'They Are Breaking The Car Apart' Tweets Buddha In A Traffic Jam Director At Jadavpur University

Vivek Agnihotri and his team had to drive around the Jadapur University campus for over half an hour.

Highlights

  • Vivek Agnihotri had to drive around campus for 30 mins due to protests
  • "They are breaking the car apart. Help needed," he tweeted
  • Protests were by student unions from Arts and Engineering faculties
Kolkata: A screening of director Vivek Agnihotri's "Buddha In A Traffic Jam" at Kolkata's Jadavpur University or JU was interrupted several times this evening, before being abandoned about 20 minutes into the film.

Mr Agnihotri, earlier adamant that he would screen his film, stopped the screening amid protests from Left-leaning student unions at the university, who had also surrounded his car as he arrived on the campus.

The screening was organised by a group allegedly backed by the ABVP.

The director tweeted:
 
The student protesters say they oppose the film's portrayal of nationalism. There have been similar protests against the film at Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University, amid a raging debate over nationalism.

"We do not welcome anybody who preaches violence and preaches the Hindu fundamentalist thought in the context of present day India where divisive politics is dividing the people," said a student, Priyasmita.

"We feel if such propaganda is allowed there will be fascist mobilisation within the campus," said another protester.

There were minor clashes between the protesters and organisers as the screening was stopped and then began again several times. The Assistant Registrar of JU too appealed that the screening be stopped as, he said, the organisers did not have permission for it.

Mr Agnihotri first said he would not stop the film and that anyone was invited, but he later called off the screening saying he feared the situation could out of hand.

The film, a political satire, releases on May 13 and stars, among others, actor Anupam Kher, who was scheduled to attend today's screening, but cancelled.

Mr Kher had attended the film's screening at the JNU campus in March this year. That was soon after student leader Kanhaiya Kumar, arrested on the charge of sedition, was released on bail and returned to the campus to a rapturous welcome. Speaking before his film's screening, Mr Kher had said, "Someone who has returned on bail is not an Olympic hero."

Mr Kher and Mr Agnihotri had earlier alleged that JNU had refused to screen his film, but the university denied doing so.

Today Vivek Agnihotri had tweeted: