Kolkata: The politically sensitive film by Vivek Agnihotri, Buddha In A Traffic Jam, has been banned from being screened in Jadavpur University, where it was scheduled to be shown on Friday. Both the director and actor Anupam Kher, who is part of the cast of the film, were to be present for the screening. However, ever since the alumni association’s hall, Triguna Sen Auditorium, was booked for the screening, students factions started agitating, both in support of and against the screening.
Supposedly, the ABVP student’s wing of the university had booked the hall for the screening of the film, which is being touted as a right wing propaganda venture by protesting students. Today morning, while the director was in Kolkata for the screening, he got a mail from a research fellow of the university and one of the organizers of the screening, saying that the permission for the film screening had been cancelled. The reason cited was, ‘violation of model code of conduct of the election commission’.
According to the mail, the university authority wanted an internal board to see the movie and censor it before it was allowed to be screened in the University. This is, to be noted, after the film was passed by the country’s Censor Board. However, since there was little time to go through the process of an internal censorship, the screening was cancelled.
The film has already been screened in various universities across the country including JNU, New Delhi. Our reports say that since Anupam Kher was to arrive for the screening, left leaning faction of the students had been protesting against the screening for the past couple of days. They were even planning to form a human barricade to stop Kher from entering the campus. Fearing an altercation between the students and the film’s cast and crew, heavy police presence had been ensured in the campus since today morning. However, the cancellation of the screening has not gone down well with the cast, with Anupam Kher terming the ban ridiculous.
Last heard, the supporters of the film were trying to screen the film on the university grounds in open air, using a digital projector. An SUV, carrying Vivek Agnihotri along with his team on their way to the university was met with opposing student’s group, carrying placards reading ‘Go Back ABVP’. Clashes broke out between the left and the right wing factions when Agnihotri and his team tried to go inside the university.