About 200-250 students of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) staged a silent protest yesterday to condemn the attack by Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) workers last week. The protest saw students expressing solidarity with those who were attacked through slogans, street plays and black bands on their arms. Though, the protest was peaceful, it had a strong representation from students despite being denied permission to hold the protest. Similarly, students in different parts of the country such as Delhi, Ahemdabad, Hyderabad and Chandigarh have also organised protests today.
Kislay Tiwari, one of the FTII students who was attacked during the incident said, “Permission was not granted by the police but we were determined to hold a peaceful protest against the attack on us by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad on August 21, Wednesday.”
The two main demands put forth by the students were -- drop charges against students who were attacked and punish ABVP workers who were responsible for the same. Though, both parties have filed complaints against the other, police officials have assured action against the guilty.
On the August 21 when five students of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) were attacked by the members of ABVP in the premises of the National Film Archives of India following the screening of Anand Patwardhan’s documentary Jai Bhim Comrade and a performance by Kabir Kala Manch (KKM).
Other cultural organisations who participated in the protest were NSD, Jamia, JNU, DU, Ambedkar University, Delhi College ofArt and independent film makers. “Recently a lot of incidents are happening with people working in the cultural field. We do not think this incident is restricted to the city or the state but it is representative of the growing atmosphere of intolerance that has manifested itself in different forms in the country,” Tiwari said. Though the police denied permission, the protest was conducted under strict vigilance. An ex-students’ body from the institute appealed to the Maharashtra CM requesting action against the attackers.