Indian Film on ‘Love Jihad’ Called a ‘Hate Crime’


New Delhi: The screening of a film on the contentious issue of ‘love jihad’ at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi was disrupted by a few student groups, who alleged that a hate campaign was being propagated by showing the movie.

The screening of the film titled ‘In the Name of Love-Melancholy of God’s Own Country’, was organised by Global Indian Foundation and Vivekanand Vichar Manch of JNU.

According to the organisers, the film, directed by Sudipto Sen, focused on the issue of ‘love jihad’ and religious conversion of girls in Kerala.

Members of Jawaharlal Nehru Students Union and Gender Sensitisation Committee Against Sexual Harassment disrupted the screening, alleging a hate campaign was being propagated in the guise of the film’s screening.

Minor scuffles erupted between protesters and ABVP members. The Delhi Police said it has received complaints from both the sides and is looking into Friday’s incident.

Students opposed to the film had assembled at Sabarmati dhaba to protest the “hate propaganda in the name of love jihad”. They breached security cordons and disrupted the screening by holding placards in front of the screen.

“Why is ABVP/RSS hiding behind Vivekanand Vichar Manch? We won’t let the RSS’s venomous ‘Love Jihad’ myth be propagated,” said a statement issued by the protesters.

Former JNUSU president Geeta Kumari claimed the film “spreading communal venom and bigotry” has been screened by the Vivekananda Vichar Mach, a front organisation of ABVP.

“JNU students standing up for gender justice and against politics of hate in the name of love jihad protested against such politics. The peaceful demonstrators were showered with eggs and stones to create a situation of chaos,” she said.

“The JNUSU condemns these anti-social elements that have vitiated the university’s atmosphere. It is reminiscent of Ramjas College, where ABVP beat up university students,” she added.

An effigy of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the ABVP was set on fire to protest the film’s screening. In the melee, a few students got injured, while a private security guard had to be hospitalised.

Former JNUSU president Mohit Kumar Pandey, who was allegedly attacked by ABVP members, said: “It was an attempt on my life. Big stones were hurled at me and I was attacked with broken glasses. The windshield of my friend’s car has been totally shattered.”

The ABVP in a statement said: “After disrupting the screening of the movie at Sabarmati dhaba, the left-wing protesters grievously injured a guard intentionally.”

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