36 students barred from leaving hostel for 7 days for not watching Modi’s radio program
Thirty-six students from a medical school in Chandigarh city have been barred by administrators from leaving their hostel for 7 days as punishment for not attending a screening of the 100th episode of Hindu supremacist Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s radio program.
The students attend Chandigarh’s Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, where the institute’s director made attendance of the screening mandatory.
The radio program, titled “Mann Ki Baat,” is a political show used by Modi to promote Indian nationalism.
The students’ punishment has sparked backlash, including from Manjneek, the president of the school’s Nurses Welfare Association, who has pointed out that Modi’s radio program is not academic, but political.
“Even skipping such seminars or lectures does not attract punishment,” Manjneek said, pointing out that forcing students to attend a political event is a violation of their right to freedom.
Other academics have also expressed outrage, including Delhi University professor Apoorvanand.
“Our academic leaders have become shameless in showing their loyalty to the master. Everywhere. But it should not go unchallenged if true,” he tweeted.
Anti-Muslim film continues to get support from Hindu supremacist BJP leaders
Despite ongoing concerns over the release of the anti-Muslim propaganda film “The Kerala Story,” which seeks to stoke hatred and distrust against the Muslim community, the film and its makers are enjoying the support of some of India’s most powerful Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders.
The movie falsely claims that 32,000 Hindu women from Kerala state converted to Islam and joined ISIS after being lured into extremism by seemingly innocuous Muslims in their communities.
In Uttar Pradesh state, which is notorious for anti-minority violence and headed by vitriolic Hindu supremacist Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, the movie was made tax-free to encourage widespread viewing.
The filmmakers also met with Adityanath, praising his government for criminalizing religious conversion away from Hinduism, a move that has resulted in increased Hindu extremist violence against Muslims and Christians.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami also watched “The Kerala Story” along with his wife, cabinet, and party colleagues, recommending it to “everyone” and claiming that the film “promotes awareness about religious conversion and terrorism.”
“The Kerala Story shows how terrorism is being spread in the country without guns and bombs. It shows the truth of how girls are being brainwashed and converted,” Dhami said after watching the film.
Supreme Court Bar Association of India shows solidarity with Manipur violence victims
The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) of India has expressed its concern over the raging ethnic and religious violence that has rocked BJP-ruled Manipur state.
“The Executive Committee of the Supreme Court Bar Association… unanimously expresses its concern with the recent incidents of violence in Manipur and expresses its solidarity with the victims of violence,” the SCBA said in a statement.
“Supreme Court Bar Association is in touch with the High Court Bar Association of Manipur and would extend financial assistance as and when required,” the group added.
At least 60 people have been killed in the clashes between Christian tribals and the majority Hindu Meitei community over the latter’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status. More than 23,000 people have been forced to flee the violence, taking shelter in military garrisons and relief camps.