Solidarity March starting from FTII Campus, Law College Road to Omkareshwar Chowk at 4 PM. This march is a protest against the assassination of Dr. Narendra Dabholkar, the attack against the five FTII students, and all other acts of mindless violence by fascist forces. We demand that those guilty of attacking the FTII students be brought to justice and the charges against the FTII students be dropped immediately. Join us in solidarity as we peacefully march to celebrate the right to democratic dialogue and reclaim the right to expression.
We appeal to students and free thinking individuals across the country to voice their protest. We urge you to use your art, your words and your ideas in defiance of such fascist forces.
Students’ Association, F.T.I.I