On 25th January,2019, the Delhi Police shut down the screening of Father, Son And Holy War, organised by Pinjra Tod as a part of its ‘Humara Mohalla’ initiative.
Pinjra Tod, organised a screening of the documentary ‘Father, Son And Holy War’ directed by Anand Partwardhan on 25th January from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in D.D.A Market, Hudson Lane.‘Father, Son, and Holy War’ is a 1994 film made in the wake of the Babri Masjid demolition, which explores the links between toxic masculinity, nationalism and religious violence.
Halfway through the screening, the police arrived, forcefully cutting off the electricity supply, stopping the screening, and coerced all the shops to shut down. They stated that they received a complaint that the film encircled on the lines of ‘deshdroh’. The girls showed immense resistance and still continued to watch the screen the film on laptop.
Subhashini, a member of the organisation who attended the screening said, “The film dealt with the relationship between right wing ultra-nationalism, the patriarchal fervour, and models of hyper-masculinity that it both uses and propagates. However, a few policemen started gathered around during the screening, later followed by a van.” She informed that the organisation had already submitted an information letter at the Police Station, yet they were forced to shut down the film.
According to The Indian Express, Additional DCP, A K Lal, denied the allegations. “We received a call from a local that some documentary on religious clashes was being screened. We went, saw what was happening and returned without stopping the screening,” Lal said. However, some reports claim that the screening was being carried without any prior permission.The police claim that they stopped the screening, but deny cutting off the electricity supply.
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ABVP USES STATE MACHINERY AND POLICE TO SHUT DOWN PINJRA TOD FILM SCREENING While we were half way through the screening of Father, Son and The Holy War as part of Pinjra Tod’s Humara Mohalla initiative in Hudson Lane, the police arrived to stop the screening claiming they had received a complaint as apparently we were screening a ‘deshdroh’ film, even though we had provided them all the required information in advance. The police forcefully cut off our electricity supply and shut down all the shops in the area. We have refused to move and are continuing to watch the film on a laptop. On the eve of Republic Day, this is the state of our democracy, where the police exactly demonstrates what the film also shows us, how the state police machinery is complicit in the perpetuation of this violent masculinist Hindutva ideology that is built on the oppression of women and marginalised and minority communities. We are not going to be scared, we will continue to collectivise, continue to fight and resist for our freedom, for the values and dreams that this constitution stands for. RSS, ABVP, POLICE KHABARDAR, MAHILAYEIN HAI TAIYYAR! bharat ki mata nahi banenge. saare pinjro ko todenge, itihas ki dhara modenge. ABVP called the police to stop the screening of this ‘deshdroh’ wala film, they did not even know the name of the film. The police forced shopkeepers to close down the shops in the market. SANGH PARIVAR KHABARDAR, MAHILAYEIN HAI TAIYYAR! hindu rashtra ko todenge, itihas ki dhara modenge! bharat ki mata nahi banenge, sangh parivar khabardar! #pinjratod Despite all the threats from the police, we refused to move, we successfully finished our screening on the laptop with our mic, and also had a discussion. woh darte hai itihas seh, woh darte hai inquilab seh! #WAR(Women Against the Right)
A bunch of young men tried to record the representatives of the organisation. During a confrontation, a stone was thrown at the students, against which no action was taken by the authorities. The men also shouted, “Hindu-Muslim ke baare mein baat karna is a law and order issue”.
DU Beat spoke to Paroma Ray, co-ordinator of the Humara Mohalla initiative. She said,“The Police blocked the screen, but we managed to push them away and continued with the screening. Seeing this, they shut down all the stores and dispersed the crowd. They also shut down the power supply to the projectors.” Paroma further informs that Pinjra Tod has conducted many such screenings in the past.
It is to be noted that Pinjra Tod has alleged Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad(ABVP) called the police to stop the screening. Despite this, the girls were successfully able to complete the movie screening on their laptop. Slogans such as ‘Naari-Shakti Zindabaad’ and ‘ABVP khabardaar’ could be heard post the screening of the film.
Feature Image Credits: Pinjra Tod