Pune: Decoding 'I Am Not The River Jhelum' Screening Fracas At NFAI

Pune: Decoding 'I Am Not The River Jhelum' Screening Fracas At NFAI

The incident occurred on Sunday during the screening of the docudrama as part of 'Cinemas of India', a festival of contemporary Indian films organised by the Pune International Centre and the International Federation of Film Critics-India Chapter

AgenciesUpdated: Monday, February 12, 2024, 02:03 PM IST
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A still from the docudrama 'I Am Not The River Jhelum' |

Members of a right-wing organisation, Samast Hindu Bandhav Sanghatana, barged into the National Film Archive of India (NFAI) premises in Pune, objecting to the screening of a docudrama titled 'I Am Not The River Jhelum', claiming it showed the Indian Army in a bad light, a police official said.

The incident occurred on Sunday during the screening of the docudrama as part of 'Cinemas of India', 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 added.

Ravindra Padwal, president of the organisation, stated they objected to the film upon learning that some scenes depicted the Indian Army in Kashmir negatively.

"Some people in the audience informed us about such a portrayal of the Army in the film. By the time we arrived, the movie was almost over. We objected to the scenes and raised slogans in support of the Army," Padwal explained.

He added that they demanded the director show them the docudrama and explain his side. As they discussed the matter with the organisers, the police intervened and took them to a police station.

"Even if people follow a certain ideology, be it progressive or regressive, they should be proud of the Indian Army. If the director has portrayed the Indian Army negatively, it amounts to sedition, and an offence should be registered against him," Padwal insisted.

Speaking to The Free Press Journal, an NFAI official, speaking on condition of anonymity, stated that the screening of the film began at 1:30pm, and around 3-3:15pm, some individuals entered and demanded the screening be stopped. They then contacted the director, Prabhash Chandra, who was present at the venue. "There was no violence, no property damage. The next film, 'This Story Does Not Have A Name', began at the scheduled time of 3:30pm."

Senior Police Inspector Vipin Hasabnis informed the newspaper that they had detained 19 individuals and released them after issuing notices under the Maharashtra Police Act, 1951.

(With inputs from Gaurav Kadam and Gunwanti Paraste)

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